Monday, July 13, 2020

The Best Value Twisty Puzzle Ever???

Puzzles Aplenty!

Only a few years ago, it was unthinkable that the puzzles we have today would even exist. In fact, turn back the clock to the 80s and what we have now was called "Science Fiction"! Ridiculous!

Imagine the Petaminx!



Eitan's Star!



and for a completely surreal experience, how about Oskar van Deventer's 17x17x17



But most of these amazing puzzles come with a skyhigh price tag. Eitan's Star costs $100, the Petaminx will set you back $239, and Oskar's 17x17x17? Around $1,600! This is not a cheap addiction!

So when you're on a budget and you need puzzle after puzzle after puzzle, for a ridiculously low price, where do you turn?

You turn to CubeTwist, of course.

CubeTwist haven't done much lately, but a while back, they put out the

3x3x3 Bandaged D.I.Y. Kit

 

This is a complete kit which will enable you to make precisely 3,563 3x3x3 bandaged puzzles, including the 6 which had already been mass-produced.

I'm sorry...transmission error...

3,563?????

That's right. This figure comes from the world's foremost authority on bandaged cubes, Andreas Nortmann. You can read all about it on this page.

So, three and half thousand puzzles? That must cost a lot more than an arm and a leg.

I hope you're sitting down. The cost of these puzzles is ...

$17.82

That's right. Less than $18 for 3,563 puzzles.

Let's Take Stock...

OK. So, 3,563 puzzles for $17.82. By my calculations, that works out to around half a cent per puzzle. I challenge you to find any other brand new puzzle which costs half a cent.

And how many hours of enjoyment will this provide? Let's average each puzzle at around an hour. This is probably a conservative estimate as many of these puzzles would take quite a bit longer. Some may have you stumped until the stars fall from the sky.

An hour per puzzle...

3,563 hours...

149 days...

21 weeks

That's 21 consecutive weeks with no sleep, no food and no toilet breaks.

You'd want to be fairly committed to the task.

What on Earth is a Bandaged Puzzle???

If you took out your favourite 3x3x3 cube and also took out a bandage from your medicine cabinet - that's right, an actual bandage - you would be able to "bind" two or more of the cubies together.


 so that when one moved, the other moved also.


and if one of the bandaged pieces tried to move where the other ones didn't want to, then none of them would move.

 This is all bandaging is, at its core (no pun intended).

Bandaged puzzles have been around for a while, and you can see some examples here:


How It Works

Alright. So we've accepted that with the bandaged cube kit, you could probably keep yourself occupied for the rest of your life, or marriage...whichever ends first.

But how does it work?

The kit is a 3x3x3 cube, along with all the bits required to make any of the puzzles.

The cube itself is a black plastic cube with holes in it which enable the parts to be pinned in.


For the life of me, I still haven't worked out why some surfaces have only 4 holes, while others have 6. If you know, leave a comment and put my mind to rest.

And the pieces? They start with one 3x2 piece of each colour.


There is also one 2x2 piece of each colour. This makes sense since it's impossible to place two of them on one face.


There are two 3x1 pieces of each colour...



Four 2x1 pieces of each colour...


And nine 1x1 pieces of each colour.


In providing these pieces, CubeTwist made the call not to bandage an entire face. This was smart in my opinion as there's not a whole lot you can do with a face completely bandaged.

You simply click on and click off the lego-like tiles to make a cube. A comment below reminded me that I should say something about getting these pieces off.

The key with all of these pieces is to not press them down too firmly to begin with. If you do that, you can almost always guarantee to be able to slip a fingernail in and pry them off. 
If, however, they're down too tight, then I've found the best thing by far is a pair of tweezers. Without fail, the piece will pop out. Give those a go!

With these pieces, you can make each of the six mass-produced 3x3x3 bandaged cubes.

The 2-bar 4 cube


The 3-slices cube

The bandaged-3 cube


The big block

The fuse cube



And the Bicube


I've tried all five, and in my opinion, the order of difficulty ranges, from easiest to hardest,

2-bar 4
3-slices
big block
fuse cube
bandaged-3

daylight

bicube

The bicube is currently impossible for me. Maybe one day I'll conquer it...

But what about others? Here are a few from the twisty puzzles forum thread on solving these things, all invented by the master-solver Burgo...

