Message #1594

From: Brandon Enright <>
Subject: Re: [MC4D] Latch Cube
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 18:22:32 +0000

Hash: SHA1

On Fri, 25 Mar 2011 11:06:40 -0700 or thereabouts Melinda Green
<> wrote:

> OK I’m going to embarrass myself here. I’ve only glanced at a couple
> photos and videos of the latch cube but I can’t see what makes it
> different from the normal 3^3. It looks like you can make any twist
> you like but to get some 90 degree twists you need just need to do a
> -270 degree twist. Can somebody tell me why it is interesting?
> Thanks,
> -Melinda

Hi Melinda,

When I first saw the latch cube photos I came to the same conclusion.
What happens though is that if you do a 90 degree twist on a face, the
arrows along the side of those 4 edges will move through the 4 adjacent
faces and for each adjacent face, if the new edge’s arrow happens to be
pointing the opposite direction from the existing arrows on that face
then you can’t turn that face anymore.

So while you can always undo a 90 degree twist by just doing another
270 degrees of twisting, often the intermediate twist before you do a
full circle will block adjacent faces from moving.

Even scrambling the latch cube seems hard. The puzzle easily ends up
in a bandaged face mess which makes analysis of it quite difficult.

I really dislike this sort of bandaging. A lot of others seem
to really like the challenge though. The Crazy 3x3x3 and Megaminx
planet series puzzles are another such set of oddly bandaged puzzles.


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