# 29.7.16

Witeden 4x4x2

So, today it’s another shape shifter – the floppy 4x4x2.

This is another older puzzle from the collection that doesn’t get solved very often. To be honest, it’s the same as most of them!! One good thing to come from this blog is playing with older puzzles that don’t get used very often!!

As you can see, this on is a shape shifter:

It should be noted that this puzzle is not capped internally, so doesn’t feel very strong or solid – a bit flimsy feeling:

Much the same as others this week, you first reduce this back to the original, cuboid shape and then solve. And therein lies the rub…..

Parities. Or false equivocations.

I would like to say I understand parities a lot more these days. I spent quite a while trying to learn parity algorithms, but they are generally fairly long.

So, after a lot of reading on the Twisty Puzzles forums and lots of YouTube viewing, I think I understand why they happen and ways to solve without long algorithms – Cha Reeves from the twisty puzzle blog/YouTube is a good one for this. He generally only uses a few algorithms to solve pretty much most puzzle you could think of. And normally gets out of parity using a single turn and then resolving (it makes sense – watch some of his videos. See the links page).

So, this is a big culprit for that, but it can be dealt with fairly easily.

Anyway, it’s not a great puzzle – mostly because of the flimsy feel to it and being a bit catchy, but it can be found for not much more than £10 – I think Marty at the puzzle store has it for just over ten pounds plus postage.

Not massively expensive, nt great but a fairly good additions for an introduction to cuboids.

Well, what did you expect? Life would be boring if every cube I told you about was super great and worth buying, wouldn’t it???

I think it’s only fair to tell you good and bad points – this blog may be useful for a beginner building a collection, so subjectivity should be used.

Here it is scrambled:

Have a happy weekend. Three weeks to go!

# 28.7.16

MF8 2x3x4

The first of the shape-shifters.

So, as with the last couple of puzzles, this is another cuboid. Where the others have had a common number of sides (3×3x5, 3×3x9, 3×3x6) this one is different. All three are different. 2 by 3 by 4. This allows some strange things to happen….

It changes shape.

If you’re fairly new to puzzling, maybe with a bit of experience with standard nxnxn puzzles (2×2, 3×3 etc.),  this will be a whole new world for you!!

As well as new algorithms and ways of solving (180 degree turns), you’ve now got a new problem. Restructuring!

As with higher order puzzles (particularly as a beginner), you will need to reduce this back to shape before you can start solving it! That’s where your problems begin, my friend….

As with higher order puzzles, reduction comes at a cost. Sometimes parity. Sometimes, false equivocation (see Superantoniovivaldi on the links page).

Where you are putting this back to shape, you may notice some of the pieces look exactly the same. That’s where the similarities end. Looks. Each piece still has its own place. Put two in the wrong places and you’ll know about it. At the end.

I won’t go massively into parity here, because (a) it’s not that kind of blog and (b) a million people can explain it a million times better than I can (see Twisty Puzzles forum in the links page).

Suffice to say, these shape-shifters will open up a whole new world and this 2x3x4 is just the beginning….

For a starter, his is a bargain around ten pounds. You can get it from most of the usual suspects. Just beware: this puzzle didn’t arrive fully functional. Some moves would bandage it and stop it moving further. Mine came with the extra pieces to fix this (that was a puzzle in itself). Maybe check with your retailer that these come with the puzzle. They should do, but old stock may not.

Anyway, here he is scrambled:

See you tomorrow for more fun!

# 27.7.16

Witeden 3x3x6

Well, we’ve move out of the realm of “cubic cuboids” and into the cuboid proper territory with this tower block style puzzle.

Ps:

I think this was also a gift (although I can’t remember who from – sorry!).

It was probably one of my first cuboids. With which, came some new learning – the world of 180 degree turns was a new on for me! I didn’t even have a domino cube (still don’t, in fat!!) to learn with.

