Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The 5x5x3 is a twisty puzzle which is a cuboid when solved, but which can shapeshift when scrambled. The one I'm using is a handmade, pillowed version made by Hunter Palshook. It is an absolutely superb puzzle.

The Basic Plot

  1. Reduce to Cuboid Shape
  2. Solve the Reduced Cuboid
Step 1: Reduce to Cuboid Shape

The first stage in solving this puzzle is to return it to a cuboid form, rather than shapeshifted form. To do this simply, we will make use of the corner piece series for standard cubes and cuboids.

Here are the steps which form the basic solve outline...

  1. Place 4 white/yellow edges in correct orientation onto either the white or yellow face. Call this the top face.
  2. Place 3 middle edges.
  3. Place the remaining 4 white/yellow edges along with the 4th middle edge. (The above is basically the same as placing edges on a Rubik's cube).
  4. Place the 8 white/yellow center-corners by using the CPS.
  5. Move the protruding outer corners around until there are freely moving side faces. Then, use the CPS for cuboids to flatten these corners. (At this stage, the puzzle will be in cuboid form but will have bits sticking out.)
  6. Swap any top face center-edges with middle layer center-edges and then re-flatten corners using CPS.
  7. Check that all middle layer edges are correctly oriented. If not, flip them, using a double EPS.

By now, the puzzle will be in correctly reduced cuboid form.

If the above steps seem difficult, they are not. Please watch the video below where I go through all the above and (hopefully) make things very clear and simple.

Step 2: Solve the Reduced Cuboid

We now have a scrambled but non-shapeshifted 5x5x3.

From here, we reduce the puzzle to what is essentially a 3x3x2. To do this,

  1. Solve the white/yellow and middle layer centers.
  2. Create edge triplets in the same way as for a 5x5x5 cube.
  3. Deal with the possible parity problem where two edges are swapped. My method for doing this does not require long algorithms. It is simple, and I believe, quite unique. It is quite difficult to explain in words though, so I'll show it in the video.
  4. Place the edge triplets.
  5. Place the corners using CPS.
This video will show the whole process.

And that's it. Your 5x5x3 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.


  1. Beautiful!
    Your reduction to a cuboid shape is ever so slightly different to mine but is still very elegant. I base mine on SuperAntonioVivaldi's technique. Whilst there are very few of these puzzles around, there should be more as it is a terrific basic starter on the floppy cuboids - I do hope that some company mass produces it.


    1. Yeah that's a good point Kevin. People use what they're comfortable with and you can't fight that! I find that my ideal dream world would be to be able to pick up any puzzle on my shelf and be able to solve it without resorting to notes. I'd say a good number I can do like that, but not all. For me, simplicity is the goal.

  2. Thanks Kevin

    I haven't watched any of SAV's video on this puzzle, apart from the parity fix. I'm quite sure my parity fix is different and fairly unique. I agree with you though this should be mass-produced!

    1. Your parity fix is totally different and quicker than his. I tend to use his one because it is almost muscle memory for me now!