The Alcatraz series

Bandaged Fortress

Big block clock

Stalctites

Double block

Bandaged YZ


Help! I'm Stuck!

Here's the best part of the whole thing. Go ahead and make whatever bandaged cube variant you like. If you can't solve it, just pull it apart! Easy.

This Kit Is Still Available???

Amazingly, this kit has not sold out, and is still available at its original price of $17.82 US.

Honestly, I'm staggered that it didn't sell out as it's such incredible value for money, and provides anyone with the ability to take baby steps in learning to solve bandaged cubes.

You can buy it from hknowstore. I can unreservedly recommend nowstore as a seller. Their prices are good, when the free shipping is factored in, and their followup customer service is outstanding. And no, I don't work for them!

What are waiting for? If you don't have this kit yet, make sure you get one before they sell out. It is, after all, the best value puzzle money can buy.

You can also click the picture below to buy it.




Your Say!

So, whadda ya think? Did I get it right? Is there a better value puzzle out there? Has this post made you want to buy the kit? Leave your feedback below...


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Some Puzzle Gems

Well, it's finally happened. DaYan have at last released all of the promised Dayan Gem Series of puzzles. The first Gem was announced sometime in November 2010, roughly four years ago. And now, in November 2014, the final two Gems have been released. They were released in a weird order, as well. The last two are the 6 and the 8. The 3, 4 and 7 look identical. The 5 looks completely different to the rest.

In this post, I'll be briefly talking about each one, and encouraging you to buy one, some or all of them! A link to buy any or all of them will be at the end of this post. They're a great addition to any collection and are all different solves. Here we go...

Dayan Gem I












The Gem 1 is available in black plastic, white plastic or stickerless coloured plastic. That's the one shown here. It's an edge turning puzzle, and like all edge turning puzzles, it jumbles. You can see some of the jumbling on the image above. Like most of the rest, it's a truncated octahedron with 14 sides.

Despite having a somewhat "cheap" look to the puzzle, it's decent quality. A tiny bit of lubricant will make it turn very well. It's perfectly sturdy and there are no problems with any of the pieces (particularly with stickers coming off if you buy the stickerless version!)

To get a valuable solve, make sure you include jumbling! If you scramble and solve without jumbling, it'll be boring. My solving outline is to first return it to its correct shape (assuming you've jumbled it), and then solve each face one at a time. You may need to swap two pieces in the same orbit late in the solve.

A link to my tutorial video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtA9RhbsUI0

Dayan Gem II












The Gem 2 is available in black plastic or clear plastic. It's an edge turning puzzle, and like all edge turning puzzles, it jumbles. You can see some of the jumbling on the image above. However, it's also a face turning puzzle. Having both edges and faces turning makes for an interesting solve. Its shape is a cross between a truncated octahedron and cuboctahedron. It has 14 sides.

The puzzle itself is perfectly sturdy and there are no problems with any of the pieces. However, on my puzzle at least, the stickers were an issue. When you order it, make sure you either ask all the stickers to be checked, or else request an extra copy of stickers. Whatever you do, don't let the stickering issues stop you from buying it. It's one of the better Gems.

This one is interesting enough of a solve without jumbling. My solving outline is a layer by layer approach. I first make a cross on one of the faces, then surround it with its edges, and finally put in the helicopter edges. Essentially, this is repeated as I move up the puzzle towards the last face.

A link to my tutorial video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDoTGQ67_cU

Dayan Gem III












The Gem 3 is one of three separate Gems which look almost identical (along with the Gem 4 and the Gem 7). The differences are in subtle stickering, but mainly in what faces are where and how the hexagonal faces are positioned around the square faces. It's available in black plastic, white plastic, clear yellow plastic or pink plastic (!) 

It turns on both the hexagonal faces and the square faces. Like most of the rest, it's a truncated octahedron with 14 sides. There is no jumbling. The puzzle is extremely well made and never feels like it's loose or falling apart. There are no issues with stickers. The square faces can be ever so slightly catchy, but that's the only possible downside.

My solving outline is to first place the triangles, then reduce the edges and finally place the edges. Once the edges are placed, the square face pieces (which are part of the edges) are automatically solved as well.

A link to my tutorial video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm0NVujdQGg

The Dayan Gem 3 was the only one of the Gems to make it into my Beginner's Collection Essentials series.

