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 Post subject: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:20 pm 
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I can't believe there isn't a thread for this already (maybe there is and I missed it, in which case I will certainly be graciously directed henceforth) but holy cow, I just do not even know where or how to begin with the Octocube! Any tips from the veterans out there?


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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:21 am 
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Well, this is the basic method I use:

[Spoiler]
It's basically a reduction to 3x3. So the first thing I do is make square centres, by inserting triangles on each centre to make them squares.
Then build up each 'edge' 4 peices, staring with a triangle, add the 2 wedge / kite thingies then the edge itself, although that is not strictly necessary at this point, you will probably find that you end up accidentally removing some again during the solve.

During this stage you will also find that you remove some of the original triangles from the centres again, by necessity, because you have to make turns with a face turned 45 degrees. Fix them again as you go along.

Once you have the edges all remade (the last few can be tricky) solve like a 3x3.

If you have parity (2 edges swapped) rotat the face they are on by 45 degrees, and resolve that face (it means breaking apart those edges and remaking them)

Solve like a 3x3 again, and you should be done


[/spoiler]

I haven't gone into great detail here, I'm offering more hints really - I can if neeeded, although it might be difficult to describe the process in text... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:00 am 
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I wrote in the New Puzzles sub forum:
Konrad wrote:
I have scrambled and solved it once and have lubricated it later.....
I do not think, that we will ever see a "How to solve ..." topic for it.
For now, I would not be able to say more than "solve it similar to the WoW" :wink:
OK, here we are and I stand corrected, but I think it is not easy to add details beyond the vague hints in Marty's spoiler.
My method was pretty much the same as Marty's.
I shall not use spoiler brackets for some additional vague remarks.
I reduce four centres first, so I could use the remaining two faces for the 3x3x3 edges reduction.
For the last few edges I use CPS to group the large piece (with two stickers) with the other three parts in a pure way.
Sometimes I use an impure "little triangle 3-cycle".[spoiler][R, u-]x5 = 20 moves, where u- is an anti clockwise 45 degree turn.
This cycles triangles clockwise UF ->UR->FR->UF. Maybe, somebody can come up with something shorter and better. The destroyed parts, can be reconstructed pure by CPS.
[/spoiler]

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:51 pm 
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Should I get it back into cube shape and then start assembling pieces? Or is it easier to do that not restricted to a cubic shape?


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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:10 pm 
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Assembling the pieces returns it to cube shape, because what makes it not cubic is the disassembled pieces - the only way to make the solved puzzle not cubic, is to disassemble the edge pieces.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:19 am 
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I do not care about the cubic shape while grouping the 3x3x3 edges.
At least for the last few, I maintain something I want to call a "logical cube".
I'm not at home, so I'm somewhat limited in taking and editing pictures.
I want to show a little sequence that does change a few pieces on the U layer.
To show what I mean, I'll start with the solved cube, where I have a situation like this:

Image

The U face Yellow, the R face Blue, the F face Orange.
I do R2 U+ R2 D- R2 U+ R2 U- R2 U- D+ R2
(U+ = 45 degree clockwise turn of U)
and get

Image
The following pieces have been permuted
1. clockwise 3-cycle of little triangles UB -> centre(URB) -> UR
2. clockwise 3-cycle of kites left(UB) -> right(UB) -> back(UR)
3. swap of corner URB <-> two stickered edge piece (UB)

I hope you can follow my self invented nomenclature :wink:

In my terminology the result is still a "logical cube", even looking shape shifted because you can do the whole set of U,D,F,B,L,R turns.
During the last few reductions I'm maintaining this kind of shape and am permuting a few pieces only.
The group of {corners, two stickered edge parts} can be done via CPS in a pure way at the very end.

Another example:
I start with this

Image
do the 20 move sequence from my first post and get:

Image

We can recognize a 3-cycle of little triangles + two 3-cycles of Corners / two stickered edges.
We have got a "logical cube" again with some strangely shaped 3x3x3 corners and edges.


