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 Post subject: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Hello All,

I'm brand new to twistypuzzles and I thought I'd make my virgin post about the Curvy Starminx. This puzzle really is quite a bit of fun. Mine turns very well and is a pleasure to solve. It is very chaotic looking when freshly scrambled, but a few smart maneuvers makes quick work of the solve. I have solved it several times now and have developed a solid method. I've been solving it corners first, followed by centers, then edges, and then finally the inner tips. It only requires the use of two algorithms, and my guess is that most of you already know them! But, just in case you don't, here we go...

Alg 1: R' L R L' . Where we define R and L as the UFR and UFL faces respectively. This algorithm is very useful as it has two sets of cycles going on. There are 2 pairs of centers that are swapped, specifically the U and F centers and the UBR and UBL centers. There is also a CCW 3-cycle happening with the edges that connect the swapped centers in the top layer. They are in a "Y" shape on the top layer.
Alg 2: R (U2 L' U2' L) R' (F2' L F2 L'). This is the same algorithm used to solve the tips of a FT Starminx. It 3-cycles the B tip in the U layer to the FR tip in the U layer which moves down to the LBR tip of the LFR face. That's a mouth full, try it out, its really very easy.

Corners: No algorithms needed here. Can obviously be done intuitively or Kilominx style.

Centers: This discovery came as a bit of a pleasant surprise, but, because of the deepness of the cuts, the centers can be solved the same way as a skewb! How delightful! We call on Alg #1. We use the swaps to place our centers in a very similar way that we would on a skewb. The edges are getting messed up further, but we don't care at this point.

Edges: The nice part about Alg #1 is that it has two independent sets of pieces that are cycled, the centers and the edges. The centers move in an even ordered swap, and the edges move in an odd ordered cycle. If we do Alg #1 two times, the result is that the centers are moved out of place and put right back in, but the edges have now effectively moved in a CW 3-cycle instead of a CCW 3-cycle. From here we know what to do. Luckily this puzzles turns pretty smoothly most of the time so its not all that much of a hassle doing this short algorithms twice every time you need to move an edge. The edges can now be solved the same way as a Crystal Pyraminx.

Inner Tips: Alg #2 is a clean cycle of the inner tips and can be used to finish out the puzzle. It is exactly the same as on a FT Starminx.

If there are any questions don't hesitate to ask.

Also, if anyone else out there has a different solve method I would love to here about it!


Last edited by Wintercuber on Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:51 pm 
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That is brilliant! Congratulations on tackling the new puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:39 am 
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That's a fantastic first post! I have solved the Curvy Starminx the same way.

First I did the corners and then I tried the edges, but collapsed with the centers.

My second attempt is corner, centers and edges. I have 2 edges flipped at the end. I flip the 2 edges but now 3 centers are destroyed. I flip the 2 edges again and flip it back. Now the centers are solved. For the tips I use also the Starminx 3-cycle.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:04 am 
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I would say this is more than 2 algorithms. I understand that you're saying it's a relatively easy puzzle since it builds off the Kilominx and Pyraminx Crystal but I don't see why the sequences from other puzzles shouldn't count towards the total :-p

As for my solution method, it sounds mostly the same

- Corners like a Kilominx
- Edges like a Pyraminx Crystal [including the really annoying orientation bit at the end]
- 3-cycle centers by doing a [4,1] commutator where the 4 is just a simple edge 3-cycle like LRL'R' or similar
- Star points by doing the same as the regular Starminx

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:57 pm 
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themathkid wrote:
I would say this is more than 2 algorithms. I understand that you're saying it's a relatively easy puzzle since it builds off the Kilominx and Pyraminx Crystal but I don't see why the sequences from other puzzles shouldn't count towards the total :-p


You bring up a good point, and I didn't intend for the title to be misleading. I should have titled it, "Approximately 2 alg curvy starminx solve" :)

