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Meffert’s Challenge, Part 2

By Shamus
on Friday Aug 25, 2006
Filed under:
Nerd Culture


I realize these puzzle posts are kind of odd: Not much to discuss here. However, there is a certain degree of satisfaction derived from conquering one of these things, and that sense of victory is heightened when I can share the moment with someone. People who know me have already learned to make excuses and leave the room quickly when they see me wandering around with a grin and one of these things in my hand, so I thought I’d just post my progress here. At least when you don’t read it I won’t know. See?

Right. Anyway: Victory!

Meffert's Challenge, unsolved

Ahem. Well. Almost…

Meffert's Challenge, unsolved

Most of my problem has been trying to unlearn what I’d learned about puzzles. I had to overcome my mental block that was forcing me to think of the ball as a globe with the words at the two poles. I had to stop trying to figure out which line was the “equator”. I kept trying to impose symetry that wasn’t there, and it was confusing me.

The puzzle is, as I suspected, quite a bit simpler than a Rubik’s Cube. At one point I completed a ring and found I’d completed a second one by accident. There are a lot less combinations, and it’s probably not that unlikely that someone would solve it by accident. (At the height of the Rubik’s craze there was a pyramid shaped puzzle like that: I never bothered to make a methodical solution because you could solve it easier with just luck. Just solve one side after another, ignoring the fact that you’re messing up what you’ve already done, and you’ll blunder into the solved state before too long. This puzzle is more complex and accidental solution isn’t that easy to come by, but I can see it happening.)

This is the most fun I’ve had with a puzzle in a long time, now that I’m making progress. The last couple I’ve tried were just beyond me, and those are never much fin. I think this one is within my reach if I just keep at it.

Comments (4)

  1. BeckoningChasm says:

    And good luck to you. Speaking as someone who has a hard enough time with shoelaces, my hat’s off to you. My hat is shaped like three concentric rings, each color coded….

  2. Shamus says:

    You have no idea how much this made me laugh. EVERYTHING looks like three concentric rings right now…


  3. person says:

    The… rubiks…. cube… Gazfraghitzulatlikhuuuuuvp…..!

    I’ve never been able to understand how people manage to solve those bloody things. I’ve asked. “Be logical” they say. “Think ahead”, “There’s that one guy who can do it in like 17 seconds” “etc!” (heheheheh….)

    Well, this post is just here as a shout and acknowledgement of everyone out there who can’t think ahead. :D

  4. Chris says:

    Not to nitpick, but “fun” is misspelled in the second-to-last sentence. While I’m here, I just want to say that I love the site, Shamus. I started off reading DMotR and then graduated to reading the rest of the site. I now look forward to reading your blog over my lunch break every day. Great job on the site!

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