Message #1168

From: Andrew Gould <>
Subject: 3^4 solved
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 14:12:56 -0500

Yay me, I’ve solved the 3^4 cube for the 1st time. I am proud that the only
advice I took was Roice’s webpage saying ‘get the 4C pieces into place
first’…if I even read it right. I learned the 3^3 cube around age 12 in
1993 from memorizing someone’s book. Slowly over 17 years I combined two
steps into one here…two steps into one there…etc. I think this is what
helped me come up with macros to solve the 3^4.

Here, I got the 4Cs into place, then oriented them, then the 2Cs into
place*, then oriented them, then got the 3Cs into place, then oriented them.
I’m pretty sure I could have done fewer moves with: 4Cs into place, 3Cs
into place, orienting 4Cs and 3Cs, getting 2Cs into place, then orienting
the 2Cs. I was proud to be prepared for the possible state of everything
perfect except for one 3C piece being disoriented…however, I didn’t run
into that due to semi-deliberate careful planning. *The toughest macro to
come up with was permuting the last two 2C pieces when all the 4Cs were in
place and correctly oriented. That took about three days mainly because I
was only putting 2 hours/day into it. I’m proud that I held off asking for
help and found a solution to it. After that, I cruised to the solved state.

I’m a math TA (Teaching Assistant) and a PhD student in mathematics at the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I got my AMEP degree (Applied Math
Engineering and Physics) from UW-Madison in 2004, and I got my masters
degree in 2007 from UW-Milwaukee. My #1 hobby is videogame playing (right
now I’m busy editing a board in the forge in Halo Reach). Puzzles in
general are also a great hobby for me– it’s mainly been 3D puzzles for my
hands. I also hope to get healthy again to play sports such as basketball
and touch football.

I will definitely look at other puzzles and most likely solve at least
another over the next year. For now I plan to further compare possible
states of MC4D to those if 3x3x1x1 sections were allowed to twist (possibly
with a professor or two), look at features of MC7D, and come up with a wish
list to the programmers.