I'm interested if anybody can come up with a shorter parity handling than the one Marty and I are using.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:53 pm 
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Hello Octocube - Solvers

After quite a while of struggling I managed to reduce the octocube into a regular 3x3x3 cube (apart from parity).
I am very happy that I could do this completely intuitively. Apart from the standard CPS and EPS I didnt use any commutator.
The basic idea from my method was to use the fact that there are always 2 Edges of the same color. I just positioned the corresponding colors on opposite sites so when I did a 180 degree turn (to solve something) the other edges keep intact. With this method it was very easy to place the small triangles next to the centers. But I admit that it is not a very efficient method, because especially at the end you need to do a lot of rearanging.
But now I got a problem. I ended up with the parity which is shown at Konrads picture.
If I am using my method to fix the problem I will end up with 2 small center triangles which have to swap. I tried also to turn the top center by 45 degree and resolve the centers - but that didnt work either.
Now I think I would like to try Konrads algorithm. But I am not sure, how to repair the broken edges and small triangles then.
Maybe a small video would help (or a simpler parity fix) :-)

Finally I like to say that this cube is really fun! With the 45 degree turns it is sometimes not easy to keep perspective. Because of the different way you can look at the edges, sometimes I got the feeling of an optical illusion. Quite a challenge!

Happy puzzling
Dr. Twist


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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:22 am 
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doctor twist wrote:

Finally I like to say that this cube is really fun! With the 45 degree turns it is sometimes not easy to keep perspective. Because of the different way you can look at the edges, sometimes I got the feeling of an optical illusion. Quite a challenge!


This is so true! :)

So many times whilst solving this puzzle I thought I had broken up edges that I had already built, and it turned out I just wasn't seeing them because that face was twisted 45 degrees at the time. Very strange :)

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:05 am 
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doctor twist wrote:
....But now I got a problem. I ended up with the parity which is shown at Konrads picture.
If I am using my method to fix the problem I will end up with 2 small center triangles which have to swap. I tried also to turn the top center by 45 degree and resolve the centers - but that didnt work either.
Now I think I would like to try Konrads algorithm. But I am not sure, how to repair the broken edges and small triangles then.
Maybe a small video would help (or a simpler parity fix) :-)

...
I have not shown a parity photo in this thread ( but in the `Almost there` thread).

Image

The fix is simple, but tedious :wink: (I have nothing else to offer than in Marty's Spoiler above.)

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:15 pm 
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Konrad wrote:


Another example:
I start with this

Image


I'm interested if anybody can come up with a shorter parity handling than the one Marty and I are using.[/i]



Hi Konrad

Thanks for your advice.

I cant see the back of your cube. But it looks like 2 edges have to swap (and the middleslice is just turned by 90 degree).
If this is true it would be exactly the case I have. However, after a simple T-Perm I get the case from the "Almost there" -thread. So I guess the way to get rid of that parity will be the same in both cases, or?
I´m pretty sure that I will mess up the whole cube when I´m trying to perform this parity-fix - wish me luck :-)

Best regards!


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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:40 pm 
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doctor twist wrote:
Konrad wrote:


Another example:
I start with this

Image


I'm interested if anybody can come up with a shorter parity handling than the one Marty and I are using.[/i]



Hi Konrad

Thanks for your advice.

I cant see the back of your cube. But it looks like 2 edges have to swap (and the middleslice is just turned by 90 degree).
If this is true it would be exactly the case I have. However, after a simple T-Perm I get the case from the "Almost there" -thread. So I guess the way to get rid of that parity will be the same in both cases, or?
I´m pretty sure that I will mess up the whole cube when I´m trying to perform this parity-fix - wish me luck :-)

Best regards!
I'm sorry, if my closing remark was confusing.
The picture has nothing to do with the "parity" of swapped 333 edges.
The edges are not swapped, just flipped.
It was just a setup for a specific sequence I had shown in that post above.
I wanted to give yet another example of what I mean by "logical cube".

In Marty's spoiler you can read
Quote:
If you have parity (2 edges swapped) rotate the face they are on by 45 degrees, and resolve that face (it means breaking apart those edges and remaking them)
This is what I meant by "easy but tedious".

