Message #3170

Subject: Solved 5^4 After 13+ Year Gap from 3^4
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 00:36:18 -0700

This might be a record in a way. :)

I just finished solving the 5x5x5x5 on first attempt about 34 hours ago.
I went with the very first scramble I got, and used NO MACROS.

It took a little over 1 week off and on. I started the previous Sunday morning and finished Sunday afternoon. I wasn’t really going for optimal moves, but I think it came out really well.

The only other time I played with MC4D was back in 2002 when I did a single 3x3x3x3 attempt and then abandoned it. As I recall, it took me a whopping 3 weeks to solve. I supposed I learned a ton of advanced math since then, which may have helped (but then forgot most of it).

This is what happened with the strategy that I took:

I think the overall move count is really good. Seems like I got more efficient as the stages went by. It seems like grouping the centers took up A TON of turns for me (1399 or 44.1%). Not sure how to improve this phase. But the later steps seem really good to me. At 2746, it induced a 3^5 with face centers (2c) solved, which then took me 423 turns to finish solving – which according to the Hall of Shortest is FAR from good, but I’m still quite proud of it. Actually, if you add that to the 98 turns it took me to place the 2c triplets, then I essentially solved a 3^4 in 512 moves which still lands me in "rest of mankind>500" – although possibly within top 10. The core grouping stage probably has a lot of room for improvement as well.

How do other people’s move break-downs look? Perhaps some of you use a completely different approach – different sequence of stages. I do want to hear about your experiences with it (by that I mean solving "{4,3,3} N" with N>3).