Twisty megapost
March 31, 2008 6:28 AM   Subscribe

Walter Randelshofer's Pretty Patterns collection (for Rubik's cubes up to 5x5x5) is one of the nicest twisty puzzle sites going. It's based on his CubeTwister software, which you can download (including a lovely OS X standalone). If you really want a treasure trove of twisty polyhedra, check out gelatinBrain's enormous collection of java applets (which unfortunately don't do so well on macs). Are those things even physically possible? Really? Mini bonus: Randelshofer also hosts an archive of fondly-remembered Amiga animations.
posted by Wolfdog (8 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I don't understand it, but I like it.

(I'm curious what's up with the sections labelled "impossible patterns"? If they're impossible, why has he posted what look like instructions for making them?)
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:39 AM on March 31, 2008

Ah! That I can explain. If you step through the "impossible patterns" you will generally find one move at the end (for example, twisting a single corner cubie through 120 degrees) that can't be executed without popping a piece out of the puzzle and putting it back in differently. There are "parity" constraints on the positioning and orientation of edges, and the orientation of corners that mean, on the standard 3x3x3 Rubik's cube, only 1/12 of the states that could be achieved by disassembling and reassembling the puzzle are actually achievable by twisting its faces in the "legal" manner.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:43 AM on March 31, 2008

This one's an example - at the end there's a move which is labelled (+dfr) in the move sequence that means, pop off the bottom-front-right corner and replace it with a 1/3 clockwise twist.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:46 AM on March 31, 2008

Here's a severely brain-damaging 3x3x3x3 Rubik-style hypercube applet.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:58 AM on March 31, 2008

Oh man, my 9 year old is going to love the Rubik hypercube. Thanks!
posted by DU at 8:10 AM on March 31, 2008

Oh crap. I'd burned all memory of the hypercube out of my brain. I spent way too much time with that years ago.
posted by sciurus at 9:19 AM on March 31, 2008

Some days I feel like Metafilter is watching me.

I just picked up a cube last week after having not touched one since junior high school. I thought that after all this time I'd have to re-figure out how to solve it, but alas it's one of those things that sticks in your brain for all eternity. I was onthe subway over the weekend , just messing around, trying to solve in as few moves as possible, and the guy sitting across from me was watching me intently. So I just fumbled around with the top layer for a while like I didn't know what I was doing, almost solving it, and then pretending to be confused just to entertain the guy. I completely forgot about pattterns. I could have put out a hat and collected money.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:44 AM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Rubik art,

Is there a 'legal' pattern with a swastika on every face of the 5x5 cube?
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:38 PM on March 31, 2008

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