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Not for the timid

By Shamus
on Wednesday Mar 22, 2006
Filed under:



Originally uploaded by m.helmreich.

This one is not mine. I just found this picture on Flickr. I want one.

Back in 9th grade, I owned a 4×4 cube. It was tricky to use, because if the sections didn’t line up just right it wouldn’t turn. This would lead to twisting harder to overcome the resistance, which would lead to one of the center pieces snapping off. I went through a few 4×4 cubes this way, and no longer own one.

For a solution of the 4×4, I would ignore the outer rows and focus on the center area. This was, in effect, a 2×2 puzzle, and almost anyone can solve one of those. Just keep at it and they will fall into place sooner or later. From there I would pair up the edge pieces. This was more tricky, but still not too hard. Once that was done, the thing was, in effect, a normal 3×3 Rubik’s cube and could be solved thus.

This 5×5 is quite a step up in difficulty. I think it would be possible to ignore the outer layers and focus on the 3×3 in the middle, which would be like working with a normal cube. Once that was complete I’d have a solved area in the center of each face, although I’m not sure where I’d go from there, or if that is even a good approach.

Honestly, I’m sure this puzzle is beyond me, but I’d still love to take a crack at it.

UPDATE: I’ve been thinking about it and I realized that my idea for treating the center rows of the 5×5 like a 3×3 cube wouldn’t work. It just.. they wouldn’t… geeze I can hardly picture it, but I can see I was talking nonsense. Maybe you could ignore the center and work on the corners (thus turning it into a 2×2) and then work your way in. I don’t know. I think I need to surf around and see if I can buy one of these. On the other hand, I’m concerned that it would be very frustrating to work with. I imagine it has all the turning issues of the 4×4, only more so.

Comments (4)

  1. JoshBlack says:

    I found one for you! https://secure.rubiks.com/lvl3/index_lvl3.cfm?lan=eng&lvl1=produc&lvl2=rubbrn&lvl3=rbkshp&lvl4=cubprf

    It’s $29.99. I actually want one of these really badly! I have mastered the 3×3 cube. I can solve it usually in less than 45 seconds, but always in under 2 minutes. Or at least could. I wore my last one out in december and haven’t picked up another yet. The way I solved it was starting with a corner, solving the 2×2, then find the pieces facing the wrong way (if the two unsolved sides were yellow and white, I would find the white edge pieces and put them all on the white side, if any of them had the white facing away from the white side, they were wrong) There are always a multiple of 2 wrong pieces, and you can always fix 2 at a time. After that its just a matter of lining the edge with its appropriate corner and putting it into place until you have the 2 layers solved. Then I’m sure you can get it from there. This sound a lot more complicated, but it’s actually much quicker than solving the cube by layer.

  2. Shamus says:

    That is a very interesting solution method! I found out (via some googling) that the method I use is called by most people the “beginner’s method”. Sigh.

    Thanks for the link as well.

  3. inara says:

    *looks at pic* /cry

  4. Sewerman says:

    2 Shamus Says:
    March 26th, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    That is a very interesting solution method! I found out (via some googling) that the method I use is called by most people the “beginner's method”. Sigh.

    Ah- but it still works, doesn’t it?

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