Dayan Gem IV












The Gem 4 is one of three separate Gems which look almost identical (along with the Gem 3 and the Gem 7). Whereas the Gem 3 turns on square and hexagonal faces, the Gem 4 only turns on hexagonal faces. However, it's deep cut which means it has an extra turning layer. You can see this effect in the image above. It's available in black plastic or white plastic. 

Like most of the rest, it's a truncated octahedron with 14 sides. There is no jumbling. The puzzle is superbly made and almost feels as though you could speedsolve it!. There are no issues with stickers.

My solving outline is a piece by piece approach. I first turn the centers into place, and follow that by placing the triangles around the centers. Then, in the main part of the solve, I reduce the edges. Once they're all reduced, the edges are placed. It's possible to find yourself with two unreduced edges with just a swapped corner. This requires some extra thinking!


Dayan Gem V












The Gem 5 is available in black plastic, white plastic, ice purple or stickerless coloured plastic. There is no jumbling. It's a face turning puzzle, turning on both types of hexagonal face (seen in the image above). Its shape is a truncated octahedron and it has 14 sides. It also happens to be a shape modification of the F-Skewb.

The puzzle itself is reasonably sturdy and there are no problems with any of the pieces. There are no issues with stickers. My feeling is that this is not quite on the same level as some of the other Gems. This is just my personal opinion and I imagine others may like this one more.

This Gem had me stumped for longer than I should have been. Part of the issue is that when scrambled, there are no markers for a colour scheme. My solving method is to first place the corners. Once that's done, I pair the edges and then place them. Finally, the centers are solved using an incredibly simple sequence.

A link to my tutorial video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VgSAApmeBc

Dayan Gem VI












The Gem 6 is one of the final two Gems to be released. It's available in black plastic, white plastic, original coloured plastic or ice green. There is no jumbling. However, it's very much like the Wheels of Wisdom puzzle, and as such, we can make 45° turns. This one has 30 sides and its shape is...who knows! There are six large faces each of which are octahedral. There are 24 smaller faces each of which are pentahedral.

This puzzle is by far the most beautiful of the Gems, particularly when scrambled. It does, however, have some issues. Some of the stickers are small enough to be coming off and moving around. This can be fixed with a tiny drop of superglue, but it's annoying to have to do this. There's also a tendency for the pyraminx crystal edges to lose their place. The most important thing is to get the tensioning just right. Given the high price tag of this Gem, it's probably more suited to the serious puzzle collector, rather than the casual solver.

My solving outline is to first reduce all edges, then reduce all corners. These two steps take the bulk of the solve and quite a long time. After this, I place the reduced edges then the reduced corners. Finally, I solve the pyraminx crystal edges. There are a number of potential solving issues along the way. Suffice to say this puzzle takes a long while to solve.

A link to my tutorial video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjbjaxGcQto

Dayan Gem VII












The Gem 7 is one of three separate Gems which look almost identical (along with the Gem 3 and the Gem 4). Like the Gem 3, it turns on square and hexagonal faces. However, this one also jumbles! You can see this effect in the image above. The jumbling occurs when a hexagonal face interacts with another hexagonal face. The shape of the triangular stickers is slightly different as well. It's available in black plastic, white plastic or clear orange. 

Like most of the rest, it's a truncated octahedron with 14 sides. The puzzle feels quite light. When these were first released, the square faces didn't turn. Some lubricant was needed! After a few solves, they turn but are slightly catchy. There are no issues with stickers.

My solving outline is to begin by solving all the edges (as single pieces). These edges are all on the hexagonal faces. Once that's done, I place the corners next to them. After that, the square face triangles are solved, and finally the square face corners are placed. 

A link to my tutorial is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpELU0KNY6U

Dayan Gem VIII












The Gem 8 is one of the final two Gems to be released. It's available in black plastic, original coloured plastic, ice pink or stickerless coloured plastic. As you can see from the image above, I bought the stickerless version. If there's ever a choice, I'll almost always buy stickerless versions. They tend to have less trouble with stickers.

There is no jumbling. This one has 8 faces and is in the shape of a truncated octahedron. There are four large hexagonal faces and four small triangular faces. All faces turn.

This puzzle does have a bit of a "cheap" feel to it and can be a little catchy.

My solving outline is to first place the triangles, then reduce the edges (done similarly to a 5x5x5 cube). After that, I place the reduced edges and solve the centers.

A link to my tutorial video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy7UB1QotHM

My Recommendations

So, there are the eight Dayan Gems.


