Date: Wed, 22 Jun 83 09:54:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: Stan Isaacs <ISAACS@SRI-KL.ARPA >
~~~ ~~~ Subject: 5x5x5 and "bricks"

I got my 5x5x5 today, from Meffert in Hong Kong. Whether they will
appear in regular (puzzle) stores, I don't know, but I would assume they will
be available from him. His address is
Puzzles Club
P.O.Box 31008
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong.
I haven't had a chance to do much with it yet; it seems well and strongly
made. I have not taken it apart because I don't know how to do it safely.
The corners seem to have the usual flanges. The center edges seem to have
a very deep tab, perhaps to go completely through the second layer. The
non-center middle pieces seem to be some kind of "caps" over the edge
extensions. That's all I can tell from "peeking" in the cracks.
One of the suggestions in Singmaster's "Cubic Circular" was to take
a regular 3x3x3 and tape over some cracks to limit the movement. The idea
is to take each pair of cubies and tape them together into one "brick", 2x1x1.
If you do it right, it makes a very interesting variation. For taping, I used
labels from another cube; that way the colors can be make to look right.
The pattern I used is as follows:
Choose a corner. It will be the only single cubie (except for a center).
Make the other 2 cubies along each edge projecting from the chosen corner,
into one brick (by putting tape on both cracks separating the cubies).
Now, in each of the 3 faces bordering the chosen corner are 4 untaped
facies in a square. Tape to make 2 adjacent bricks (don't forget the
other side of the edge bricks). Note that when you have done the first
face, you will have 3 parallel bricks; the other 2 faces should have
their parallel bricks with the "same handedness" - If you look down from
the chosen corner, the 3 faces should have rotational symmetry. (I haven't
tried an irregular pattern yet; it might have different properties than
this one). Anyway, all that is left is a 2x2x2 sub-cube, diagonally
across from the original chosen corner. Picture that as 4 1x1x2 bricks
piled with one pair crossways from the other. One brick, of course, includes
the very center of the cube (invisible), and will leave the only other untaped
facie - namely one center. Which one is the center doesn't matter, but I
think there is a clockwise/counter-clockwise (relative to the outer handedness)
choice here.
When all that is done, you will have a very interesting new puzzle. Any
twist must include the chosen corner! Home position is easy to recognize -
it is when the chosen corner is back in its original place, and the bricks
around it are in their positions (not necessarily with the correct colors
together). I have not solved it yet, but it seems that the sub-cube is
both hard to mix up, and easy to fix once you have. It looks as if all the
interesting moves can be done with just the 3 faces surrounding the chosen
corner.
Have fun..
-- Stan
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