Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dayan Gem V Solution

In the fall of 2013 I participated in a discussion at the forum about how to solve the Dayan Gem V. The solution I came up with originally was OK, but by the end of the discussion I had come up with a better way. I don't think it incorporated anything from the discussion. The discussion simply spurred me on to find a better way.

Here is the complete method as presented on the forum.

1. Get all the centers—small triangles, large triangles, and if you have stickerless v1 as I do, the thin strips on the square faces. All 8 triangles can be solved with either 0, 1, or 4 moves. I do not mean each! I mean that after either 0, 1, or 4 twists all 8 triangles are solved!

The 6 thin strips take me up to 3 Double-EPS, or 24 twists. I use Double-EPS to maintain centers. Rarely it takes three of them. Rarely are they already solved. Usually it takes two Double-EPS to solve all 6 pieces.

2. Place all the small edges (corners) from the bottom up. Uses an Up-Replace-Down technique. Some people call this truncated EPS, since it is the first 3 twists of the EPS. 

3. Use [3,1] commutators to solve the large edges.

And in an earlier post I said:
doctor twist wrote:
I am left with 3 unsolved center pieces. How you can deal with that?

In my solution outlined directly above, I deal with all 8 of the triangle centers, and all 6 of the thin strip centers of the square faces in step 1, so that I never end up in the situation you describe of being left with 3 unsolved center pieces. My motto: Deal with parity as early as possible so you don't have to unsolve and re-solve at the end.

So, here is how I deal with the centers in a little more detail. Starting with a scrambled puzzle,

1. I hold the puzzle so there is a square face on top, and the large red triangle is on the upper half of the front, and the large purple triangle is on the upper half of the back. This is totally arbitrary, but it is what I am used to looking for and it defines for me the color scheme of the whole puzzle. (It is sort of like when I am solving a Rubik's Cube I start by holding it with the white center on the bottom.)

2. With the Red Triangle in front, I can see 3 small triangles. By looking at these 3 I can tell whether they are solved, or whether they need a double swap, or whether I need to do one twist that will solve them. If the one twist is required I do it. If the double swap is required I do it. (So I deal with the "3 unsolved center pieces" before anything else on the puzzle is solved

3. Since I have the stickerless version, there are colorful thin strips on the square faces. I place them next using Double-EPS moves. I use Double-EPS instead of just EPS so that the 8 triangle centers don't scramble during this phase. So if I need to move thin strip A to thin strip B to thin strip C, I go the opposite way twice! C to B to A twice is the same as A to B to C, and with each EPS there is a double swap of center triangles, so doing it twice leaves them solved. :D

So that is how I deal with it. But what if someone handed me a puzzle with everything solved except for 3 triangle centers? Then what would I do? I would do a single twist that solved them, then re-solve the puzzle from there. What a pain! That is why I like to insure at the very beginning that this will not happen.

As I read through the forum topic today some interesting things came out. themathkid originally solved the Dayan Gem V like he solves the Vulcano, Konrad solves it like the F-Skewb, and I originally thought of it like the Jing's Pyraminx. 

The thing that got me into this puzzle today is that I left it downstairs where Alex could reach it and Annie brought it to me in pieces. Three pieces had fallen out. She brought the puzzle and the pieces to me upstairs. It popped back together easy enough but I'm not sure the pieces are oriented correctly so I have to solve it to find out. I've solved it a few times already this summer using the abbreviated guide in my spreadsheet, but something told me I had recorded more about it so I went looking and found it at the forum.

Monday, July 27, 2015

F-Skewb Squares

I do not think of this as a Skewb at all. The only thing skewb-like about it to me are the four little corners. They are quick and easy to solve requiring only a twist or two. Maybe 3 or 4. No more. Other than that it remings me of the Face Turning Octahedron. The squares are like the central triangle pieces and the edges are like the edges. So this summer I think when I first solved it I used the same 8-twist commutators that I developed for the FTO. I don't recall if I've ever watched anyone else solve it (rline) or not or run across any other solutions, but the last few days at least I've figured out that The Move can be used to get the squares, which is easier than the 8-twist sequence. Now that I think about it, I think rline did introduce me to this concept only on the Master Skewb. I no longer have the Master Skewb. It was stolen. And I no longer play with the FTO because the stickers are so rough.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Český Krumlov

We went to the castle yesterday. We had been at least twice last year—this year was the best yet, except I forgot to enjoy the cliff face from below yesterday! I can't believe it!

This year we started at the top—the castle gardens. We hadn't been there at all in 2014.
(Below) it amazes me how they built the castle around the rock.
(Below) the kiddos seemed to enjoy looking at the river and the boats from the lookout up above. I zoomed in to see what the boaters were doing. Apparently they stopped to take pictures of one another.
(Below) the Bears are always a treat.

(Below) and of course trdelník is always a treat too! This time we ate it at Zapa Cafe, where we ordered drinks, and let the kiddos play in the playground. David had a ball.
(Below) Most of the time the streets were filled with people walking, but sometimes we had to yield to a car or truck.