Each have their merits. Most are well made and great solving experiences. If I had to put them in order of priority for the average solver, this would be my list:

Gem 3
Gem 4
Gem 2
Gem 7
Gem 1
Gem 8
Gem 6
Gem 5

If you reckon any or all of these would make a great addition to your collection, then...


I trust this review was helpful. Leave any questions or comments below.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Crazy Octahedron Standard

The Crazy Octahedron Standard is one of the set of Crazy Octahedra, released by mf8+dayan. These are obviously twisty puzzles in an octahedral shape. The set contains puzzles which have some circle faces and some non-circle faces. On this puzzle, all faces are non-circle faces. You can buy this puzzle here.

The Basic Plot
  1. Solve Edges
  2. Solve Triangles
  3. Solve Corners
1. Solve Edges

The first stage is to solve the edges. This is done quite simply by turning edges into place, or by using the edge piece series (eg. L'ULU').


2. Solve Triangles

The triangles are placed by using a double edge piece series flip. This move is

L' R L R'    F R' F' R

This flips the UFL and UFR corners. It also flips the two sets of triangles connected to those corners which are on the Up face. For our purposes, we don't care about corners, so we can flip triangles in this way. Most of the time, you will need one or two setup moves to position appropriate triangles so they can be flipped.

If you're down to the last two triangles, or just need another pair of the same colour to flip, you can perform the setup move R DR. This will place a pair of triangles of the same colour at the UFR position, meaning that only the triangles in UFL will be involved in the flip.


3. Solve Corners

The last stage of the solve is to place the corners. To do this, we will use a sequence based on the edge piece series. This sequence is

L' R L R'   B DL B' DL'   R L' R' L    DL B DL' B'

This first cycles three corners on the front face. It then replaces the upper corner with another unused corner. Then it undoes these moves. The overall effect is to cycle the three corners at FD->UFL->UB.

The mirror can also be used, namely

R L' R' L    B' DR' B DR    L' R L R'   DR' B' DR B

If the last two corners are in position but flipped, then move them out of position using the sequence above and involving a 3rd corner. Then place them back into position correctly oriented.



And that's it. Your Crazy Octahedron Standard is now solved. I trust this site has been helpful. If you have any questions or want some clarifications, please use the comments to do so. To buy this puzzle, click here.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Curvy Copter 3

The Curvy Copter 3 is a twisty puzzle which is related to the curvy copter. It's cut deeper, though, and so new pieces are opened up. The curvy copter 3 can be jumbled, but in this tutorial, I will not be involving jumbling. The puzzle is interesting and challenging enough without jumbling. To buy this puzzle, click here.

The Basic Plot
  1. Solve Edges and Centers
  2. Solve Petals
  3. Solve Pentagons
  4. Solve Corners
Step 1: Solve Edges and Centers

Solving the edges is simple. They can't move, but can only rotate. Turn them so all edges are correctly oriented. To place centers, carry out (UL UR) x 2 and similar. This keeps edges intact.


Step 2: Solve Petals

To solve the petals, I'll use a sequence based around the edge piece series. It's 

(UL UR)x2  UB UF UB  (UR UL)x2   UB UF UB

This will cycle a petal on the left face to the up face to the front face. No other pieces are moved. Of course, the mirror can be used to involve a petal on the right face. The sequence itself is super simple. The hard part in this stage can be the setups required.


Step 3: Solve Pentagons

To solve the pentagons, I'll be using another sequence based around the edge piece series. It's

((UF UR)x2  FR) x 4

Again, it's incredibly easy to remember and carry out, and there are almost no setups. This will cycle the F(ul) pentagon to the U(fr) pentagon to the R(ur) pentagon. No other pieces are moved.


Step 4: Solve Corners

To solve the corners, I'll use a sequence which is a corner piece series followed by its mirror. On a standard cube, we would turn the upper, right and left faces. On this puzzle, there are no faces, so instead, we'll turn the up-front edge, up-left edge and up-right edge. The sequence is

(UF UR UF UL)x2   (UF UL UF UR)x2

This will cycle FLU->URF->RUB. No other pieces are moved. Using this sequence we can place and orient corners at the same time.




