03 July 2008
4x4 Quad Color Python
Four colors per side on a 4x4!
This pattern surprised me. My 5x5 Quad Color Python demonstrated 4 is the maximum number of colors per side for a 'python' type pattern on a 5x5 cube due to combinitoric constraints imposed on the centers and middle-edge pieces. I later reproduced the pattern on a 4x4 by just eliminating the center string, yielding the 4x4 Tricolor Python pattern.
While exploring how the pattern might be extended onto a 6x6 cube I realized I had overlooked a better implementation of the pattern on the 4x4. Instead of eliminating the center stripe I moved it and replaced one of the edge stripes. The picture at right compares the 4x4 and 5x5 versions of the improved 'python' pattern, showing that the sides of each cube have the same four colors although they appear in a different order.