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 Post subject: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:18 am 
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Hi everyone,

Well I am very excited to be joining TP. I've been lurking round the forums for a while now and am very happy to be part of it all! I definitely feel like I'm in the newbie category as far as cubing goes. I left a post in the Who's Who so I won't repeat it here, other than to say that the only method I know or use is the Ultimate Solution method by Philip Marshall. Here's my collection and then I have a question.

Already have:
2x2
3x3
3x3 number cube
4x4
5x5
6x6
7x7
Mf8 Teraminx

Ordered but not yet arrived:
Latch cube
Crazy 3x3 Earth
3x3x2
Octahedron
Mf8 Crazy 4x4 Cube II
Pyraminx crystal
SS1 Cube

Now my questions.

1) For those that know and use the Ultimate solution method, have you come across any puzzles that can't be solved by that method?

2) I've found that the method has made solving the cubes I have so far not overly challenging. So I'm looking for some challenging cubes. Given the ones I have ordered, are there other cubes you would recommend I get?

3) I'm a maths teacher and am thinking about running an extra-curricular puzzles elective or else as part of an extended maths class. There seem to be a number of students interested in it. Can anyone point me to an appropriate page which has some of the maths behind solving and understanding the cubes, which, if not already geared to high school students, might be adaptable?

4) Lastly: how do I know, when I see something on ebay or somewhere else, whether it's a good quality cube or a piece of junk? Most of what I've got is good, but the pyraminx I bought is rubbish.

Thanks for any answers.

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:11 am 
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Welcome! Really nice to read your Who's Who entry.

As for your questions...

1) Don't know that method.

2) I would recommend: Dayan Gem; Crazy Megaminx (just don't try to take it apart); Face-Turning Octahedron (FTO). I'm sure others will have good recommendations as well.

3) Jaap's Puzzle Page. I'm sure TP forum member and puzzle designer extraordinaire kastellorizo could also point you in the right direction when it comes to math ideas as well... 8-)

4) The best way to get quality puzzles is to buy from a quality seller. Meffert's is the standard bearer for twisty puzzlers everywhere. If they sell it, then it's good quality. Another good place is Mr Puzzle. And of course Mindstrat Puzzles.
In general, the maxim "You get what you pay for" applies to twisty puzzles as well.

Again, nice to meet you!

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:16 pm 
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@blizzard_kb

Thanks for your welcome. So, with regard to buying puzzles, apart from those ones you mentioned, what about places like witeden and hknowstore? Can I assume that anything sold there is good quality, or are there certain brands which are not?

I hope kastellorizo might also chime in with some more info about the maths.

And I'd love to hear from some others as to their recommendations for puzzles I don't yet have.

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:24 pm 
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Take a look through this thread for recommendations on what to get. http://www.twistypuzzles.com/forum/view ... 13&start=0

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Before you buy anything it is always good to do more research to figure out whether it is a legitimate brand or a knock-off.

As for cubes I would recommed, if it is possible, buy a helicopter cube - these things are getting very hard to find, so get one before they are impossible to find.
I also enjoy solving the master skewb, it is very affordable and a great challenge. I would suggest getting a skewb first, though.

Hope it helps!

Chris

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:23 pm 
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First id like to say welcome!
You have a pretty nice collection, as stated above a helicopter cube is a really great puzzle. A challenge to solve, without any help. Only if you jumble it though.
I dont find the FTO to be challenging, if you can solve that you can solve the master skewb and rex cube.
I would grab a pyraminx, skewb, and skewb ultimate from Mefferts. Really any Mefferts puzzle will be good quality.

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:12 pm 
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But where are the TINY puzzles? All I see here are normal sized puzzles. (OH no, Adam stole Tony's joke yet again!)

That is a VERY nice collection. You got all the basics in there. Its good to see new members with great collections like this.

