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 Post subject: Aardwolf/Star of David/PyraStar/Pyramorphix Star
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:04 pm
Location: Sioux Lookout, Canada
This is the MoZhi Aardwolf and it cost me $5.49. This puzzle configuration has a TP Museum entry under the names Starburst and Star of David, but the name "Starburst" has been applied to other puzzles. A Web image search for "Star of David" puzzle (including the double quotes) actually brings up a picture of a version of this puzzle with the label "Starburst". Very confusing, just like the puzzle!
ETA: Mefferts sells this puzzle as the PyraStar.
Puzl.co.uk sells this puzzle as Pyramorphix Star.


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The puzzle is stickered as two interlocking tetrahedrons. The puzzle turns well. When new, the inner vertices had a slight tendency to catch, but some silicone oil lube and breaking in solved this issue.

It is an obvious shape mod of [SPOILER]a 2x2 cube[/SPOILER]. On paper, it shouldn't be difficult to solve but the stickering makes it difficult to correctly apply knowledge of the [SPOILER]base 2x2 cube[/SPOILER]. It was a blast to work it out and solve it, especially as I quickly realized that I needed good solved state pictures, but had only taken a couple during the unboxing (who takes a lot of pictures of a $5.49 puzzle? :mrgreen: ).

Now that I have solved it and have a workable solution, I'm interested in refining my solution and developing a general strategy for solving this class of puzzle, which I would describe as [SPOILER]one where the stickering is out of phase with the way the base puzzle is oriented during the solve[/SPOILER]. For example [SPOILER]an R2 from the solved state puts this puzzle into a state where the inner stickers are colour matched in pairs. I wonder if this would be an easier solving target?[/SPOILER].

Pete's Solution Outline: ETA: I don't use this solution anymore. See my next post.
[SPOILER]I solved it as a 2x2 cube, looking at the vertices as corners and orienting the puzzle so that the verticies form a square or 'X' configuration (as in the photos). I made colour guides for the first layer and last layer when viewed in an 'X' configuration, corresponding to the shape of a 2x2. I use the two RBG tetrahedron vertices (i.e. the two that don't have yellow) as the FL corner for the first and last layers and assemble the rest of the pieces around them. For the last layer orientation, I worked out the relationship between the "yellow" stickers in my 2x2 solution and the various sticker colours on the Aardwolf pieces. Alternatively, I've used the beginners method "R' D' R D" procedure to orient the pieces and it does work, but all the colours flying by make it risky for me. For last layer permutation, I use cuboid corner swaps instead of a complex 2x2 algorithm.[/SPOILER]

I'd enjoy learning about your experiences and strategies with the Aardwolf/Starburst/Star of David. I know it is not a super-difficult puzzle, but it is fun and I got some new ideas out of it.

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Last edited by Pete the Geek on Mon May 06, 2013 11:34 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Aardwolf/Starburst/Star of David
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:17 am
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I have it's cousin the 4D8, and the Pyramorphinx.. an interesting property of which is this..


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1st 3x3 solve Oct 2010 (Even though I lived through the 80s).
PB 3x3 55sec Jan 2011 (When I was a kid 1:30 was speedcubing so I'm stoked).
1st 3x3 Earth (nemesis) solve Jan 2011 My You Tube (Now has ALLCrazy 3X3 Planets with Reduction)
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 Post subject: Re: Aardwolf/Starburst/Star of David
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:14 am 
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Burgo wrote:
I have it's cousin the 4D8, and the Pyramorphinx.. an interesting property of which is this..
Now that is interesting. I saw this behaviour on the Aardwolf when I had one of the tetrahedrons 120° out of phase with the other. Both puzzles were "solved", except one vertex. Now I want to know what causes this on the Pyramorphinx... and I want a Pyramorphinx :shock: .

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 Post subject: Re: Aardwolf/Starburst/Star of David
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:17 am
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Hi Pete,
It's just a `centre orientation + corner orientation`, the centre orientation is invisible.

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1st 3x3 solve Oct 2010 (Even though I lived through the 80s).
PB 3x3 55sec Jan 2011 (When I was a kid 1:30 was speedcubing so I'm stoked).
1st 3x3 Earth (nemesis) solve Jan 2011 My You Tube (Now has ALLCrazy 3X3 Planets with Reduction)


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 Post subject: Re: Aardwolf/Starburst/Star of David/PyraStar
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:04 pm
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A little update on solving this puzzle, which is also being sold by Meffert's as the "PyraStar" and by Puzl.co.uk as the "Pyramorphix Star".

I now solve the Aardwolf without reference to my "colour guide" or notes. Instead, [SPOILER]I start with one of the two distinct vertices and use it to build the other three pieces on the "top layer", flip the puzzle over, find the other distinct vertex and apply the 2x2 last layer permutation algorithms. I'm still using the "beginner" corner orientation algorithm. [/SPOILER].

Making notes on this simple puzzle was not a wasted effort; I believe that the act of creating the "colour guide" gave me a properly organized mental model of the puzzle. The Aardwolf has taught me a lot about the base puzzle and the algorithms I was using.

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