You certainly may need more algorithms depending on your style of solving. The Kilominx corner portion can be solved intuitively, however, I'll openly admit that I do indeed use an algorithm or two myself on the last layer. But, you certainly would not need to use algorithms if you didn't want to, they just save a bit of time. With regards to the pyraminx crystal reference, I only meant that you can use the same setup strategy but with a slightly different algorithm to solve the edges. i.e. doing R' L R L' twice instead of once like you would on a pyraminx crystal. It depends on how you look at it, but I feel like it is more or less 2 algorithms.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:42 pm 
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Genius, my friend! I got my Curvy Starminx and had quite an adventure at first, I scrambled it and then panicked... I kept thinking it was corner-turning instead of face-turning and tried to apply some methods from the Bauhinia, and (of course) nothing was working and so I just took it apart and put it back together to try and figure out some algorithims with the puzzle in it's solved state. I messed it up, though, haha and so I took it back apart again and put it back together AGAIN solved and it's been sitting on my desk waiting for my man Rline to post a tutorial.

Your solution, however, Wintercuber, is deviously simple! I may have to try it myself. Happy cubing!

(I was definitely going to try block-building, though, I like it a lot better and I'm anticipating Rline's tutorial being this method as well. I'm curious to see how he manages to pull it all together!)


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Hey MennoKnight,
I wasn't subscribed to this topic so didn't see your post till now. I certainly attempted a blockbuilding approach. The big problem with this puzzle is the corners (as far as blockbuilding goes), so I have resorted to a fairly standard approach. If the corners weren't there, I think it could be done.

I actually really really like the curvy starminx. I enjoy the challenge of the different pieces. I don't much like the triangles at the end, but there you go. I'm trying to decide whether to post the curvy starminx or the dayan gem VII tutorial first.

MennoKnight wrote:
Genius, my friend! I got my Curvy Starminx and had quite an adventure at first, I scrambled it and then panicked... I kept thinking it was corner-turning instead of face-turning and tried to apply some methods from the Bauhinia, and (of course) nothing was working and so I just took it apart and put it back together to try and figure out some algorithims with the puzzle in it's solved state. I messed it up, though, haha and so I took it back apart again and put it back together AGAIN solved and it's been sitting on my desk waiting for my man Rline to post a tutorial.

Your solution, however, Wintercuber, is deviously simple! I may have to try it myself. Happy cubing!

(I was definitely going to try block-building, though, I like it a lot better and I'm anticipating Rline's tutorial being this method as well. I'm curious to see how he manages to pull it all together!)

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:08 am 
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BUMP, but I think it is justified by the added value below.

The main purpose of this post is the discussion of different variations for solving the "Star tips" (little triangles on the Curvy Starminx). My diagrams will use the output of Gelatinbrain's 1.1.5. So, no corners exist, but the shown sequences will not change them at all.

A few days back, I could finally put stickers onto my Curvy Starminx.
When I had scrambled and solved it a few times, I checked, if rline was able to come up with a block building method.
I found his tutorial.
Actually he is doing it in the identical order I came up with
1. corners (intuitively and Megaminx sequences for the last few.)
2. edges [1,1] as for the Pyraminx Crystal
3. centres [[1:1],1]
4. Star Tips [3,1]
For the Startips he showed two sequences that were new to me.

Then I looked at this topic yesterday. What a great first post, Wintercuber!. :)
You do it in a slightly differently order. Interestingly, you used a Startips 3-cycle that was new to me, too.
Wintercuber wrote:
...
Alg 2: R (U2 L' U2' L) R' (F2' L F2 L'). This is the same algorithm used to solve the tips of a FT Starminx. ....
This sounds a bit as if this is a well known sequence?

If you have ever solved an FT Starminx before, solving the Curvy variant is pretty obvious.
I got my first one almost three years back, TomZ's Mini. My first method then was
1. centres
2. edges pure [3,1] commutator
3. star tips pure [3,1]

It is shorter, though, to do the edges like on the Pyraminx Crystal in step 2.

Two years back the MF8 mass-produced version hit the market and we had this discussion in the Solving Forum.
The notation used there in addition to Gelatinbrain's was discussed here.
Brandon (bmenrigh) has made a handy utility to transform one notation into the other.

