Subject: Higher Order Cubes From: Mark Longridge <email@example.com> Date: Fri, 14 Jan 1994 21:59:00 -0500
A well lubed 4x4x4 cube is still relatively easy to physically
manipulate. As der Mouse suggests, it is arguably the largest
interesting cube from a solver's point of view. Once one starts
actually twisting with a 5x5x5 cube, the physical problems
become more severe, e.g. the stickers come off easier,
turning the slice you want to is more of a challenge, etc.
This is interesting, because it's almost exactly the opposite of my
The problem seems to be the difference between the internal mechanisms of
the odd- and even- ordered cubes. The 3X and 5X have that "fixed" center
piece attached to the core whereas the center face cubelets of the 4X are
held together "under tension". My experience has been that this adjustment
is critical, but often out of whack. As a consequence, of the four 4X's
I've owned, only one was really useable; two were so stiff they were very
difficult to turn (even with lubrication) and one was so loose that it
never lasted more than about 20 minutes before dissolving into a pile of
cubelets (it currently lives in a sack in my office drawer). These were
all real "brand-named" cubes, not cheap twiz-o knock-offs.
On the other hand all of the 5X's I've owned have been _very_ easy to turn
without any special customization. Except for the tendency (as Mark
mentions) for the stickers to come off of one of them, they're consistently
more comfortable to the hand than any of the 3X's I've owned.
firstname.lastname@example.org -- Captain and left quarter guard, BBN Calvinball Team