Some short notes on various cube stuff - will try to expand on some of it
1. The Stanford Shopping Center/Games and Things cube contest of a couple of
saturdays ago: was won by Paul cunningham, 16 yrs old. There were about
40 entries; there were something like 8 rounds to get to a winner, double
elimination, each pair fighting it out with the best average of 3 cubes,
all cubes in a round scrambled exactly the same way. Best average-of-three
time was 56 seconds. Best time was 41 seconds. David Tabuchi, the Games
& Things speedster, has a best average-of-ten speed of 43 seconds! Brian
Robinson, with whom he works on the cube, has a best average-of-ten of 41
seconds. Davids fastest time was 24.98 seconds!!!
2. Cubes are multiplying like hotcakes. Not only changes in labeling, but
also changes in shape. I have seen or heard reports of about 8 shape
variations, and multiple size variations, from about 19 mm to about 60 mm.
And someone told me of a 12mm or so version. The corners have been cut off
in 3 different ways (The nicest cuts them halfway through the neighboring
edge, and uses 14 colors). The magic Tetrahedron is readily available now.
There is a build-it-yourself cube kit. There are still reports of the
elusive 4x4x4 cube, but no actual sightings as far as I know. By the
way, I collect puzzles, and am trying to find many of these cube variations.
If anyone knows where I can actually buy some, or would get me some, please
let me know. I will be happy to pay or trade for them.
3. The snake is not a cube, but it is a toy/puzzle/art object that should a
appeal to cube-lovers. It also comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
4. Also lots of new books and such. Such as:
a. Don Kolve, of Kirkland, Wash. He solves Top-middle-bottom(position
corners,twist corners, flip edges, position edges).
b. L.E.Hordern, of England. He does: bottom-middle-top ( position corners,
orient corners, orient edges, position edges).
c. Bridget Last, of Downham, England. She solves: Define face colors
("The easiest way of deciding which face is to be which colour is to
define the centre faces as being correct.") Then: position all corners,
orient all corners, position (with orientation) all edges.
d. Bob Easter, a friend in San Francisco, uses just one move to do
everything. The move is F R' F' R (an old friend). First he "walks"
the edge cubes to their proper corners, then rotates them into proper
order around the corner, then flips them 2 at a time to get them aligned.
Then he does similarly with the corners, using the same move, but
done 3 times to leave the edges alone. Lots of quarter twists, but
little memory. Perhaps the ultimate solution for people with strong
e. Patrick Bussart, Puffin books (a division of Penguin Books). Patrick
has been in the news since he is only 12 or 13 years old; his solution
is very popular in England. He does top corners, top edges, bottom
corners, position rest of the edges, rotate rest of the edges.
5. I have been re-labeling cubes to make new puzzles, and would appreciate
suggestions. I have made tactile cubes of various types (that is, with
various materials). I'm trying to make one with 5 or 6 grades of sandpaper,
but find my touch cannot distinguish between the two middle grades. I
have made a magic square cube (each face is a 3x3 magic square; the
problem is to decide what the relative orientations and forms of the squares
should be; any suggestions?) and a magic cube cube (the center 14 cube is,
of course, invisible). And 2 word cubes - one has word squares (there are
three 3 letter words in each direction), and the other, six 3 word sentences
(FIX THE BOX, YES YOU CAN, FUN FOR ALL, etc. I haven't had these long
enough to know if they are "solvable" without trial and error; I think
that the magic square cube, especially, is difficult unless you have
the order in advance. So far, I have made 2 of them, the first had one
square marked, which makes it fairly easy (the other 5 squares are forced
by the first); in the second, I made sure each corner was unique, and the
edges as different as possible (2 have to be the same); but I haven't had
time to try it yet.
Enough - this message is too long.