In my view, the Curvy Starminx is easier to solve than the earlier MF8 FT Starminx, because it turns quite a bit better. I have just broken it in and lubricated it a bit and it turns really smoothly!!
In my opinion, the aspect of a well turning puzzle is quite important for not loosing control in the middle of a sequence.

I want to show in the following a compendium of the Star Tips 3-cycles & add the three new ones from Rline and Wintercuber (at least they were new for me):

Image

Number 1.) and 2.) are the ones I'm using.

Image

These four above came up in the thread two years back.

Image

And these three above were new to me, in rline's tutorial and Wintercuber's in this topic.

Here are two photos of the real puzzle showing the result of #7 and #9 (notation for #9 as on the right hand in the diagram above):

Image

Here I repeat the sequences in plain text, especially for cut and paste into Gelatinbrain:
    1.) R'2, L2, R2, l', R'2, L'2, R2, l (8 turns) [3,1]
    Gelatinbrain:
    C'2, F2,C2,F'&2,C'2,F'2,C2,F&2

    1.) R'2, L2, R2, l', R'2, L'2, R2, l (8 turns) [3,1]
    Gelatinbrain:
    C'2, F2,C2,F'&2,C'2,F'2,C2,F&2

    2.) L', F2, R, L', U2 L U',2, R', L, F'2 (10)
    Gelatinbrain:
    F',A2,C,F',B2,F,B'2,C',F,A'2,

    3.) L'2, R'2, L2, r'2, L'2, R2, L2, r2 (8) [3,1]
    Gelatinbrain:
    F'2, C'2, F2, C'2&2, F'2, C2, F2, C2&2

    4.) UR'2, L'2, R'2, L2, r'2, L'2, R2, L2, r2, UR2 (10) [1:[3,1]]
    Gelatinbrain:
    H'2, F'2, C'2, F2, C'2&2, F'2, C2, F2, C2&2, H2

    5.) R'2, L2, R2, L'2, f, L2, R'2, L'2, R2, f' (10) [[1,1],1]
    Gelatinbrain:
    C'2,F2,C2,F'2,A&2,F2,C'2,F'2,C2,A'&2,

    6.) R, U, R', U, R, U'2, R', u,
    R, U2, R', U', R, U', R', u' (14) [7,1]
    Gelatinbrain:
    C, B, C', B, C, B'2, C', B&2, C, B2, C', B', C, B', C', B'&2

    7.) R (U2 L' U2' L) R' (F2' L F2 L') (10)
    Gelatinbrain:
    C, B2, F', B'2, F, C', A'2, F, A2, F'

    8.) L'2, R2, L2, R'2, u, R2, L'2, R'2, L2, u'
    Gelatinbrain:
    F'2, C2, F2, C'2, B&2, C2, F'2, C'2, F2, B'&2

    9.)U, R, U', UL', U, R', U', UL, U', L', U, UR, U', L, U, UR' (16)
    Gelatinbrain:
    B, C, B', I', B, C', B', I, B', F', B, H, B', F, B, H'

I find it quite interesting that we see here nine different pure 3-cycles, not counting the inverse and mirrored versions!
Even more interesting is that we see so different preferences.
E.g. rline shows in his tutorial a [4,1] commutator ( 8 turns; see number 8. above), but he prefers a 16 move sequence (number 9.)

What are the objective or personal criteria choosing a set?

    Move count: This seems less important to some people than to others.
    As we have to solve "roughly" 60 Startips it is quite important for me.
    How do we judge the length of a sequence?

    Comparing the different variants, we find zero or just two inner slice moves.
    Should we count them as zero or four turns?
    Hove do we count a double turn like R2? (Probably they should be considered something like 1.3 moves)
    In any case there is a small penalty compared with plain single turns.
    If I use a weight of 2 for slice turns and 1.3 for double turns, this is the calculated total move count:
    1.) 11.8
    2.) 11.2
    3.) 11.8
    4.) 14.4
    5.) 14.4
    6.) 16.6
    7.) 11.2
    8.) 11.8
    9.) 16

    Is it my own sequence or have I read about it or seen it in a tutorial?