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:55 pm 
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First, thanks everyone for your kind words of welcome. I knew it would be worth the wait! With the questions that follow, please bear in mind that I'm very new to the world of puzzle collecting and so my questions might seem simple or not-worth-asking, but I genuinely don't know the answers to them. I'm ready to gratefully receive any and all advice!

This one sort of combines a couple of my questions:

Say I take people's advice and buy a helicopter cube. I find one at http://www.hknowstore.com/item.aspx?cor ... a45f7b94b3. There's no info about its brand (eg. I've read on here that mf8 is supposed to be better than C4U), so do I assume it's good to get? There's also no price so I'm not sure about that. Then I find one at Mefferts http://sites.webec.com.hk/meffert2/inde ... roduct=378 but since it doesn't have an option to buy nor a price I guess I can't get it from there. And a search on Mr Puzzle yields no results. So should I just buy it from the first link (hknowstore) and hope that it's good quality?

@cjgerik
Quote:
Before you buy anything it is always good to do more research to figure out whether it is a legitimate brand or a knock-off.

How exactly or where do I find info about this? Eg. take the Master Skewb. Is there some database somewhere which will tell me where not to buy it from or how to tell if it's a KO or genuine?

@Metroid
What is jumbling?

Also, with the crazy 3x3 planets, I've ordered Earth. Is there some authority to say which is the easiest? Hardest?

Thanks again, everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:58 pm 
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Hello Rline,

I am also a teacher and I run a bit of a cubing lunch project with the HS students, I also keep a rotating cube collection in the library for viewing. Yeah, the kids like the cubes. I don't think the maths behind them is really the target area to hit (you will scare them away, and it can be complex). I think remembering sequences helps exercise your brain, and allows you to think clearer and remember more, particularly simmilar sequential type problems. It also encourages an active mind and attitude for problem solving. It's a free time thing for them. I'm all for trying to wake their minds up, any way I can.

Some of the choices you made are very good. I'm pretty new to cubing too but my collection has grown fast.
Crazy Earth 3x3, excellent, but brave. There is a crazy 3x3 thread with good info. My favourite planet. Pick up a Uranus as well, (they can be interchanged easily to make all planets).

I would go Rex cube, 4x4 circle iii (same as ii but plastic so the kids can't pick stickers), I love the super square, also the variants like ssq2 star or barrel, skewb cube or skewb kite (which has an extra step), the rainbow cube is a must for the kids because it will teach them simple peice exchange, 3x3x2, you need a normal megaminx, I wouldn't go the crazy megaminx yet, start with either of the 3x3 planets with one side different, maybe Jupiter because it can be solved by reduction, bandelow's jewel is a fun puzzle achievable for kids, like the pyraminx. That's a few for a start, feel free to PM me if you want any other help on choosing one, because when I first started I got a lot of `the same puzzle with a different shape` until I figured it out!!

Burgo.

PS you want a Dayan Guhong for the kids who might pick at stickers, ha ha.
EDIT: sorry I saw you have a 4x4 circle ii on order, in that case don't get the iii (it's the same puzzle)
..and I think HKnow is out of helis, let me know if you're in luck because I would like one too.
..pity you also missed the professor pyraminx, it's a bunch of fun :(

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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)


Last edited by Burgo on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:05 pm 
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rline wrote:
@Metroid
What is jumbling?



it is difficult to explain!

simple definition: when you do a certain move, others become blocked, when you try to unblock it, more moves become blocked and you must unblock forever! (for it to be a doctrinaire puzzle)

EDIT: sorry, if it is for the helicopter cube, it shape shifts and jumbles. my bad. the helicopter cube is great anyway! go get it!

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Last edited by rubikcollector123 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Location: Waco, TX and South Bend, IN
I'd buy the one from hknowstore immediately. As far as I know, there are no knock-off helicopter cubes, and I was unaware that any stores still had them. So if you can, buy it as soon as possible, before it's too late.

As far as a database that covers which puzzles are and aren't "good," I am unaware of one. The museum has some prices for puzzles, but not all of them.

