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Dual 3x3x3 II
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A 3x3x3 plus two pieces known from the Complex 3x3x3.

The inventor conceived this puzzle ever since the Matryoshka Cube, see the separate entry. Essentially, it is two nested 3x3x3s. When the outer 3x3x3 is turned, two corresponding layers are turned on the inner puzzle.
The main difficulty of this puzzle is degrees of freedom. On a normal 3x3, imagine turning a top layer and a bottom layer by 90. Compare this movement to turning a mid-slice by 90. Both turns will end up with the same end result. On this puzzle, this is not the case - because an outer layer turn will turn 2 inner layers at once, how will the inner cube behave if you try to make a slice turn? The answer cannot be resolved, so thus it must be made so that opposite layers cannot be turned simultaneously (e.g., slice turns are disallowed).
This is a somewhat difficult proposition, and the original concepts involved a plunger + magnet mechanism that was overly complex, barely playable and probably wouldn't have worked anyways. Therefore the designer settled on the compromise of the Matryoshka cube. One can't make slice turns if each axis only has one turnable layer. Later he came across an incredibly simple and elegant solution: gravity pins.

The result is an extremely simple and elegant mechanism that easily communicates the concept of the puzzle without weird abstractions like circles. This iteration does have one issue (it is technically possible to cheat by initiating a turn, flipping the puzzle over and turning the opposite face) but this is simply because the gravity pins on the outer layer edges are separate on each side instead of being one pin that extends through the piece. This is easily remedied simply by making it one pin going through the edge instead of one pin on each side.

Mathematically, this puzzle is a subset of the Complex 3x3x3. It includes two new piece types: the "inverted 3x3x3 edges" and the "inverse 3x3x3 core". The "inner 3x3x3 centers" are visible, but without super stickers scheme on this puzzle they are irrelevant to the solve.

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ROBERTO1970: RnD Collection


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