The past week or two I picked up a couple new released puzzles. Unfortunately, these new puzzles don’t offer much challenge as they are simply platonic shifts of pre-existing puzzles. The first being the Helicopter Dodecahedron.
Many puzzle enthusiasts have probably already jumped on the Helicopter Cube which was released over a year ago. Solving the Helicopter Dodecahedron doesn’t offer much more of a challenge other than more pieces to place and the newly added inner edge pieces. Though, this may not be a new addition for you if you had a chance to play with TomZ’s Curvy Copter variant.
I picked one of these up awhile back, though the Shapeway’s material is gritty and feels light and unstable, the puzzle is quite sound and beautifully designed. Check out Tom’s Curvy Copter and other puzzles on Shapeways.com
You can see how on Tom’s Curvy Copter cube there are added inner edge pieces that you won’t find on the normal helicopter cube. Don’t panic though as they just require slight consideration when solving and doesn’t really complicate the solution process.
End game in the puzzle is also quite easy as you can use pretty much the same algorithms as the normal Helicopter Cube. Some algs may need slight alterations due to the pentagonal faces, similarly as one would alter certain algs from a 3×3 to a megaminx.
The second puzzle I picked up was the Starminx. This puzzle is very beautiful, but turning was pretty stiff upon opening. This is the Corner turning variant of the Starminx family. I picked up both a white and black version but I favor the white as the colors seem to appear to be more vibrant.
The puzzle solves similarly to a dino/rainbow cube or the edge pieces of a rex cube. It is also similar to that of the pyraminx as the inner corner pieces are fixed to the core and reveal the placement of the edges.
Solving this puzzle is fairly straight forward and one can widdle down the entire puzzle using the reduction process. One might encounter an odd orientation case but “walking” an edge piece around an entire face will fix this issue.
Other than that, the puzzle doesn’t offer much challenge and will probably take you longer to sticker than to solve. I would like to get my hands on either a face-turning or edge-turning starminx someday, as they may prove to be more challenging.
The final puzzle I picked up was more for novelty sake. Mefferts released their line of bandaged cubes. I picked up the original bandaged cube just for kicks as I’ve wanted one since 2003, where I got to play with one at the Rubik’s World Championships. At one of the parties at the hotel, one troubled cuber was complaining about how difficult the puzzle was, after about 20 minutes of playing around with it, I handed the puzzle back to him solved.
In later years, I moded some 3×3′s into bandaged cubes and gave them to some friends but never actually kept one for myself. Plus Mefferts had been out of stock of the item for so long I figured I’d jump on it while it was available.
The key to the puzzle is the lone corner piece as this piece will unlock the faces that can be turned. All other corner pieces have been fused to edge pieces which makes the puzzle easy to bind. Knowing these limitations, you mainly have a one way street with moving the pieces around until you get them sorted into a formation that allows 3 faces to be turned.
All you need is a bit of time and some patience and you can trial and error your way through the puzzle.
As always, if you need more help, or explanations of any puzzle, feel free to hit me up and I will try and create a walk-through. Happy cubing