And that's it. Your Curvy Copter 3 is now solved. I trust this site has been helpful. If you have any questions or want some clarifications, please use the comments to do so. To buy this puzzle, click here.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Geared Mixup

The Geared Mixup is a cubic shaped twisty puzzle. This puzzle is absolute top quality and is a must-have for any collection. It continues the gear puzzle tradition but takes it to another level. There are no sticker issues and the puzzle looks brand new after 30 solves. It's a challenging solve. You can buy this puzzle here.

The Basic Plot
  1. Solve Outer 2x2x2
  2. Place Centers
  3. Place Edges
  4. Rotate Edges
  5. Flip Edges
1. Solve Outer 2x2x2

The first stage is to solve the outer 2x2x2. By this, I mean the large corners. Forget everything else and just place the 8 corners. Do this using your favourite 2x2x2 method.


2. Place Centers

To place the centers we'll use the basic move for this whole solve. This move is

(F4 R' F4' R) x 3

This sequence swaps the UB and DF edges as well as the U and D centers. It also rotates the two centers on the L and R faces.

We ignore the edges and use setups, such as R B R' to place the centers. It's simple and quick and you should make the most of it.


3. Place Edges

To place the edges, we use precisely the same sequence as above. Our centers will swap but they won't leave the center positions. Continue swapping edges until all are in their correct positions. Note that it makes no difference whether they are rotated or flipped or correctly oriented.

Help! My Edges Are Solved But 4 Centers Are Out!

If all edges are solved but some centers are unsolved, you'll notice that there will be four centers unplaced all on the same axis. To deal with this, hold the puzzle so that the wrong centers are moving from up to down. Now simply turn either the left or right face 4 turns. This places the centers correctly but swaps two sets of edges. Use the basic move to swap them back. After the first set of edges is swapped back, ensure that when you swap back the second set, the last pair of centers is also swapped.


4. Rotate Edges

In this stage of the solve, we flatten any edges pointing up by rotating them. To do this, I use a sequence based on the basic move used so far. Here it is:

U'   [ (F4 R' F4' R) x 3     U2     (R'  F4  R  F4') x 3     U2' ]    U

This sequence rotates the FL and FR pieces anticlockwise and the BL and BR pieces clockwise. It also moves around some edges. One edge in particular is always moved out of its correct axis. We need to put this piece back by (normally) carrying out U' (F4 R' F4' R) x 3  U. Once this is done, the pieces at FR and BL are then flattened. The end result is that only two edges are rotated. There is no need at all to place the other edges (or centers) back in their correct positions. As long as they're in their correct axes, all is well.


Help! I Have A Single Edge To Twist!


A single twisted edge means that one of the centers is also twisted. We can't see it, but that's the only explanation. So we put a center in the BL position along with the twisted edge in the FL position. The key thing is to ensure that the FR and BL positions must both be edges. To accomplish this, we use the setup

R B' R'  y  D2  B'

Then rotate the edge and center. Finally undo the setup moves.

Help! There Are Two Edges on Different Axes!

If one of the edges is on a different axis to the other, use setups to turn it into the BL position. However, make sure you turn it from the UR position. 

Once the rotation is done and setups are undone, you will definitely find that some centers have been dislodged. Put them back in the same way as above. Then return all edges to their correct axes.

You may find that you again have a single twisted corner. While annoying, it's perfectly possible and just means you need to carry out its fix once again.


5. Flip Edges

Flipping edges is much less involved than rotating edges. The sequence used is almost identical, however.

U'   [ (F4 R' F4' R) x 3     U4     (R'  F4  R  F4') x 3     U4' ]    U

This sequence flips the FR and BL edges.

The very cool thing is that it makes no difference whether there are an odd or even number of edges. If you are left with a single flipped edge, just place a center into the other edge's position and carry out the flipping sequence.



And that's it. Your Geared Mixup is now solved. I trust this site has been helpful. If you have any questions or want some clarifications, please use the comments to do so. To buy this puzzle, click here.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Crazy 2Face Puzzle Kit - Awesome Value and Lots of Puzzles!

Back in early 2013, I had an idea. Ideas don't come that often to me, so I held onto this one. It seemed worthwhile. I'd been struggling with the Crazy Uranus Tetrahedron for a while, and was really getting nowhere with it. I still find it pretty impossible, as evidenced by the fact that there's no link to it on this blog. The Crazy Uranus Tetrahedron has 3 faces which have "0" centers (meaning the pieces inside the circle stay fixed when the face turns), and a 4th face which has no circle parts at all. The thing about a face with non-circle pieces interacting with a "0" face is that any non-circle pieces on the "0" face will prevent that face from turning. It's a pig. Really. It makes life incredibly difficult, particularly when there's hardly anywhere to hide those non-circle pieces.

