Message #738

From: Anthony Deschamps <>
Subject: Re: [MC4D] Announcing MagicCube4D version 4.0 beta ready for download!
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 14:21:58 -0400

Hi all,

Thanks for the kind words. Like you, Chris, I did a bit of work with reset
puzzles in order to come up with my algorithms, and I recorded macros when
they were too long or tedious for me to remember every time. I could do
them manually, but macros are quite convenient.

My general strategy was to solve as much of the puzzle as I could by leaving
one side unsolved for working space, partly to cut down on the number of
twists (2000 right on) but mostly so that I could delay having to come up
with algorithms for really specific things until I had a better
understanding of the puzzle.

My advice to you would be to take care of the 2C parity problems right away
(but don’t worry about temporarily messing them up during the rest of your
solution) A lot of the other parity problems are almost non issues if
you’re using one side as working space, since it’s easy to reorientate a
piece however you want.

While we’re on the topic of the wiki, would it be possible for whoever
administers it (I’m assuming it’s you, Melinda) to allow for log files to be
uploaded? That way we wouldn’t have to copy them as text, which, in my
case, was quite long and doesn’t really mean anything when viewed in the
wiki. I’m glad to hear that Chris looked at my solution, which means that I
didn’t miss anything when I copied it.

I think I’ll go read about the notation used to define puzzles. I figured
out some of it by looking at the predefined puzzles, but I’m sure if I learn
more I’ll be able to come up with some interesting stuff.


On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 11:54 AM, Roice Nelson <> wrote:

> Hi Chris,
> You’re welcome, and thanks for all your appreciation :D This also gives me
> the opportunity to publicly thank Melinda and Don myself. When Melinda
> shared this with me in mid-June, I was blown away. Don did an amazing job
> with the bones of the program (I think he experiences permutation puzzles on
> a higher plane of existence, or maybe a better way to put it is "on a
> hyperplane of existence"), and Melinda has been amazing in making those
> bones a polished product. I’m really thankful to have been included, and
> feel privileged to get to play a part with it.
> Congrats to Anthony too. I was using the the "{5}x{4} 3" as a test run of
> the program, so he trumped me as well :) To answer your question on the
> wiki, the sky is the limit. One reason we wanted to do the wiki was to give
> power to everybody in helping to direct things like this. I think a list of
> "full solutions in order of achievement" type table would be nice to have
> for each puzzle, and I encourage you to start one for this puzzle as soon as
> you complete your solution. The wiki could evolve a number of ways as the
> number of solutions grow, but in my mind I was imagining a main puzzle page
> with a basic list of all the puzzles and the first/shortest, which linked to
> a puzzle specific page for each. The latter would have info about each
> puzzle (maybe a picture, the piece/permutation counts, etc), and the full
> list of everyone who has solved it, as well as the history of shortests.
> I’ve been pleased to see that things already look to be heading this
> direction, and I guess we’ll see how it turns out!
> Thanks also for your thoughts on solutions. I am finding the pentagonal
> duoprism quite challenging, with (dare I say) "parity problems" wreaking
> havoc for me. I hope to complete it at some point as well.
> All the best,
> Roice
> On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 6:44 AM, Chris Locke <>wrote:
>> First of all, I want to thank Melinda and Roice for writing and sharing
>> this great piece of software with the world! You’ve done a great job and we
>> are all very thankful for your hard work.
>> Second, I want to congratulate those who have solved some of the new
>> puzzles so far. In particular, Anthony for solving the 3 layer deep
>> pentagonal duoprism. I actually started working on the same puzzle too a
>> few days ago and managed to solve about half the puzzle before you uploaded
>> your solution to the wiki. Congrats! Upon looking at your solution, I see
>> you were able to solve the puzzle with much more finess than I have been
>> working with. I tend to rely on macros quite a bit to work my way out from
>> 2 color pieces, up to the 4 color pieces. As such, I often work with reset
>> puzzles to find algorithms to permute/orient just the pieces I want, and
>> then use these algorithms to build up other algorithms. So really, my way
>> of solving is mostly just being careful and patient. It also helps that
>> after a while, you find out what kind of moves tend to give potential good
>> algorithms. Commutators are one useful building block. Also, you can
>> sometimes find new algorithms by taking other sequences (like a simple
>> aba’b’) and applying it multiple times. Doing this you will sometimes find
>> it fixes much of what it does, leaving just what you need moved around (like
>> it’s almost nilpotent). Of course, conjugation can then vastly increase the
>> usefulness of each algorithm. …. but that’s a bit more of a digression
>> than I intended :D
>> Before I forget, this actually brings me to a question I have. Will there
>> also be a record page for everyone who’s solved the puzzles, not just the
>> first and shortest solutions? If not, then I will still finish my puzzle,
>> but I won’t be in as much of a hurry, so I can do other things too in my
>> evenings :D. However if we will have such a list, I might try to finish it
>> earlier rather than later if I find the time.
>> Chris