Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bandage Cube Kit—Corner Road

Recap: In my revisit of the All-in-one bandage cube kit recently I've worked through the one I saw recently on Twisty Puzzling's youtube channel, then the 2-bar, 3-slices, fuse, big block, and bandaged 3. I bookmarked Seth—themathkid's Bandaged Cubes Google Doc, and at the bottom of the Easy Ones section is one called Corner Road.
We went for a walk today, and on my way out the door I grabbed what I thought was the Bandage Kit Corner Road. What I actually grabbed was my Mefferts bicube. On my walk I managed to scramble it, and start solving it. After we got home, we had a play in the pool then, after the kids went in, I sat outside and worked on it some more. I finally managed to get almost 2 layers just trying different things that didn't mess up anything else I'd done. Dinner time. After dinner I got back to it and thought, hmmm, this looks a lot like the bicube. I wonder if any of the algorithms I worked out for it will work. They did. It wasn't until it was completely solved that I realized it was the bicube! :oops: I think I'm losing my mind.
So then I went and got the Corner Road. It was a bear to scramble, but I was finally satisfied that it was scrambled sufficiently. When trying to solve it I'm getting absolutely nowhere! This is supposed to be easy? The bicube seems easier to me. Perhaps tomorrow things will make more sense.
It wasn't easy, but I finally got the 2x2x2 block together, but the corner was twisted. It was another hassle to get it oriented correctly. I only have a vague idea how I did it. Then I figured it was all downhill from there, as I could simply solve it using my bicube method. Or so I thought. I ended up with two swapped pieces. That has never happened to me with the bicube!


(Later) Well... it turns out that someone put the Cross Road pics, which are actually classified as difficult, on the Corner Road. Some investigating on the forum revealed the true, relatively simple Corner Road config. I am no longer going to trust the Google Doc.

The true Corner Road was indeed pretty easy. 

Getting reacquainted with Jeay's Working Corner Method

This summer we packed 30 or so puzzles and flew to visit Raymond and Fam in the Czech Republic. Breann, who had learned this method and no other, made some comment about bubururu or something like that, and it piqued my curiosity. What were those algorithms, and how similar are they to the EPS technique I use now when using a working corner? So I looked them up. Actually, the three algorithms were for dealing with the two last edges solved, which either needed to be swapped, or flipped, or swapped and flipped. The swapper is very similar to the one I have learned and used since, but I actually like it better in one sense, with a slight modification.

To swap UR and FR without flipping:
U' R U' R' U' R U' R' U'

To swap and flip UR and FR:
F' U' F U' F' U' F U2

To flip UR and FR:
F' U F U' R U' R' U

Will I actually learn and use these? Probably not, since I usually solve either Corners First or F2L, but I like them. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hluboká Castle

"Bud, don't just sit on that bench trying to remember how to solve your Square-1!"

"All right, I'll move to the other bench. And it isn't just a Square-1. It's a Super Square-1, and I can't get the middle layers back to squares."

"No, no, no. Get up. Go out in the courtyard!"

"Fine. I'm in the courtyard. Happy?"

Seriously, this castle and the grounds around it are absolutely beautiful. These three pictures were taken by my son at my request, but most of the time I was taking pictures and enjoying the sights with my family. Check out my Flickr photo page if you'd like. LINK

And seriously, the Super Square-1 was quite a challenge. Even using the notes I compiled when I first figured it out long ago, it was a challenge. I thought about starting from scratch, looking for another way to solve it, but gave that idea up quickly. I thought about throwing it away. I thought about giving it away. But in the end I worked through my notes and refined them somewhat to make them easier to remember. :D

Alex and the 2x2x1

Alex is focused very seriously on the 2x2x1 while his family (which I graciously cropped out) is clowning around around him.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Puzzling With Annie in the Garden

We have been visiting our son, Raymond, and his family in the Czech Republic. About 30 or so puzzles accompanied us. :] All my puzzles have been solved at one time or another, but many had not been solved yet in 2014. That is a situation being remedied this summer. It is the Dayan Gem IV's turn today.

One of the puzzle highlights of the summer is an opportunity to show a local young man how to solve a cube. This week we talked about solving the first two layers. He had done so some years back but had forgotten how. Next week perhaps we can review the first two layers and go on to the last layer.

A daily puzzle delight has been puzzling with my 3-year old granddaughter. We have discussed the differences between a cube, a tetrahedron, a dodecahedron, an octahedron, a curvy kite hexahedron, and a truncated octahedron. :] She especially likes the gear puzzles, and is good at identifying which pieces still need solved on all the puzzles. Above she is completing her two-twist solve of the megaminx.

Besides puzzling we had a blast today going to the local zoo and then to a playground for a picnic. I was surprised to see a baseball field at the park. I didn't think Europeans played baseball. The zoo pictures are uploaded to my flickr page.

Monday, June 9, 2014


What fun it was to see some of the highlights of Prague with the family yesterday. And of course there were opportunities to become re-acquainted and better acquainted with a long neglected puzzle—The Gear Cube Extreme.