    How hard is it for me to find short setup move sequences?

    Is it OK to place one piece at a time or do I look for two or three?

    How hard is it for me to visualize the 3 pieces involved? Can I see all of them in one view or do I have to look around for pieces on the "back"?

    How many faces are involved?

    Is the sequence known to me from solving another puzzle before?

A mixture of the above considerations lead obviously to the fact that we see so different preferences :wink:

EDIT: I have reduced the move count table regarding #6. Burgo pointed out that the u moves can be done together with the D layer as uD and (uD)'.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Thanks for this amazing post. The 60 tips are the bane of my existence. I have actually only been able to solve the Curvy Starminx twice ever, constantly getting to within a few tips from the solution only to boof or have the puzzle catch mid-turn. I've been using #9 above.

Having additional 3-cycles in my toolbox will help, (especially #'s 1 and 2 above) to avoid some god awful setup moves and since all but 1 are shorter than #9, ease the pain.

I know rline said he wasn't able to find a blockbuilding method but if there is any other way to solve this beast without the 60 tip 3-cycle hell ending, I'd love it!


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:45 pm 
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Konrad wrote:
Even more interesting is that we see so different preferences.
E.g. rline shows in his tutorial a [4,1] commutator ( 8 turns; see number 8. above), but he prefers a 16 move sequence (number 9.)

What are the objective or personal criteria choosing a set?

Good question. I want to clarify that of the 2 sequences in my tutorial, one was Otis Cheng's (which I mentioned in the video) and the other was mine.

In thinking about your criteria for choosing sequences, I realised that often it is a very very subjective "feel" thing. Everyone has different ideas of what feels right and what works "for them". To me, move count is not particularly relevant. This was really highlighted on a previous large puzzle (maybe the bauhinia?) when Burgo posted an amazingly cool sequence. It was 20 moves. But it was mesmerisingly simple, it was symmetrical, it involved close faces and I wish I'd come up with it. I need to be able to see clearly where the pieces are, and how they move, and not have to look in 3 completely different positions and faces to follow their movement. Particularly with a large puzzle and/or a puzzle which has a lot (60) of pieces to place, I'll almost always try and place 2 at once. A couple of times in this video I was able to place all 3. This was like striking gold!

Comparing Otis' sequence and the one I used to solve the puzzle, clearly Otis' is a shorter move count. But for me, I just don't particularly like having to do slice moves...ever. :lol: I also am very familiar with the corner piece series, and so there was really no debate in my mind. Doing a CPS followed by its mirror is, for me, a no-brainer.

I think it's very cool how there are so many different sequences around. :)

rplass wrote:
I know rline said he wasn't able to find a blockbuilding method

I did say that and I'm still upset about it :lol: I totally agree: a BB method is a must-have when it reduces your corners or triangle tips or whatever, by half. In the curvy starminx, it was simply the corners which got in the way.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:16 pm 
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Sometimes not all of the aspects of a sequence are seen in an Algorithm or Diagram either.

I have been using my Sune method on the Pentultimate recently.. it's a really easy puzzle to get lost on with setup moves.. it took me 2 solves before I was able to get through it without mucking something up and starting from scratch. The options the Sune method gives me are a big advantage. For a start I'm only using 2 faces and a very familiar sequence. On a puzzle where reference points (like centre pieces) move around, this is handy.

But the sequence is very flexible too. For example, on Konrad's diagram I can include any number of twists for the (u) and (u') components and therefore use any combination of the 5 pieces in the Equatorial layer (I would also twist u and D together). Looking down from the top of the puzzle.. any colour tip that is on the top face or in the E layer that needs to be moved to any face within that scope is accessible without a setup. That gives me 10 tips that I have access to.. without a setup. Reducing setup moves is a huge factor in these sort of puzzles.

I think handy idiosyncrasies like this are in other sequences too, and not revealed by a diagram.