[Now, in case you're wondering, yes, I'm going to tell you how to get your hands on what I'm talking about in this post. Stay tuned for details on some amazing puzzles for a relatively small amount of money.]

Inventing The 2Face Cube

So anyway, mf8 (who put out the crazy tetrahedron series) had already named the "0" face as well as the "1" face (where the circle pieces turn when the face is turned). And on the tetrahedra, they had some faces which had no circles, which they named "2" faces. Have a look at this diagram and things will make sense.


Mf8 had also released a series of Crazy Planet 3x3x3 cubes. Same deal. Six faces.

I had a thought (yep, this is THE thought...) that maybe if I made a cube with five "0" faces and one "2" face (as in, a normal Rubik's cube face), it would give me more room and help me to figure out how to go about solving the crazy uranus tetrahedron. So I grabbed a spare mf8 planet cube and modified one face worth of pieces, to change it from a circle face to a non-circle face. This was done using some superglue, milliput and sandpaper. A pretty simple mod.

I realised that even with just that single new "2" face, I had a kit. Just change the centers on the circle faces and I'd get different puzzles.

And thus was born the Crazy 2Face kit.

Presenting the 2Face Cube Kit

In March, 2013, I presented it on the Twisty Puzzles forum. You can go have a look here if you'd like. It got some good reactions, probably because it was such a simple mod but created a whole new series of puzzles. Later, I made a video showing how to make the kit. Here's a schematic of the original Crazy 2Face puzzles. Note that I actually had enough parts to make a set of puzzles with one "2" face as well as a set of puzzles with two "2" faces.



Puzzles A through K are those with a single "2" face. Puzzles L through Z have two "2" faces. You can imagine how excited I was to discover that there were 26 puzzles in total! Alas, it turned out that there were two duplicates. What I haven't shown above is the chart of Crazy 2Face puzzles with three, four and five "2" faces. (Obviously a puzzle with six "2" faces is a Rubik's cube.)

If you have a good look at the chart above you'll notice that the yellow face is always a "2" face. This was a decision on my part based on .... I have no idea. But in some, the green or white faces are also "2" faces. If the two "2" faces were next to each other (Linear) it was yellow and green. If they were separated (Non-linear) it was yellow and white.

Puzzle D above shows the red, white and orange faces being "0" faces, the blue and green faces being "1" faces and the yellow face being a "2" face.

The Eleven Iconic 2Face Puzzles

Here's a chart of just the 11 "iconic" Crazy 2Face puzzles (those which have only one "2" face). See if you can figure out the naming scheme for the duplicate planets. These duplicate planet puzzles are different puzzles.



2Face Puzzles With More Than One 2Face

So, just how many possible "2" face puzzles can be made?

35.

That number takes into account all  "2" face puzzles with one, two, three, four or five "2" faces and at least one circle face. It should be noted that the single puzzle with five "2" faces is not worth thinking about, as it can only really be scrambled like a Rubik's cube.

So let's call it 34.

My friend on the twisty puzzles forum, Burgo, took hold of the Crazy 2Face idea and sent it to a different stratosphere. He ended up making and selling a bunch of kits which he called "Crazy B4Cube". These things had bandaging all over the place and were a labour of love. This was all well and good (and it was good!) but partly due to this, and partly due to my own inability to get into solving the Crazy 2Face puzzles at the time, the Crazy 2Face series/kit/puzzles sort of got forgotten.

That is, until earlier this year, when Burgo suggested to Calvin Fan, of hknowstore.com, that he partner with mf8 to make and sell the 11 iconic Crazy 2Face puzzles.

And that's what happened. Sort of.

The 2Face Kit Is Released

There is indeed now a kit available from nowstore which will enable you to easily make all 11 of the iconic Crazy 2Face puzzles. Fantastic! This is really good news because puzzlers have long been saying we need more kits, rather than individual puzzles.

However, I think there are two issues with this approach.

