This is the MoZhi Aardwolf and it cost me $5.49. This puzzle configuration has a TP Museum entry under the names Starburst and Star of David
, but the name "Starburst" has been applied to other puzzles. A Web image search for "Star of David" puzzle
(including the double quotes) actually brings up a picture of a version of this puzzle with the label "Starburst". Very confusing, just like the puzzle!
ETA: Mefferts sells this puzzle as the PyraStar.
Puzl.co.uk sells this puzzle as Pyramorphix Star.
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Aardwolf-comp-2.png [ 246.63 KiB | Viewed 2196 times ]
The puzzle is stickered as two interlocking tetrahedrons. The puzzle turns well. When new, the inner vertices had a slight tendency to catch, but some silicone oil lube and breaking in solved this issue.
It is an obvious shape mod of [SPOILER]a 2x2 cube
[/SPOILER]. On paper, it shouldn't be difficult to solve but the stickering makes it difficult to correctly apply knowledge of the [SPOILER]base 2x2 cube
[/SPOILER]. It was a blast to work it out and solve it, especially as I quickly realized that I needed good solved state pictures, but had only taken a couple during the unboxing (who takes a lot of pictures of a $5.49 puzzle?
Now that I have solved it and have a workable solution, I'm interested in refining my solution and developing a general strategy for solving this class of puzzle, which I would describe as [SPOILER]one where the stickering is out of phase with the way the base puzzle is oriented during the solve
[/SPOILER]. For example [SPOILER]an R2 from the solved state puts this puzzle into a state where the inner stickers are colour matched in pairs. I wonder if this would be an easier solving target?
[/SPOILER].Pete's Solution Outline: ETA: I don't use this solution anymore. See my next post.
[SPOILER]I solved it as a 2x2 cube, looking at the vertices as corners and orienting the puzzle so that the verticies form a square or 'X' configuration (as in the photos). I made colour guides for the first layer and last layer when viewed in an 'X' configuration, corresponding to the shape of a 2x2. I use the two RBG tetrahedron vertices (i.e. the two that don't have yellow) as the FL corner for the first and last layers and assemble the rest of the pieces around them. For the last layer orientation, I worked out the relationship between the "yellow" stickers in my 2x2 solution and the various sticker colours on the Aardwolf pieces. Alternatively, I've used the beginners method "R' D' R D" procedure to orient the pieces and it does work, but all the colours flying by make it risky for me. For last layer permutation, I use cuboid corner swaps instead of a complex 2x2 algorithm.
I'd enjoy learning about your experiences and strategies with the Aardwolf/Starburst/Star of David. I know it is not a super-difficult puzzle, but it is fun and I got some new ideas out of it.