The puzzle grid pictured below is a prime example of the classic rush to judgment:

Minesweeper, all blown up

I was so sure of my decision, but when I double-clicked to clear more cells, the cell to the left of the one I had just flagged (the red one next to the X) was the mine, and the game ended. I see that apparently I wasn't paying close enough attention to the numbers in the surrounding cells. What kinds of moves could I make in the future in a similar situation, in order to to avoid a costly mistake such as this one? Include reasons so this can be helpful to other users.

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    $\begingroup$ I think your mistake was guessing when you still had options, especially above and to the right, but it's hard to analyze a picture of someone else's Minesweeper game. $\endgroup$ – Kendall Frey May 22 '14 at 0:27
  • $\begingroup$ @KendallFrey I see your point. And that cell would have been obvious if I had completed the vertical pair of 2's 5 columns over. $\endgroup$ – Brian J. Fink May 22 '14 at 0:31

The 2 down-right from your bad flag should have tipped you off; it is touching two bombs you had already flagged. That would show the one next to it (which you triggered) to be a bomb; the two under that one would clear the one left of it (above the 4), leaving just the four bombs around the 4. You could also have figured out the 4's surroundings just from it and the 2s right and down-left of it.

Graphically; blues are squares of consideration, red is conclusion.

\begin{array}{|c|c|c|} \hline &&&&&&&&2\\ \hline &&&\color{red}{3}&1&1&2&F&2\\ \hline &4&2&2&\color{blue}{2}&2&2&1&1\\ \hline 2&F&1&1&\color{blue}{F}&\color{blue}{F}&1 \\ \hline \end{array}

\begin{array}{|c|c|c|} \hline &&&&&&&&2\\ \hline &&\color{red}{F}&3&1&1&2&F&2\\ \hline &4&2&\color{blue}{2}&2&2&2&1&1\\ \hline 2&F&1&1&\color{blue}{F}&F&1 \\ \hline \end{array}

\begin{array}{|c|c|c|} \hline &&&&&&&&2\\ \hline &\color{red}{4}&\color{blue}{F}&3&1&1&2&F&2\\ \hline &4&\color{blue}{2}&2&2&2&2&1&1\\ \hline 2&\color{blue}{F}&1&1&F&F&1 \\ \hline \end{array}

\begin{array}{|c|c|c|} \hline &&&&&&&&2\\ \hline \color{red}{F}&4&\color{blue}{F}&3&1&1&2&F&2\\ \hline \color{red}{F}&\color{blue}{4}&2&2&2&2&2&1&1\\ \hline 2&\color{blue}{F}&1&1&F&F&1 \\ \hline \end{array}


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