Message #4169

From: jonathan nifenecker <>
Subject: new member introduction
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2018 22:44:54 +0100

Hi everyone !

I just got into the 4D solver group as the 379th 3^4 solver \o/

So as the last member being invited in this community, let me introduced

I’m 31, I grew up in the east of France (~1h to the border with
Schwitzerland) and I’m currently living in Paris since 1.5 years. I plan
not to stay here more than ~5 years, big town are cool in some aspect but
also crazy in others (I mainly use my bike to move around)… I bet the
weight of the usefull side will slowly be compensated by the annoying side
as my patience decay… :p

I have a master degree in electrical engineering with an embedded software
minor, and since I work I gradually moved from 95% electrical/5%
programming job to a full 100% programming one in embedded software for IOT
solution. I still tweak and play with hardware for some never-finished
hobby project at home.

The one extravagant things in my work history is being the
logistic/technical support in an military/scientific base on a french
isolated island ‘Archipel Crozet’. I was in the scientific part and for one
year lived with 24 to 36 max people and on a regular basis had to catch
penguins (for research purposes) while avoiding wild elephant seals (easy,
they are fat and lazy ;) and wild eared seals (not so easy, they are very
territorial and aggressive)!
There has been a ‘portrait’ of me on the island official blog (in french)
for some picture and details:

On a hobby side, my story with the cubes start when I was ~17 and first
solved a classic rubik’s cube I had for years. I’m almost ashamed now to
have to admit that I solved it following blindly the classic layer solution
that I memorized… But after that the logic of commutator and the various
way to perform the 4 basic algo clicked in, and I went to the
pyramid/dodecahedre version and the 4 and 5 layer cubes.
I did stumble at the 4d cube around that time but it seemed so impossibly
understandable that I didn’t give it a real try.

Fast forward 10 to 15 years, until a few month back, and I discover,
**amazed**, the number of twisty puzzle variation that exist now and that
I’m pretty sure wasn’t around before!
In my memory the 9x9x9 (or 11x11x11 I’m not sure) was considered during my
first cube-mania as the biggest layer-cube possibly buildable and truly
manipulable due to mechanical problems that have been clearly solved since !

So I recently had a lot of fun playing with some mixup/bandage cube with
edges/corner rotation axis.
I never look for solutions and always use my own very graphical notation
for my notes (I can’t properly execute one of those LR’FRU’L anyway… And
I’m now a fan of isometric paper to make a clean sum-up of what I will not

When completely solved, I sometimes look for other peoples solution in
video without paying attention to the formula. It’s just to see the logical
order of the step they use to compare to my solution, and maybe try their
order. For example I only found people solving the skewb cube starting with
corner then fix the centers, while I start with a 2 center/2 corner block,
then all center, then fix all corner. I since figured out that indeed, the
center are quite simple to permute.

When considering to buy a new cube, I also like to see how it move. I find
that this is needed as their is so much different type to differentiate
which will be an interesting puzzle/ just a tedious one / just a fancy skin
on an already known puzzle…

From video link to video link I ended up seeing the Mathologer video on the
4d cube. It was an eye opener that the logic I know is easily adaptable and
that I might actually solve it now. I stopped the video before having too
much clue and went to try the 3^4 cube.

I’m very proud of having succeeded, given the number of people ‘in the
club’. I’m also quite surprised by the time it took me to solve. It did
take me around 10-12h in total I think but I was expecting it to be 3 to 5
times more !

My next step will be the 4^4, as I want to play with the ‘inner layer
cubee’. I plan to solve it by first reducing it to a 2^4 because that is my
favorite way to solve a 4x4x4 cube.

I will also certainly give a try to some non-hypercube 4D puzzle to get a
different kind of challenge too.

I’m a big fan of puzzle game in general, I find that cubes-like ones are
just one type that have the advantage to be convenient and pleasing to
manipulate while having a good range of variety and complexity. I also use
the Simon Tatham puzzle collection on mobile all the time ( ). It is in fact the
only ‘game’ app I have on my phone.
One of my current side-project is to actually add a new game to this
collection. It is already working and playable, but for the moment my
solver is too ‘brute-force’ and as a result, a mid-size grid already takes
way too long to be guaranteed to have a unique solution… I still have to
figure out if it is event possible to avoid solving the grid in the first
place by generating grids guaranteed to have a unique solution: There is a
pattern that if appearing at least twice seems necessary (but not
sufficient) to the multiple solutions state.

I guess that sum up most of what is relevant here :) I didn’t go through
much of the log of the mailing list, but I guess that my story will in good
part not be so unique as I’m sure we will have many things in common. I’m
very happy to now be on such a specific interest mailing list and look
forward to the discussion and material I’ll get from it !

Have a nice day!