Sunday 18 November 2012

Twisty Puzzle Madness - Advice to a beginner

As you can see - I have gone totally mad!!
I have noticed that puzzlers tend to fall into one of two groups. There is the main group (who are probably my primary readers) who love all aspects of puzzling EXCEPT twisty puzzles - although as a tip of the hat to Erno Rubik and the effect he had on the world starting over 30 years ago, they will have a basic cube or two in their collection (but may even be unable to solve it). The minority group are the puzzlers who are completely hooked on twisty puzzles and have very little knowledge of the rest of the world of mechanical puzzles. Bridging the gap between the 2 groups there are maniacs like myself, Rob and Rox who cannot help ourselves - we are addicted to EVERYTHING and it is our mission to entice the rest of you into our lair!!! One of the greatest puzzle collectors the world has ever seen, James Dalgetty, advised me that I should specialise - pick just one subtype of puzzle within the general classification and stick to just that. So after talking to this great guru, I have totally ignored him and collect absolutely everything! My only exceptions are jigsaws, dexterity puzzles and I think I might stop the packing puzzles (because I'm rubbish at them) unless they are particularly pretty! :-)

The purpose of this blog post is to answer some questions that I get emailed quite regularly - in particular:
"I'm new to twisty puzzles what should I buy?"
"I've done a cube but what should I get next?"

Very recently a very good puzzle friend of mine expressed a slightly wistful dismay that he couldn't possibly keep up with the collections of the guys he referred to as "the big boys". These guys have enormous collections of very expensive handmade or Shapeways puzzles which over a period will have cost them many $1000s. I expressed the opinion to him that his own collection was perfectly adequate - he did not want to get into debt and had a family to keep roofed, fed and healthy which of course should be his priority! So to him and to you I would suggest that with the twisty puzzles it should be about collecting and solving many puzzles that require different approaches and force you to think in different ways.

Thursday 1 November 2012

It's a little Gem!

4 Dayan Gems. Think they all look very similar? Not so!
This time it's back to some twisty puzzles again! I know that the majority of you aren't particularly twisty puzzle fans but you should be! We are living in a golden age of advances in design and manufacture - there have never been so many fabulous twisty puzzles available as there are now (and there are lots more coming too!)

This time we are looking at the Dayan Gem puzzles. My journey with these began with Rline on the Twisty Puzzles forum - having bought a few puzzles from him at the beginning of this year, we started up a conversation (which still continues) and seeing as, like me, he was a man of an age who should know better, I asked him for advice about which puzzles I should try to take it up a gear and challenge myself. He sent me a fairly extensive list and high up on it was the Dayan Gem 4 - he said:
"great solving experience, similar to the 4x4x4"
Seeing as he is one of the TP masters and the author of the tremendous Rubik's Ultimate solution site, who was I to refuse such advice? ....and so it began!!