Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cubing without even trying to - Part 2

Saturday a week ago, I had a lot of time to sit in the car and I presumed that I would have plenty of time to tackle my problem with the two Disney cubes, pictured above with my 25th Anniversary cube. The Disney cube on the right has Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto on it. Each face has a colored background and a differently colored burst on it. It didn't take too long to narrow down which pieces went with which center once I got once face done correctly. It was finished by 10 after 7 that morning, even with other distractions and eating breakfast-like substance in the car. As with most picture cubes, once it is clear what goes where the only thing that makes it different from a standard Rubik's cube is that the orientation of the center piece matters.

The second Disney cube, the one on the left, was more problematic. The six centers had either Daisy's or Minnie's face on them, plus one edge piece had Minnie's face on it. The remainder of the pieces were either pink, light green or sky blue, with either polka dots or flower patterns. I was able to figure out that almost every face had some combination of two colors on it, but it was rarely clear what went where as some pieces were just a bow on the background color with nothing that specifically tied it to an adjacent sticker. I never managed to complete any face, and I don't think I managed to be certain about more than three pieces going together. I abandoned it for Saturday, and looked at it again on Sunday, hoping that perhaps I would be saved by Google Image Search. Sadly most of my searches for a picture of these cubes yielded either the official Disney Rubik's Cube (which is a standard size cube far easier to solve than either of these) and a few of the links led back to the previous Friday's post. I looked at it again a few times subsequently but I had no breakthroughs. Given enough time, I suppose that I could have scanned the stickers and printed them out and treated them like 6 small jigsaw puzzles, which could have corrected for the possibility that some of the stickers had been moved prior to my attempt at solving it, but as the other one had not been tampered with, it was probably not the first thing I should have assumed.

I handed back the cubes on Friday, one solved, one unsolved, with the promise that if someone can tell me what the pictures are, I can get it solved in 10 minutes or so. (I never want to lowball a solve time for a keychain size cube since turning them too hard can result in injury or a broken cube.) In part 3, we'll get into the math of a picture cube when you don't know what the picture is.

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