Still, something shorter has to be shown.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:03 am 
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Hello Konrad,

oh yes you are right! I did not watch accurately enough. It is obvious that the edges are just flipped :oops:
Anyhow please allow me one more question (it might be stupid, no I am quite sure that is stupid :-) but I really want to solve that puzzle now!).
My problem is, that I dont understand the Algorithm "(R, u-)x5" and why this is 20 moves. I tried different ways to perform it and always messed up the cube. I know that there are many different sorts of notations existing.
I am not sure if I understand the "u-" correctly. As far as I know a small "u" means to turn the upper layer and the layer which is directly underneath it. But if I turn the upper and the middle layer 45 degree anticlockwise a R cant be turned (btw. the cube is in cubic shape and the edges are exactly like on your picture). So I am quite sure I misinterpret the "u-". Another thing is, when I am turning "R" and then "u" (and u is 2 layer turn), then I turned 3 layers and 3x5 = 15 but you wrote that this is 20 move sequence. So if "R" is one move, the "u-" turn must be 3 moves that (R, u-)x5 = 20 moves, right? Then I thought maybe you mean to turn the upper 2 layers 45 degree anticlockwise and then turn just the upper layer back 45 dergree clockwise. So that just the middle slice would be rotated 45 degree acw (If I count like that the sequence would have 20 moves). But this dont work either, because a R move is not possible if the middle slice is turned by 45 degree.
I am sure that I am missing something. Could you please explain that algorithm for "Dummies" :-)

Best regards
Dr. Twist


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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Hi Dr. Twist,

it is late at night and I just returned from a birthday party.

Just very briefly:
I wrote in spoiler brackets above
Quote:
[R, U-]x5 = 20 moves, where U- is an anti clockwise 45 degree turn of the U layer.
This cycles triangles clockwise UF ->UR->FR->UF.
I have corrected this slightly because (compared with the original text) the original lower case u might just have been a bit confusing.

[R, U-] is a commutator and a shortcut for R, U-, R', U+
U+ is the inverse of U-
The +/- suffix we had used in the Bermuda Cube and the Mixup Cube solving topics.

(I think you are familiar with commutators in general, right?)

So, [R, U-]x5 is a shortcut for 5 times this commutator = R, U-, R', U+, R, U-, R', U+, R, U-, R', U+, R, U-, R', U+, R, U-, R', U+ (20 moves)

I'm not sure if this simple triangle 3-cycle will help you, but I find it useful sometimes.

Sorry, if I confused you with my lower case u-

EDIT: Reading your post more carefully than last night shows that my "u-" was the point of confusion, sorry again.

The lower case notation is always critical, because in WCA (old) it is the slice layer below the U, whereas in SIGN notation it is the upper two layers together (would be uw in WCA).
A 45° degree of a slice layer does not make sense on the Octostar.
3x3x3 edge become centres and this makes sense on something like a Mixup cube, only.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:25 am 
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Thank you very much for the fast reply Konrad.
I hope you had a nice party yesterday :)
Indeed, I didn´t now that [R, U-] is a shortcut. Now everything is clear. Thank you very much.
Anyhow, I was able to solve the cube using only the other algorithm you posted :-). (Just a little bit more thinking how to set things up). I was very proud, when I solved that cube. It is really one of my top favorites right now.
If this cube had no name I would call it "look twice cube". Really the perception of those edges can drive you wicked - but that´s the fun :-)

But please let me add a warning for everybody using this cube!
After 3 days of excessive use (all together at least 10 hours of permanent turning) I had one of those notorious explosions.
No problem - assembling is quite easy. But I recognized that some of the small triangular pieces got kind of soft and the connection between the triangular top and the bolt getting unstable (like a young twig which still hangs loose on a stem after someone was trying to break it off). If you take a closer look to these pieces you can see, that this connection between the top and the bolt is very thin and very fragile (maybe the plastic is a little bit to soft for that kind of construction. My first thought was that this looks like a predetermined breaking point - but lets see if other people will get the same problems or if my hands are just too strong ;-) ). Anyhow,when assembling two of the top pieces broke though I used minimal force to click them in. I was able to repair them provisional with superglue but from now on I have to handle this cube like a raw egg :-). So be careful, I think these small pieces are the Achilles heel of octocube. Eventually I will ask Calvin if he could send me 2 spare pieces with my next order (if possible in titanium ;-) ).

Best regards
Dr. Twist


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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:41 am 
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Just in case anybody is still struggling with the edge parity, here is a little walk through (the turns are described left to the resulting state):

Image

The first U- handles the parity. The rest reconstructs the "kites" and triangles, finally corners and edges (with two stickers).
Note that R2 U+ D- R2 U+ R2 U- R2 D+ R2 U- R2 is just the inverse of a sequence I had shown above.

