5.8.16

QJ Super Square-1


So, as if it wasn’t obvious, today is about biggering. After yesterday’s Square-1, so today is the super square-1. 

This was a gift from my wish list a long while ago. I don’t think I even knew what it was!! Just saw it and liked the look of it – no cuboid experience, no square-1 experience. Good luck, me…..

I really struggled and ended us watching videos to solve it. I had NO IDEA!

Still don’t……

BUT. I did write out my own guide for it. And lost that. 😦

Hey ho. So this sits mostly untouched on the shelf with all of the others. 


It’s a nice puzzle. Really well made. The stickers have this strange, gritty kind of feel to them. Unlike any others I have. But that’s how they have always been. 

I think there were a lot of complaints about this puzzle, but I have none. It turns very well and only locks up if it isn’t lined up properly!! Which seems pretty obvious!

I like it. 

I would have got a Square-1 first, and maybe a cuboid or two, but other than that, I like it. Give it a bash – this one actually came from Amazon, but they aren’t in stock any more. A quick search shows that Cubezz have them for well under ten pounds. GET STUCK IN!!

Here it is scrambled:


And now we are down to 11:


Have a good weekend!

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4.8.16

MF8 Square-1


Well, I couldn’t go any bigger, so I went different!

I got this cube fairly recently – the first year I started cubing, I was bought a Super Square-1 for Christmas. Baffling. I had no idea what was going on. 

Now, you would hope that this story ended with me being happy with solving a Square-1. 

WRONG!

I still can’t do this thing!!

I just can’t get inspired to figure it out!!

I recently started expanding my higher order collection (I’m sure you saw the 10×10 saga). 

Well, I’d spoken to Andy on the Facebook Puzzle Trader page (see links page) a while back and he was saying how he solved bigger cubes more like a 2×2 than 3×3 reduction. I liked the idea, but didn’t get round to doing it…

When I did, I had to relearn some cuboid algorithms – corner swaps etc.  

As I was doing these, I started thinking about using these on the smaller edges on the Square-1. I guessed the 180 degree turning would relate it to a cuboid. 

Again, I would love to say I was right, or wrong, but I just didn’t get around to it!! So, today will be the day…..

This one came from ZCube for less than five pounds. I bought it because I wanted to figure out the Square-1, but the super version was a bit more than I could be bothered with at the time!

Here’s this one scrambled:


Now, only 12 days to go. It’s getting close. If you have any interest in my new venture, you can find out what is going on at I On Mayden….

3.8.16

Unknown brand über 3×3


So, today’s one will be a quick one, I think. 

After the Megaminx, I thought I would do the Gigaminx and then (in the words of Dr Seuss), is was figuring on biggering and biggering and BIGGERING! 

But. Alas. I realised I have already done my higher order cubes. The only bigger thing left is this guy. 

Pure stroke of luck – I’d wanted a big 3×3 for a long time, but just didn’t think they worth worth the £15 I had seen them on sale for (for me anyway). We went to the shops on a Saturday morning and took some of the kids’ old clothes to the charity (thrift?) shop. Whilst there, I took Joey to look at the toys. And this guy was just sitting there, waiting for me!!

The best thing about this particular shop is that, if you donate something, they give you a voucher for £1. We had donated before, so I had a voucher. This was priced at £1. IT WAS MEANT TO BE!!

It’s not a bad cube, not great. It turns ok and doesn’t lock up. Doesn’t corner cut, but whose cares – IT WAS FREE!!

Here it is scrambled:


Here it is next to a Guanlong for comparison:


13 to go, peeps!

2.8.16

MF8 Gigaminx


Well, as an obvious step up from yesterday’s Megaminx, it’s the turn of the giga today. 

Solve-wise, I don’t think there is much of a difference – than there is between solving a 3×3 and a 4×4. 

Saying that, this was a gift possibly two Christmases ago (from my wish list), but hasn’t been solved very many times. So it is hard to remember…

If I’m right quite a lot of people weren’t overly impressed with this puzzle. I did a few turns this morning when I picked it up to take to work and it seems to turn well enough. The stickers are all intact and it’s a comfortable weight. It’s OK. Not going to break any speed solving records, especially now that the cheaper and better Shengshou version is available. 

The amount of times I solve this puzzle tells me that I have no need for the Shengshou, but if you don’t have a Gigaminx already, that’s probably the road for you. 

So, here is this one scrambled:


And, of course, only 14 days to go:

1.8.16

Shengshou Megaminx


Here we go. Last three weeks. It’s going to fly by, I’m sure….


Today it’s time for a cube that isn’t a cube! A megaminx. 

So, after I learned my lesson the other week – a quick summary. A cube that’s not a cube? Basically, this is a 3×3 x 12. Of sorts. It’s works the same and interacts the same way as a 3×3 does, just with more sides to solve. The same algorithms work – just with a slight modification – to twist a face back to starting position takes five turns instead of the normal three on a 3×3 cube. Not rocket science and with a bit of figuring, should be easy enough if you can solve a standard cube. 

This one is a Shengshou. Nothing special. Well, I say that but my Amazon order history shows this was the first non 3×3 puzzle I bought (I think I bought an official Rubik’s 3×3, then a Dayan Panchi, which was a birthday gift, then a Dayan Zanchi and then this). So a bit of a milestone. 

I vaguely remember getting it. And figuring it out on my own – I was very new to vining, but was able to do this with my very small knowledge of solving a 3×3. 

Considering how cheap this was, it’s a very nice puzzle. Well made, turns VERY well, well stickered. I can’t really fault it. It’s definitely not a speedsolving puzzle, but that’s not really my bag, so I am happy with it. 

If you have a fairly large collection, I’m sure you already have a megaminx. If you don’t, branch out – give it a try!

Here it is scrambled:


See you tomorrow for another countdown day!

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.