(Below) Raymond and I enjoyed a made-in-the-USA Dr. Pepper he found in this little store. Each of the children got to ride in the stroller at some point.
(Below) On the way home we stopped for lunch. It was great! I had fried cheese. Lunch cost less than the local McDonald's and was a beautiful, peaceful, quiet restaurant.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bud vs. The Fan

Yesterday I had a cup of coffee in one hand and a plate with a cinnamon roll on it in the other. There is a little table next to the couch that would make a nice place to set my coffee while I ate the roll. Only one thing stood in the way. A fan. There was enough space between the fan and the table that I could sit on the edge of the couch straddling the fan and enjoy my treat. But to get there I had to step over the fan. I'm not sure what went wrong but I didn't make it. Instead my foot came down near the top of the fan, slid down the side of it, and got impaled by a piece that was sticking up on the side.

I threw my foot up as I fell backwards onto my back on the couch in pain. By some miracle the plate and cup remained upright and nothing spilled.

Raymond and Marae pitched in to doctor my foot. As they worked on it they agreed it should probably have stitches. We opted to do the best we could at home and see if it would close up and stop bleeding without stitches. Shown also is what it looked like this morning.

Psalm 106:21-23

21 They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, 
22 wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. 
23 Therefore he said he would destroy them had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them. 
Psalms 106:21-23

I haven't done any serious research into this but when I read it this morning it hit me that
  1. I, like the Israelites of old, too easily forget my Savior, who has done great things on my behalf to secure my salvation and a place in His family forever.
  2. The holy God, creator of the heavens and earth, to whom all respect and obedience and reverence and worship is due, has every right to destroy those who treat His salvation so lightly.
  3. Jesus, His chosen one who is greater than Moses, stands in the breach before Him to turn away His wrath from destroying us.
If I were a preacher...

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gotta Love It

The Before pic shows how I left the puzzles in the morning when I left with Raymond. The After pic shows what state they were in when we got home. I don't think anyone over 4 years old touched them while we were gone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Gravel Pit

Ok, so actually it is a playground, and we did swing for a long time, but then...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

To the Pond and Beyond!

(Above) Annie wanted to walk across the board. I said no.
The path beside the pond.
The pond.
Annie told me we could see the church (the Catholic Church in the village). I took a picture then zoomed in and took another.
Looking back on the path beside the pond.
Looking ahead beyond the pond.

(Below) Crossing the pasture beyond the pond. We eventually came to a road.

(Below) Beginning the walk back. The sidewalkless part of the trip on the road.

(Above) The winters are long and cold—you see lots of wood stacks like this.
Annie was leading the way as I had no clue where we were. I didn't remember this short road but later learned I had been there on a walk before.
The kiddos posed in front of these flowers for me. This is up the road not far from their house.
These flowers are in the neighbors' garden at the end of the driveway.

Hluboká Zoo 2015

I uploaded 71 photos to Flickr. Here are a few highlights:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fun at the Big Slide Playground after A Long Walk

After walking down the steps, and across the street, and up the road back to the Catholic Church, we stopped at the playground on our way home. It was fun. While Annie road the lion Alex checked our my Music library and chose a Steven Curtis Chapman song. They had fun on the slide together. Alex tried to climb the swing set pole while Annie was swinging. I brought three puzzles along to scramble—mission accomplished.

Winnie the Pooh and 4x4x4 too

Summer 2015 Catch Up

Blogging has been a way for me to document some of the things that are happening this summer, but I don't always get around to it. Maybe I can do some catching up with a hodge podge of photos that haven't been given their own post. They obviously are not in chronological order, but they are all from the last couple weeks.

I enjoyed watching Alex do a Jigsaw Puzzle one day.


They grow some interesting plants around here.


There are several cats that hang out around the driveway area in front of the building that houses the landlords' place and the kids' place. The black one is the friendliest.

I know there is a lot the same about the plant life here and at home, but I was surprised to see this thistle.


Puzzles. Gotta do puzzles.

Our flight from SF to London was on and hot and cramped but we survived. Then the flight from London to Prague was great! It was short and cool and roomy. I could revisit a fun puzzle, and I even ate some clotted cream!


Chillin' in the pool with a puzzle and the kiddos.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Panda Fun Park

Yesterday we went to Panda Funpark! It was fun and I took lots of photos and videos on the iPad. When I got home and tried to take one little picture it refused. Said there was no room. I tried turning iCloud on so it could be stored somewhere else. Didn't help. I tried deleting them after moving them to an external drive. Didn't help. Evidently when you trash things it doesn't really trash them. It doesn't free up space. What you have to do is figure out to to empty the trash, which I finally did. I also turned off iCloud since it doesn't really do me any good that I can tell. Now I have a decent amount of free space, but no photos on my iPad so I can't add photos directly from the iPad to the blog. Here are some photo highlights.