1. The kit is a nowstore exclusive. This means that only nowstore can sell them. Great for nowstore. Not so great for people who don't visit nowstore. My problem with "exclusives" is that they limit and constrict the ability of puzzles and puzzlers to connect. Not so good. And from my own point of view, I think these puzzles are brilliant, and I want as many other people to experience them as well. Exclusivity doesn't help that. I should also say that I was sent some kits by nowstore as a recognition of it being my design, but I don't get any "royalties" from any other kits which are sold.

2. Having the puzzles in kit form meant that it sort of appeared on nowstore with no fanfare, no explanation, and worst of all, no picture of an actual 2face puzzle. It was quickly pushed down the list by other puzzles, and once again, seems to have gotten lost in the mix. What you see instead is an unstickered black puzzle with a set of stickers, center caps, a set of planets logos, and an "rline" sticker. 


[For those wondering, rline is me, and it was a nice gesture to make a sticker showing me as the inventor.]

Now, I ask you, does that image above make you want to buy whatever-it-is-being-sold? No, me neither.

What they should have done is

1. Release the kit as they've done but showing a stickered "ready-to-go" puzzle as well.
2. Release each individual puzzle with its own photo, stickered, in all its glory, selling each individual puzzle as cheaply as possible.

I don't run nowstore so it is what it is...

Getting A Kit With ALL 2Face Puzzles

So where does that leave us?

Well, the kit itself is $28. That means you can have 11 Crazy 2Face puzzles for around $2.55 each. Pretty cool. And believe me, these puzzles aren't the sort of puzzles you pick up, solve in 2 seconds, and never touch again. They're much more interesting than that.

But what about the 2face puzzles with two or more "2" faces?

Well the kit in itself won't get you any of them. But you can make ALL the Crazy 2Face puzzles (not just 2face puzzles with a single 2face) by buying

* one crazy 3x3 plus - 4 circle faces (F, R, B, L) cube




* one crazy 3x3 plus - 2 circle faces (U, D) cube



Yep, that's all you need to make all 34 of the 2face puzzles. But it gets better! Not only can you make all the 2face puzzles, you can also make ALL the Crazy 3x3x3 Planet cubes as well! Plus a Circle cube! Plus a Rubik's Cube!

At current prices, with each puzzle costing $23, that's 44 puzzles for $46. I make that to be around $1.05 per puzzle. Incredible value!

Even cooler, there's the possibility to make many more hybrid puzzles using 2face parts on circle faces and vice versa.

2Face Puzzles, Stickered And Ready To Go!

And what do the puzzles look like in all their glory? Beause I wanted a few more permanent members of the Crazy 2Face set, I went ahead and made
  • 8 of the single 2face puzzles to have as standalone puzzles
  • 2 of the two "2face" puzzles to serve as a kit for all the two "2face" puzzles
  • 2 of the three "2face" puzzles to serve as a kit for all the three "2face" puzzles
  • 2 of the four "2face" puzzles to serve as a kit for all the four "2face" puzzles
Here's a photo of my 14 Crazy 2Face puzzles.


A while back, I wrote a post called The Best Value Twisty Puzzle Ever???

This Crazy2Face series isn't quite in that category, but it's not far off.

If you'd like to add just the 11 iconic Crazy 2Face puzzles to your collection, you can go here.

If you'd like to be able to make all 44 possible puzzles, you can go here.

Charts With Colour Scheme Of ALL 2Face Puzzles

All the single 2face puzzles



All the two 2face puzzles


All the three 2face puzzles


All the four 2face puzzles


Constructing And Stickering Your Kit

Alright. So you've bought the 2 required puzzles. Now what do you do?

First, if you twist the puzzles and find them turning badly, don't worry at all. All these mf8 puzzles do that at the start. They improve dramatically with use and with a drop or two of lube.

Now, let's sticker.

Grab the 4-circle face puzzle and sticker it as follows:

U- 2face - Orange
D- 2face - Red
F- circle face - White
R- circle face - Blue
B- circle face - Yellow
L- circle face - Green

Grab the 2-circle face puzzle and sticker it as follows

U- circle face - Orange
D- circle face - Red
F- 2face - White
R- 2face - Blue
B- 2face - Yellow
L- 2face - Green

Having done that, you'll now have 2face pieces in every colour, and circle face pieces in every colour. You'll also have six "0" face centers, and six "1" face centers.

To construct your desired puzzle, simply pull apart the individual puzzle pieces and mix and match to get what you want. It's incredibly easy to do. But if you're having any trouble, please...