25 May 2007

Octahedron Tri-color Triquetra

All eight faces of this Magic Octahedron depict a three-color triquetra pattern. It took me three tries to get this pattern right because there are so many sides and colors that I kept making mistakes. This color scheme integrates the trivial tips, rotating quadrants, and mobile edges on each face, but is edge-agnostic on adjacent faces.

The Magic Octahedron puzzle is more complex than the eight-sided Skewb Diamond puzzle, but much more versatile. According to TwistyPuzzles.com the Taiwanese version of this puzzle was called "Star Puzzler." Such puzzles are relatively scarce, but occasionally obtainable on eBay. (Or at a flea market in Berlin.)

20 May 2007

5x5 Clover

This pattern uses a fairly simple opposite-face two-color scheme. It's a nice exercise for cubers who are just learning to do 5x5 patterns. How few moves can you reduce it to?

The string winds up to the top face, then curves down and back up onto three adjacent sides, then winds back down to the bottom (where it repeats the pattern). If the sides were folded up where you could see them they would form two three-leaf clover shapes.

The pattern is illustrated schematically at left. There are straight line on only one side. It's more interesting to look at in person than in a photo.

15 May 2007

5x5 Plumber's Snake

This is another snake-like pattern, this time wrapping around using a mix of left, right, and middle edge cubies.

The shape on the purple/white sides reminded me of the drain pipe under the sink, so I called the pattern "Plumber's Snake." But schematically this is really a variation on the common python pattern.

06 May 2007

5x5 Quad-color Python

The term "Python" usually describes a rope pattern that winds around the entire cube in a repeating pattern of turn-right, turn-left, straight.

It was surprisingly difficult to devise a workable color scheme because the off-center Pythons have two different sets of constraints, one for the face cubies and another for the edge cubies.

Other than the obvious substitution of different faces (ie: reflections or rotations) I could identify only two schemes. The two cubes below show how the two schemes have the same colors on each face, just in a different order: