Cube Cube Cubed! (Part 2)

The classic Rubik’s Cube. I have loads of 25th Anniversary Rubik’s Cube which have peeling stickers. Anybody wants to buy them for custom sticker jobs?

I take anywhere from 37 to 50 seconds on average. I prefer starting by building a 2x2x2, expanding to 2x2x3 and so on. I don’t have space in my head for lots of formulas so I still use the basic beginner formulas – flip edges, permutate edges, permutate corners, rotate corners. I do know how to flip edges and permutate edges without messing with the corners but I don’t do it by habit, unless I am doing limited-look cubing.

Limited-look cubing?

As in, I take a look, solve a 2x2x2, take another look, attempt to solve a 2x2x3, take another look, attempt to solve 2 layers, take another look and solve the top layer. On good days I can take 4 looks but it usually goes from 5 to 8 looks. Blindfolded cubing is basically limited-look cubing, limited to 1 look!

Pocket Cube. Takes me 43 seconds.

It solves like a Rubik’s Cube but with the occasional corner parity error (which is solved by a edge flipper like L’U’F’UFL.)

Rubik’s Revenge. I’d solve the center 2×2 on each face, then check with the corners to see if each 2×2 is on the right face (since there is no center cube). Then there is a formula to assemble the edges (3 at a time), as well as a formula if you have 2 edges to swap. Finally you solve it like a regular Rubik’s Cube. However there are two kinds of parity errors that might happen, both needing their specific formulas.

Because I never really remembered one of those two formulas, I eventually forgot both formulas! So I’d say generally that even-numbered cubes are not something I enjoy solving, and so I didn’t time myself on these.

Top row is the Eastsheen 5x5x5; bottom row is the Professor’s Cube. I am thinking of selling the Professor’s Cube to whoever will give it a good sticker job because the Eastsheen, while a bit loose, is a lot smoother and quicker to solve. The Professor’s Cube is more geary, and I don’t intend to lubricate it.

It takes me 4 minutes 57 seconds (297 seconds). Solving odd-numbered cubes are easy – you work on the center 3×3 on each face, and learn one formula to assemble the edges (3 at a time), and one more formula in case you end up with 2 edges to swap. Finally you end up with a regular 3x3x3 format and solve that.

Yong Jun 6x6x6. I call it the Devil’s Cube. I love how the color scheme is – the much lighter green versus deep blue, and lighter orange versus dark red, and yellow versus black, make this cube solvable in tungsten orange lighting. You won’t end up mixing up the white/yellow, red/orange or green/blue pairs in tungsten lighting!

It solves just like a Rubik’s Revenge. The same parity error formulas are used. It tends to lock up internally – you can often rotate in say UD/RL but not FB. Only way to solve this is to rotate UD/RL until FB faces can be rotated (you have to hear the internal pieces click on place.)

Yong Jun 7x7x7. I’ve tried the V-Cube 7, and that one was too smooth and yet more prone to locking up. This Yong Jun copy however is physically perfect – no locking, and smooth, smooth action!

I solve this by making a 3×3 on each face, then expanding this to 5×5 in a very fun algorithm. Then I assemble edges (3 at a time) and use another formula for 2 last edges. This process needs to be done twice due to twice the number of edges. Finally I solve it like a regular Rubik’s Cube.

The fastest I ever did this was 20 minutes 11 seconds (1211 seconds). I have only had this for less than a week! It can take from 22 to 28 minutes on average. However, this is my most favorite cube yet – building the 5×5 faces are really fun!

Also, it shares the same color scheme as the Yongjun 6x6x6, very handy!

Megaminx copy. Dodecahedron; does not change shape. Algorithms used are all the same as the Rubik’s Cube – in fact, I learnt a few more methods from the instruction book on this one, to solve the Rubik’s Cube!

Fastest time 6 minutes 9 seconds (369 seconds). It’s easy but tedious due to the 50 cubies needed to be moved!

Rubik’s Cube keychain and Siamese Pocket Cube keychain. Didn’t bother timing myself on these – the Siamese variants all just take twice as long as a regular cube.

Void Cube copy. Takes 1 minute 19 seconds (79 seconds). Solves just like a Rubik’s Cube, with a possibility of a parity error (due to misaligned, invisible center!) So I do a UD’ and realign the edges in the middle layer.