I don't have a Curvy Starminx yet, I have quite a lot of very similar puzzles and I just can't justify it.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Algorithm Curvy Starminx solve!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:16 am 
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Thanks for all the responses!
Can anybody contribute any more sequences for Star tips?
I would be happy to add more diagrams to this thread. They should be different, though, like the sequences of rline and Wintercuber.
Burgo wrote:
... But the sequence is very flexible too. For example, on Konrad's diagram I can include any number of twists for the (u) and (u') components and therefore use any combination of the 5 pieces in the Equatorial layer (I would also twist u and D together). Looking down from the top of the puzzle.. any colour tip that is on the top face or in the E layer that needs to be moved to any face within that scope is accessible without a setup. That gives me 10 tips that I have access to.. without a setup. Reducing setup moves is a huge factor in these sort of puzzles.

I think handy idiosyncrasies like this are in other sequences too, and not revealed by a diagram.

I don't have a Curvy Starminx yet, I have quite a lot of very similar puzzles and I just can't justify it.
I appreciate your reasoning and it was pretty clear to me before my post. (BTW, I hope nobody felt criticized. I meant it verbally, that I find it interesting that we see so many different approaches and everybody has good reasons to stay with his/her choices :) )
I have adjusted my move count calculation above slightly because of your argument that one can do (uD) together.

BTW, what do you think about my idea for adding different penalties for slice moves and double moves in my calculation?

All of the slice based commutators (#1, #3, #4, #5, #6, #8) share some versatility because you can use four different slice turns (e.g. u, u', u2, u'2 in your case #6).

I agree completely with rline that it is a personal feel mostly that leads to a certain preference.
Still, I think that having at least two different sequences helps a lot reducing your setup move counts.
In my case, I had solved the Mini Pentultimate (from TomZ too) one month before the Mini Starminx.
BTW, the Mini Pentultimate was the first Shapeways puzzle assembled by myself.
I came up with a [12,1] commutator for the Pentultimate first and looked for something shorter. I found the #2 sequence in the Gelatinbrain thread and used it a lot since. In the Starminx solving thread Brandon explained that it is close to a commutator but still strangely different and it is hard to understand why it works.

When I got the Starminx later I came up with #1 first. This was a straight forward adaption from my FTO method.
I find it still very nice for these reasons

    1. It is familiar to me, because I use it on other puzzles as well.

    2. It is easy to understand why it works. The [1:1] conjugate part of the [1,[1:1]] commutator isolates a single star tip.


    3. The pattern of moving pieces is easy to see.

    4. In an early stage (many unsolved star tips), setup moves can be found easily.

When a few star tips are left, I find it easier to use #2, because the "two on one face" property allows short setups. I never do more than 3 or 4 setup moves, because I do not have such great visual capabilities like Burgo and rline :)

BTW, I find it important to understand why a sequence works. Commutator based sequences show this clearly. In the cases #2, #7 and #9 above it is not obvious to me.

I had used the CPS + mirrored CPS a lot for the Crazy planets 3x3x3. (As long as I didn't know about reduction methods.)
You have a lot of freedom for the setup moves on the Starminx / Curvy Starminx and the pattern of moving pieces can be easily recognized, too.
I'm not concerned about the move count so much myself, I'm more concerned about the time needed to perform a sequence. In case of a badly turning puzzle chances are higher to get a serious catch that lets you screw up the sequence or lets you forget your setup sequence.
This argument is not strong on well turning puzzles like the Curvy Starminx.

I can recommend this puzzle to everybody who hasn't got an FT Sterminx before.
The corners obviously have improved the turning a lot compared with the regular mf8 Starminx.
I have got many similar puzzles but I do not regret having added this one. I like curvy cuts ever since the TomZ Curvy Copter (Kelvin had compared it with a Tiffany lamp :) )
And it turns really well, even if the corners add not much of a challenge.
(They seem to be in conflict with block building, though.)
In my view, the corners add some more visual stability while doing a sequence.

I like this puzzle!

OK, I'm a bit late with this, due to holidays and family obligations. :wink:
(BTW, in Germany we have this joke that retired persons - like me - greet each other by "No time! No time! ...." :lol:
You'll find out yourself when you retired yourself, that it is less than a joke :wink: )

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