I'm sure it is not the most elegant way, but my procedure does not really create a mess :wink: , as someone has described it before.

I hope it is useful for somebody.

EDIT: Thanks to Dr. Twist I could correct two typos above.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:26 pm 
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Konrad wrote:
I hope it is useful for somebody.


Very useful - it helps a lot! Thank you very much Konrad.
I just noticed, that eventually the set up moves (to get the stars on U and D) need a small correction.
If I understood the SIGN-notation correctly, you should change your very first move " L' " into "L" - then you should get exactely the pattern of the 2nd picture.

Konrad wrote:
Note that R2 U+ D- R2 D+ R2 U- R2 D+ R2 U- R2 is just the inverse of a sequence I had shown above.

I recognized that this algoritm is slightly different from the one you posted (in the same post) above the picture.
Check out the 5th move (here it is a D+), the one above the picture says U+. I tried both. The one above the picture seems to be right.

Best regards


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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:31 am 
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Thanks doctor twist for carefully reading my post and finding two typos :) I have corrected them above.

BTW, the simple face turns are identical in SIGN and WCA (U, L ...).

To pick up a conversation, we had in a different thread:

The tricky differences come with the lower case notations.
Personally, I prefer the (old) WCA notation, just because I had the same idea myself when I got my first 4x4x4.
The Singmaster notation (U,D,L,R,F,B ...) was well known at that time and it seemed pretty logical to use "u" for a slice turn.
SIGN is much more generic, though, for nxnxn. Personally, I have never written down any sequences for any n > 5, so, I'm fine with WCA.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:04 am 
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Thanks Konrad. I appreciate your beautiful photography and clear diagrams.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:09 am 
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The comments I've seen on Facebook gave me some hope that I could solve this one. People were comparing it to the Wheels of Wisdom which I found almost trivially easy. So I picked this up a few days ago and gave it a really REALLY good scramble.

After recreating the square centres I began to work creating the edges and I have to say that it shares an idea with the WoW but is MUCH tougher. It is so bandaged that I am really struggling to make the turns that I need. Particularly infuriating for me is that after making 6 nice edge pieces, I have destroyed several of the centres and cannot make any more edges without breaking the ones I have!

This is a very infuriating puzzle - I guess this makes it good value for money! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:13 pm 
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Puzzlemad wrote:
This is a very infuriating puzzle - I guess this makes it good value for money! :shock:

This statement is certainly true! All the discussion seems to have been about the parity and it's solution but I have been having trouble getting my edge reductions done. I finally managed to work out a technique and it works well but for the life of me I cannot seem to reduce the last 2 edges! Everything I try either fails to reduce them or reduces most of it but leaves two tiny triangles to be swapped!

My brain hurts! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:33 pm 
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Hello Puzzlemad,

I can totally understand you as I had a heavy struggle with that puzzle, too.
The last two edges are really tricky.
I solved the problem using the algorithm (you can find it later in this thread) Konrad proposed in his post at 13.th of February. (His 2nd post in this thread).
Just try to set up the edges as shown in the picture. The unsolved edges in up/right and front/right position. Then cycle the 3 triangles. If you have problems to set up the edges try to use the other algorithm Konrad proposed in the same post.
Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:01 pm 
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My video tutorial for the Octocube clocks in at 1 hr 45mins. It's a long one. :lol: A lot of it is reducing centers, but also I haven't fast forwarded anything. I've got links in the description for the various sections. I find the edges the most fun and actually pretty straightforward. Hope it helps someone.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving the new Pitcher Octocube
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:36 am 
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Well after 7 days of struggling, I finally got there! I solved the Octo-star puzzle without assistance and even managed to fix the parity! What a huge undertaking and an absolutely brilliant puzzle! Thanks David for designing it!

I watched Rline's video after I had done it and we seem to have independently come to the same solution.
I really hope that Oliver produces some replacement stickers for the mass produced version as mine are in dreadful condition now!

I have the curvy copter plus staring at me now but I think I need to go and lie down in a darkened room for a day or so before I attempt that!! :shock: :lol: :lol:

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