Check the physical aspects of the puzzle from the pictures if you can. Take for example the master skewb - all the pictures should look the same, for at this time (as far as I know), they are all legitimate. Also, they all cost about the same amount (between 18 and 20 dollars). If you see this, it most likely means that it is a good brand.

Jumbling is an aspect of certain puzzles, such as the helicopter cube. In a nutshell, it means you can scramble or turn the puzzle in such a way that normal turns are blocked, and no matter how much you "unbandage" the puzzle, or make new cuts in it, it will always enter a position where turns are still blocked.

Welcome to the forum, it is a great community with tons of helpful information, the more you are on, the greater understanding of good brand/bad brand, places to buy, etc. becomes much easier.

Chris

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:11 pm 
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I apologize for not explaining jumbling.. its pretty well explained up there^
It adds a great challenge to a puzzle

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Sorry for being a bit off topic, but you mentioned the Ultimate solution, here is something fun to try with it:

I developed this method after reading the Ultimate Solution, which I really like but I got frustrated applying the corner placement and orientation, which I could do but it was tedious. With my finishing method I can use only 1 short 4 sequence alg to solve an entire 3x3 cube, and I do it this way (pure form with Ultimate Solution as the beginning) in about 1:30ish. It’s not a speed solve, but it’s not slow. Probably others have come up with this too, but as far as I know, I have never seen this method in print. But the moves are common enough, it must have been done.

Place all corner pieces (not orientate):

Place back corners.Use yellow as F, and place all but 1 white corner. (From the yellow face to the white face).
(U’RUR’)X3 The target piece is the intersection of URF and the target position is the intersection of URB. F can be freely rotated to line up the next position. The cube can also be rotated around the Z-axis.

Place front corners.Keep yellow as F and place the 4 yellow corners. (Then the last white will be placed)
(UR’U’R)X3 The target piece is the intersection of URB and the target position is the intersection of URF. F can be freely rotated to line up the next position. NB ULB & DRB will continually exchange also so do not rotate the cube around the Z-axis.

Orientate all corner pieces:

(UR’U’R)X2 F’ (R’URU’)X2 F Look for 2 adjacent corners that need orientating. Place the face they are being orientated to on F (say green) and place the two `same` colours that should be on F (say 2 green) on R.

[(UR’U’R)X2 F’]X3 F2 or [(R’URU’)X2 F’]X3 F2 Look for 3 corners on the same face that need orientating (with all 3 corresponding `green` colours on seperate faces). Place the face they are being orientated to on F (green). Place the orientated piece on that face on ULF. If the piece on URF has the target colour (green) on U, use [(R’URU’)X2 F’]X3 F2. If the piece on URF has the target colour (green) on R, use [(UR’U’R)X2 F’]X3 F2.

The best thing about it is, it works on a supercube, and now on any planet cube.
Cheers,
Burgo.

PS The beauty of the simplicity of this 6 cycle, (combined with Ultimate Solution to begin) is one of the best moments of cubing for me.

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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: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:33 pm 
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@Burgo

Nice to see another teacher! I wonder how many more there are...

I will probably PM you some time about the types of cubes and possibly also some more about the Maths stuff. I'll also have a look at the Ult Sol Modification. I'm all for doing things simply, and I figure I'm possibly going to have to come up with new methods for some of the cubes I've ordered. Of course, I'd love to be able to solve them all using the Ultimate Solution: I just haven't tried yet so I don't know if it's possible.

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Hi, I just ordered a tuttminx from HKnow, I couldn't resist.

I have a corners first method I also simplified for the kids too. I try to give them a variety of methods to choose from. The hard thing for them with the `pure` edges first method is the `last few` edges. I like to teach the corners first method because you can start with a `three alg` 2x2 method (and they get success) and then move to the 3x3 using what they know and a tiny bit more to get the whole lot.

