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 Post subject: Alexander's Star Question
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:32 am 
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I have an '82 Alexander's Star that is a little dusty and hard to turn. I am afraid if I turn it like this I will scratch it up bad, and more likely break it. How can I disassemble it? If that is not an option, whats the best way to clean it so that it will move smoothly?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:06 pm 
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Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
I lubed mine with silicone spray, and now it moves well enough that I actually like to play with it. I haven't had any problems with mine scratching - it's painted, and the paint seems pretty durable.

Hope this helps,

Ben


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:17 pm 
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I was afraid the answer would be silicone spray lubing. I hate the way it makes my handa and cube smell. It's hard to solve them after a lube. How long usually until the smell is gone?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:48 pm 
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I don't know about on the Star, but I lube my cube by spraying a light coat of silicon on it, solving it to spread it around, and then I let it sit in my bedroom with the window open for an hour or so. After that the lube is pretty much smell free, and the cube turns much much better.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:43 am 
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Well, what kind of silicone lube are you using? If you're using "GUNK" or whatever it's called, it's time to switch. I personally prefer CRC. It comes in a red can. The smell lasts much less time and isn't as bad in the first place. Not to mention, it lubricates the cube better and sets in faster.

I'm not a personal fan of the Alexander Star; the Megaminx is cooler. 8-)

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[02:25] <fusion> does look ahead on a 3x3 make someone faster?
[02:25] <Swordsman_Kirby> Yes.
[02:25] <fusion> maybe i should try that


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:54 am 
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The Alexander's Star has a pretty bad mechanism and is very confusing to solve, but I think it looks very pretty.

You can disassemble it by turning one of the stars by half of a fifth turn and then pushing up on one of the edges, but I don't recommend it because you might break pieces.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:43 am 
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Location: Norway
Hi :)

The star is like a megaminx with missing/unstickered corners. On the real star the snap-in mechanism of the "edges" are notoriously fragile. When i had a new star back in early 80's it only took days of careful puzzling with it before many of them were broken. And they're almost impossible to fix in an easy way. It's a fun puzzle but one that sits better in ur collection cabinet than between your hands :wink:

-Per

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:44 am 
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Of course, all that depends on the particular puzzle. Per's might have broke quickly, but the one I got can pretty much be speedcubed on.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:04 pm 
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yeah, I have the 1983 version. The pieces snap in, so it looks like a fish hook barb. Made to go in, and not come out :(

Yes, I am using Lowes brand gunk silicone. Where could I buy the CRC kind?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:16 am 
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You can usually find it in the auto section of a Walmart.

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[02:25] <fusion> does look ahead on a 3x3 make someone faster?
[02:25] <Swordsman_Kirby> Yes.
[02:25] <fusion> maybe i should try that


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:09 pm 
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Location: Bruxelles, Belgium
I have never seen a real Alexander's Star.
I made a virtual version from the Wikipedia discription.
Chap 2.4 of
http://users.skynet.be/gelatinbrain/App ... /index.htm

It is icosahedron-shaped rather than great dodecahedron,
to show better concave parts, but functionnaly the same.

I know most of you prefer a hardware version you can touch with your own hand.
Virtual version has nevertheless some advantages.
1. Easy to mess up, easy to reset
2. Never breaks apart
3. Environment-friendly

Good game 8-) !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:14 pm 
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I love your sims dude, they are sweet, except for the fact that they aren't free rotating. But that's just a problem of mine, nice sims!

what is the solved state of the star? I can't understand what is solved and what is scrambled...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:19 pm 
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Well, take a look at the diagram on the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_dodecahedron

The lighter red triangles here are actually all part of the same face, a pentagon. In the solved position, these five triangles have the same color. It's a bit hard to see because these triangles aren't adjacent to each other (like the parts of each face are on a Rubik's Cube), but it is a very regular arrangement and it makes the most sense mathematically.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:22 pm 
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So let me get this straight: the colors on the star shaped parts don't matter, you are just trying to solve for the outside area of the stars.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:40 pm 
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Yeah, in a way. The colors on the star are important, just not for the areas just outside the star.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:23 am 
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Speedy McFastfast wrote:
So let me get this straight: the colors on the star shaped parts don't matter, you are just trying to solve for the outside area of the stars.

Here's what I wrote about this issue on cube-lovers some years ago:
http://tinyurl.com/3bljos
You can see one of my Alexander's Stars solved in this fashion (it's been sitting in that solution for the last 12 years or so...) in this picture (top, second from the left):
Image
It is a bit deceiving in this picture as the white sides aren't really visible because of the angle, which was somewhat on purpose in this case.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:15 am 
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I envy your Brilic. :(

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[02:25] <fusion> does look ahead on a 3x3 make someone faster?
[02:25] <Swordsman_Kirby> Yes.
[02:25] <fusion> maybe i should try that


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:02 am 
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Hi :)

On the star the parallell planes of the great dodecahedron have same color. I guess it may have many solutions like this. Also if the tips extended a bit further beyond the movable pieces then a "super-star" would be possible. The tips can all of them be in any of 5 positions. The megaminx can also be made to behave like this if marking the centers somehow :wink:

-Per

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:17 am 
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Location: NY, USA
Yeah, there are a lot of solutions like this. Jaap says 12.

But here's a thought: if you truncated the edges and placed a new corner piece under each point (with stickers and everything) you would not only force the puzzle to be supercubed, but limit the number of solutions to 1! That would make for a very interesting modification (although it would still be equal to a 6-color Megaminx with no corner stickers and supercube centers).

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