|Surely this cannot be real!!!|
As you have probably realised over the last year, I have become progressively more addicted to twisty puzzles. I embarked on this odyssey with some trepidation - I emailed a few of the more vocal twisty puzzlers and asked them “what was their secret?” and “how do you go about a approaching a new puzzle?”. Now Rox was her usual mad self and told me that the puzzzles "talk to her" and she just listened to them and they would tell her how to solve them! Well, if I waited for that to happen, I’d never manage to solve anything - I may (or may not) hear voices but couldn’t possibly say in public for fear of being carried off by the men in white coats. Crazy Bad Cuber and SuperAnonioVivaldi were very helpful but couldn’t really tell me what they do. But they basically said that they had learned basic algorithms and added some more complex algorithms and over time and after experimentation they had learned what other effects they had on the puzzle. After that, solving came fairly naturally with trial and experimentation. All of these “Gods” of the twisty puzzle world were very encouraging, trying to entice me into their world. I was still very skeptical about it but decided to give it a go and buy a “few” twisty puzzles!
Well 85 puzzles later I can categorically say that they were right! I have actually reached a point where I can pick up a new puzzle and after some investigation, I can often (although not always) work out an approach to solving it using just existing algorithms (sometimes used in unusual ways) and am now even starting to understand the process of making commutators (techniques for cycling pieces by combining short sequences). I am far away from the genius of at least a dozen of the guys on the Twisty Puzzle forum but I feel I have reached a point at which I can even consider myself able to teach - at the moment I’m sort of assisting a young man in Australia via Facebook messenger - who'd have believed it?
Enough rambling!!! What are you going to review?
The main focus of this topic is one that a few correspondents have requested that I write about - when you have learned the basic cubes (3x3 & 4x4) then the options I’ve discussed before open up to you. In that article I chose an eclectic mixture of shape mods, crazy cubes and alternative shapes but ultimately my real favourites have been the cuboids of which I now have about 15. A little while ago I was amazed to see that SuperAntonioVivaldi had produced a summary of the different families of cuboid based on approach to solving. I think that this wonderful treatise needs to be shared so I asked his permission (and received it) to publish a summary of it on my blog for all general puzzlers to read. Thanks so much! If you want to watch his original video then visit his YouTube classification video here.