Fortunately, this one is a nice easy entry in. No shape-shifting, just plain simple solving. And unlike yesterday’s cubic puzzle – the layers are nice and chunky. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before my big hands, so the tiny layers of yesterday’s 3x3x9 make it a lot harder than it should be!!

In honesty, I don’t solve this one very often. I guess because it seems easy? Doesn’t stop me solving a 3×3 most days….

Anyway, here he is scrambled:

Back tomorrow with a shape shifter. See you then.

# 26.7.16

Witeden 3x3x9

Here we go. Back with the cubic cuboids again. Ps – only 19 more to go….

Anyway. Back to it. This was a Christmas gift (from my sister, I think) – the Amazon wish list is a great thing! I think this was bought through Amazon, but I like the fact that you can bookmark products from other shops into your list as well. Distracted again. Sorry.

Very much the same as yesterday, this is a cuboid puzzle but in a cube shape. The way I solve this one (not sure about others) would be to first orient the layers – pretty much solving it as a 3×3 cube but without worrying about piece placement, just so that the individual layers can then be turned. Then solve the layers as I would a normal cuboid – centre layer first, then basically domino solving each layer working outwards from the centre.
There may be an easier or quicker way to go about it, but that’s the way I do it and I’m quite happy with it!!

It’s a very nicely made puzzle. Solid, sturdy, turns well with nice stickers.

A quick search shows these to be around £15. Not a bad price for a nice puzzle. There are different versions of this available – roadblocks (I think). The variation comes with the top and bottom centres also having three thin layers instead of the solid block on this one. I guess, just adding one more step to the solve.

Anyway, nice puzzle. Not too tricky if you’re just getting in to cuboids. Give it a whirl!

Here it is scrambled:

Very nice. Reminds me of liquorice allsorts!

See you tomorrow!

# 25.7.16

Cube4You Cubic 3x3x5

Well, the countdown is on – 20 more working days left for me, so that means 20 more definite daily blogs.

Anyway, this week I thought I would show some cuboids. Nothing majorly extravagant, all mass-produced, but still fun.

Today’s is a cubic 3x3x5. You can see the middle layer is full-sized. I guess the benefit there is that you get a dual solve – the cuboid parts and then the standard 3×3. Well, I suppose you reshape it as a 3c3 to be able to move around the small layers, solve those and then solve the 3×3.

It’s a nice puzzle, turns well with nice, thick stickers.

Well under ten pounds from Z Cube. Not a bad transition from cubes to cuboids.

Here it is scrambled:

See you tomorrow for more from the cuboid family.

# 22.7.16

Funny little Siamese love heart puzzle!

So, this isn’t the best or most difficult puzzle, but I picked it because today is a happy day.

Today, I resigned from my job. I have less than one month to go.

For me, it will hopefully be a good move. Only time will tell.

Unfortunately, this will probably ring the death knell for the cube of the day blog – the next four months will be intense training, so I don’t see enough time to be able to blog every day. Although I may do some updates if I find some time.

I will keep going for now, but there will be an end soon….

Anyway, this is a sweet little puzzle. Fairly simple BUT…..I solved it back to shape fairly easily, but the pieces have the be rotated properly. I haven’t tried yet to twist them, but I can’t see it being too hard.

This came from ZCube a while back. I hadn’t even scrambled it, or played with it until today. It was VERY cheap, so moves surprisingly well. The stickers feel nice, but aren’t particularly well placed on their relevant pieces.

If you’re making an order, it’s a nice little piece to add to a display collection, but probably not worth break my the bank to ship!!

Anyway, here it is scrambled:

Have a happy weekend and I’ll be back on Monday.

# 21.7.16

YJ Rainbow Inequilateral Cube

I suppose after the last couple of cubes, this is the next, sensible option.

It’s pretty much a combination of the last two cubes – a shape mod and a sticker mod.

The shape mod is the same as the bump cube from two days ago and the sticker mod is the same as yesterday – centre rotation causing the problems.

As with the standard bump cube, every piece has a place – no extra difficulty there. But the centre sticker has to be rotated correctly for the cube to be solved.