I can talk you through this method for teaching later if you like, maybe we can start a thread? `Simple methods for teaching kids cubes` or something?

Cheers,
Burgo.

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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: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:04 am 
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More off topic. I used the solution made by Denny with an after school activity group. It's on George Helms page. The kids were between the ages of 9 and 12. They found it really easy to learn/memorize. Once they were able to do the 3x3x3, I pulled out other puzzles-not all twisty, and it worked a charm. I even had kids coming in to 'borrow a puzzle for the weekend'!

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:20 pm 
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Hey Burgo

Quote:
I can talk you through this method for teaching later if you like, maybe we can start a thread? `Simple methods for teaching kids cubes` or something?

Let's start that thread you talked about.

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:45 am 
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OK, I'll get some stuff together this weekend and start it (I will want to give credit so I will also have to remember where I found some things), I don't have much in typed form (it's written with diagrams). I've been meaning to type it up for a while, so here's an excuse.

How did you like the alternative finish to the Ultimate Solution in the end? Now solving the cube with -only the FR'F'R sequence- is possible. The last few edges is hard for kids, so I just orientate and rotate those edges with 2 little algs when I teach them this way.

Any beginner layers method is going to involve between 5-7 algs or sequences which is a fairly steep learn for younger HS students, in my experience anyway.
Burgo.

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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: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:51 am 
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Quote:
How did you like the alternative finish to the Ultimate Solution in the end?

I'm practising it now. I can move white corners to the back and bring yellow corners to the front no problem. I'm just trying to memorise the 3 corner sequence for orientation. My only issue is I'm not convinced it'll be faster than the Ult Sol. But I'm continuing with it so at least I can try it.

Also, what hapopens if you get the edges done and then all 4 white pieces are already in white layer but out of position? Move one out to yellow and then start positioning?
Quote:
Now solving the cube with -only the FR'F'R sequence- is possible. The last few edges is hard for kids, so I just orientate and rotate those edges with 2 little algs when I teach them this way.

This I don't understand. Did you already tell me about this or is it something different?

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 Post subject: Re: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:38 am 
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Hi rline,
Those 12 moves can be quickly done with finger tricks (and a bit of practice), I would say I can do them in 2-3 seconds. I use a Guhong, what do you use? I don't know what your times are, it's hard to compare anyway, I am about 1:00 with the layers method and about 1:30 with this method for comparison, but I never got fast with the full Ultimate Solution, I found I had to look around too much. With this method the `look ahead` is very easy, and the turns are fast, there's just a lot of them.

The other algs: I will put it all in the new thread when I start it, but personally, this is not a speed solve and it is so much nicer to keep it `pure` and only use 1 sequence (R'F RF') to solve the whole cube. I haven't actually timed myself with the other algs, it would be faster, but it's a bit like sacrilege, I can't bring myself to accept it.

Burgo.

PS it's very unlikely to get all the white corners on the white face here, but yes, just pull one out in these situations.

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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: My Tiny Collection
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:55 pm 
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rline wrote:
Can anyone point me to an appropriate page which has some of the maths behind solving and understanding the cubes, which, if not already geared to high school students, might be adaptable?


Welcome to the forum and greetings from Singapore! (where there was a lovely sunrise just now!) :)

My take on this will be brief, but to the point:

When student play with twisty puzzles, they fiddle with group theory,
when they fiddle with take apart puzzles, they fiddle with topology,
when they fiddle with interlocking puzzles, they fiddle with civil engineering,
when they fiddle with fractional disappearance puzzles, they fiddle with analysis,
when they fiddle with labyrinths/mazes (spinout style), they fiddle with logic,
when they fiddle with matching puzzles, they fiddle with graph theory, and
when they fiddle with the properties of puzzles, they get to know probability and statistics.

Of course, there are more which I may be forgetting right now. But it is lovely to get
students to do maths (in the form of puzzles) without them even knowing it, isn't it?

;)


Pantazis

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