Stepping-stone Sudoku X

Psycho Sudoku!
By PSYCHO SUDOKU  |  May 14, 2008

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Some squares in this Sudoku contain circles. Each circled digit is that many steps away from another circle with that digit. For example, a circled square with a 3 will be three steps away from another circled 3. An un-circled square will not have another occurrence of its digit that many steps away. A step is a move into a horizontally or vertically neighboring square (diagonally doesn’t count). Note that none of the circled squares contains the digit 1; that would require a second 1 in the same row or column. Also, a path between two squares is the fewest number of squares required to travel between those two boxes. When you’re done, each row, column, and 3-x-3 box will contain the digits 1–9 one time. Don’t be scared, you can do it! Or can you . . . ?

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