I think I bought this a few months back – probably around February (my birthday is the first of Feb, so a well-sized order normally goes in around then!).

It was crazy cheap – less than TWO POUNDS!!

You can buy these from all of the major cubes seller (home and abroad). Definitely well worth a punt considering the cost.

Just a quick update – I have added Oliver’s Stickers to the link page – give him a try for all of your sticker needs. He had tons of different shapes and styles. I’m fairly sure you can email him custom designs if you want to print your own super cube.

Here’s this one scrambled:

See you tomorrow for some Friday fun!

# 20.7.16

Well, as promised yesterday – a 3×3 sticker mod ( as opposed to yesterday’s shape mod).

Again, and quite obviously, this is still just a 3×3 but with a twist.

As you can see, the stickers are different (hence sticker mod).

The solve is very much the same as a normal 3×3 but with an extra step – you now have to pay attention of the rotation of the centres. With a standard cube, the centres rotate but you don’t notice because the sticker is just one colour and no pattern.

Here you can see what I am talking about – a rotated (and therefore unsolved) centre:

There’s not much more challenge here ( as long as you know how to turn the centres).

I guess just the patterns or pictures are down to personal preference.

Here is this one scrambled:

See you tomorrow!

# 19.7.16

Shengshou Mirror (“bump”) 3×3

So, pretty obvious after yesterday’s post.

What was also pretty obvious was that yesterday’s post wasn’t very good – I must admit, I did rush it, but it wasn’t just that. I realised I didn’t really know who I was blogging for – there have been some comments that this is good for new cubers to see the different types of puzzle available. Probably not much use for experienced cuber who probably have a lot of these puzzles.

So then, I realised it probably wouldn’t be very clear to a new cuber what a bump cube actually is!! So, I am going to try to explain that in each post from now on – experienced cubers can bear with me (we’ve all been new to something sometime, right?) and hopefully, it will be of use to newer cubers.

So…….a mirror, or bump cube is a 3×3 shape mod (still has the same mechanical structure as a 3×3, but the outer shapes of the pieces are different). As opposed to a sticker mod, where the pieces are the same snap, but the puzzle is stickered differently to change the look and difficulty of the puzzle (see previous posts on super cubes). I  will show a 3×3 sticker mod tomorrow.

Although, saying that, it is a slight sticker mod although the stickers don’t affect the difficulty – every piece is shaped differently, so has an exact position – if this was a normal 3×3 covered in stickers that were all the same colour, it would be pretty easy – right??

The structure here is the same – 3 layers, centres, edges and corners. The pieces are just shaped differently – layer one is thin, two is about normal and three is BIG. Turning is the same, solving is the same – find a piece (the difficult bit) then place it as you normally would (the easy bit!!).

As I said yesterday, this was a gift bought from Amazon, for only a few pounds – can be bought from pretty much any cube shop for not very much money.

Give it a try, you might like it.

Now, if only I could afford for tomorrow’s cube of the day to be a 4×4 mirror cube!

Here’s this guy scrambled:

# 18.7.16

FangGe 2×2 Mirror Blocks

Here we go, Monday again…

This was a fairly recent buy from Lightake. Not too expensive – around five pounds shipped.

I’d been bought a 3×3 for Christmas the one before last (2014, I think that makes it). And REALLY enjoyed it. I had seen videos and thought about getting one l, but never did.

I try to avoid buying cubes too often – it’s normally from the bigger Chinese sites, which leads to a shipping cost. So, it’s not worth buying just one puzzle (my Lightake cart is currently over \$50 because I wanted one cube that was on sale for \$6!!!).

Anyway, back to it – it’s a nice puzzle, not bad quality – a bit spring-noisy (nothing a bit of lube won’t fix) but turns well and is more of a challenge than a usual 2×2.

Here it is scrambled:

See you tomorrow for another puzzle (I reckon you can probably guess what it is going to be….).