The problem statement is as follows:

Sudoku is a game played on a 9x9 grid. The goal of the game is to fill all cells of the grid with digits from 1 to 9, so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3x3 sub-grids (also known as blocks) contain all of the digits from 1 to 9.

Sudoku Solution Validator

**Write a function that accepts a Sudoku board, and returns true if it is a valid Sudoku solution, or false otherwise. The cells of the input Sudoku board may also contain 0's, which will represent empty cells. Boards containing one or more zeroes are considered to be invalid solutions.

Here is my code which passes all the test cases.

I would like feedback on performance, clarity, and readability. Thank you

def has_valid_rows(rows):
    VALID_ROW = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

    for row in rows:
        if 0 in row or set(row) != set(VALID_ROW):
            return False

    return True

def has_valid_columns(columns):
    VALID_COLUMN = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

    for column in columns:
        if 0 in column or set(column) != set(VALID_COLUMN):
            return False
    return True

def has_valid_subgrids(input_board):
    VALID_SUBGRID = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

    top_left_subgrid = input_board[0][:3] + input_board[1][:3] + input_board[2][:3]
    top_middle_subgrid = input_board[0][3:6] + input_board[1][3:6] + input_board[2][3:6]
    top_right_subgrid = input_board[0][6::] + input_board[1][6::] + input_board[2][6::]

    middle_left_subgrid = input_board[3][:3] + input_board[4][:3] + input_board[5][:3]
    middle_middle_subgrid = input_board[3][3:6] + input_board[4][3:6] + input_board[5][3:6]
    middle_right_subgrid = input_board[3][6::] + input_board[4][6::] + input_board[5][6::]

    bottom_left_subgrid = input_board[6][:3] + input_board[7][:3] + input_board[8][:3]
    bottom_middle_subgrid = input_board[6][3:6] + input_board[7][3:6] + input_board[8][3:6]
    bottom_right_subgrid = input_board[6][6::] + input_board[7][6::] + input_board[8][6::]

    subgrids = [top_left_subgrid, top_middle_subgrid, top_right_subgrid, middle_left_subgrid, middle_middle_subgrid, middle_right_subgrid, bottom_left_subgrid, bottom_middle_subgrid, bottom_right_subgrid]

    for subgrid in subgrids:
        if set(subgrid) != set(VALID_SUBGRID) or 0 in subgrid:
            return False

    return True

def validate_sudoku(board):
    rows = board
    columns = zip(*board)
    if has_valid_rows(rows) and has_valid_columns(columns) and has_valid_subgrids(board):
        return True

    return False


1 Answer 1



Your function names has_valid_rows has_valid_columns and has_valid_subgrids are misleading: they imply that a board with any valid row/column/subgrid would return True.

validate_<region> would be a better fit.


You can remove the 0 in <region> conditions in your validation methods, as the sets wouldn't be equal if this were True.

Redundancy 1

You define 3 function-level constants (VALID_ROW, VALID_COLUMN and VALID_SUBGRID) to have the same value. Define a single module-level constant instead. And since you ultimately don't need a list but a set, define that constant to be a set: VALID_SET = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}.

Redundancy 2

has_valid_rows and has_valid_columns are logically identical, only variable names differ. has_valid_subgrids also has similar logic. They could be combined into a single function which could get passed different arguments.


You split the board in rows and columns inside of the main function before passing them to the validating methods, but split the board in subgrids inside the has_valid_subgrids method. It would be better to have consistent calling conventions.

Use built-ins

The all built-in methods allows to check if a condition if True for all elements in an iterable, simplifying your various validation methods a bit, and possibly improving performance:

all(set(row) == VALID_SET for row in board)

Return a boolean directly

In your validate_sudoku function, the pattern:

if <condition>:
    return True
return False

can be simplified to:

return <condition>

Extracting subgrids

Hard-coding each subgrid individually is probably not the best way of getting them. Try to use a list comprehension or a loop instead.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the review. \$\endgroup\$
    – yorkdev123
    Feb 26 at 13:59

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