Rubik’s Mirror Blocks. Looks complex but is really a Rubik’s Cube with shifted, variable layer thicknesses. Each layer has a distinct height, so you can solve this blindfolded without memorizing. You just need to touch and align the cube heights. It’s fun to solve, but often so much better to look at unsolved.

This takes me 2 minutes 25 seconds (145 seconds). Blindfolded, this takes 5 minutes 26 seconds (326 seconds).

I can’t find my Sudoku Cube for this photoshoot; it’s hiding somewhere in my house. This picture is taken from Thinking Inside The Cube. I didn’t solve this much because it was quite tedious!

Smiley Cube copy. Just a stickered version of the Rubik’s Cube. Real tight though. The center cubes have orientation, making it slightly harder.

Giant Siamese Rubik’s Cube copy. I made them Siamese myself, using a penknife and superglue! These giant cubes were from a time when original Rubik’s Cubes were not found anywhere in Malaysia and I had to buy all these cheap plastic cubes that would either lock up or fall apart. These giant cubes never locked up but their center faces would fall out (the plastic would break, thus making it unrepairable!)

Rubik’s World. Solves like the Pocket Cube.

Master Pyramorphix copy. Looks complex, but is really a Rubik’s Cube in disguise.

Takes me 3 minutes 43 seconds (223 seconds) to solve. It takes a while to figure out what is what!

Skewb copy. Takes me 1 minute 6 seconds (66 seconds). I just need 2 formulas to solve this, which I figured out in under an hour with a paper and pen! Supposing the UFR and UFL corners were shortened to R and L, I’d do either L’RLR’ or L’R’LR to permutate centers and rotate corners. I’d do either formula twice to rotate only corners, leaving centers intact, or do the formulas thrice to swap centers but leave corners intact.

Meffert’s Pyraminx. It uses ball bearings and tends to pop edges easily so I prefer to play with my plasticky Pyraminx copy. I forgot the formula I came up with for permutating edges but I remember taking under 1 minute to solve this.

Square 1 copy. I had the original Square 1 but it’s hiding somewhere in the house. This is friction-ful plastic. I used to remember the formulas for swapping 2 corners and swapping edges, but not anymore. 🙁

I think I used to take 3 minutes to solve it.

Square 1 variant. Takes forever to fix the center 2 layers. However this works very much like the Square 1. Fortunately it is way smoother, but the seashell shape in the Square 1 picture (bottom-right) is impossible to make, for some strange reason – the pieces won’t budge once that many edges are next to each other.

Rubik’s 360. I haven’t gotten round to really playing with this, but I’ve already gotten 2 balls in their correct containers.

Rubik’s Twist. Used to be called the Rubik’s Snake. You can’t mess it up per se so I never bothered timing how long it takes to get into ball form.

Rubik’s Shells. There are two buttons on the axis that, when pressed, lock the two wheels (there are four, two on each side) and this makes the puzzle permanently harder. I couldn’t bear with such a puzzle that had such a ultimatum so once I Googled the formula I solved it and kept it away.

Rubik’s Magic. Never timed myself on this. It’s quite a fragile puzzle – I’ve seen kids snap this, so I handle mine slowly and with care.

I like how it changes shape.

I think I solved this a few times many years back and never bothered timing. It’s not even a twisty puzzle!

I have the Magic Ball too, which is just a spherical Rubik’s Cube. Can’t find it though.

I also had the Atomic Chaos (Kaos) and loved it – I figured out my own solution entirely. Don’t know where that noisemaker is, either!

Here’s what it looks like:

Heck I even made a QBASIC game out of this.

I also have the Walt Disney puzzle (spot the Lion King!) To its left is an old iQ-branded Megaminx, and the original Square 1 (how I miss you.) Then there’s that load of fake plastic Rubik’s Cubes around it. Picture taken from Rubik Cubism.

Oh yes, I’ve won a Guitar Hero II guitar + game for the Xbox 360 before… quite a fluke that was.

And here are more links to help you identify puzzles:
Wikipedia’s entry on combination puzzles
Inside Polyhedra puzzles – patent designs and how they do it!

Here’s more cube pr0n:
Cube Cube Cubed! (Part 1)

22 thoughts on “Cube Cube Cubed! (Part 2)

  1. Xuantee Post author

    How do you solve the master pyramophinx??? Got mine 6 days ago and stil cant fond a website to help me solve it

  2. Albert Ng Post author

    It makes you proud, doesn’t it? I have a cousin who is still in school picking it up. I think I might’ve been just a bit older when I first picked it up.


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