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[Help Thread] mf8 Unicorn Cube help wanted

Discussion in 'Cubing Help & Questions' started by Brett Stephenson, May 26, 2018.

  1. Brett Stephenson

    Brett Stephenson Member

    11
    1
    Jul 26, 2017
    I have a pretty sizable non WCA puzzle collection but I mainly only solve WCA puzzles and want to start learning how to solve the non WCA portion of my collection. I just got the mf8 Unicorn Cube from Puzzlcrate and was looking for some tips to get started with it, like a method. Or should I just go in blind and try it without knowledge? https://imgur.com/a/BJNg4Ja
     
  2. Mike Hughey

    Mike Hughey Super Moderator Staff Member

    9,142
    951
    Jun 7, 2007
    Indianapolis
    WCA:
    2007HUGH01
    YouTube:
    MikeHughey1
    I definitely prefer to solve any puzzle I get without any help the first time I try it; I always feel like I'm cheating if I look up a method before I solve it the first time. One thing I like to do if I don't want to invest too much time into a new puzzle, but nonetheless want to learn to solve it without any help, is to spend time as soon as I get the puzzle doing repetitive algorithms to try to find some useful algorithms before I scramble the puzzle. Being able to figure out commutators on the puzzle before scrambling it can be particularly helpful to learning how to solve it quickly on your own, but any kind of repetitive algorithm is still helpful. Then, when I feel I have a decent feel for some ways to manipulate the puzzle usefully, I'll go ahead and scramble it and go for it. I often spend a week or two with a new puzzle unscrambled, just trying to find algorithms, before scrambling it for the first time.
     
  3. Brett Stephenson

    Brett Stephenson Member

    11
    1
    Jul 26, 2017
    Would you happen to have any 3 cycles or commutators that I could use on this cube? Its hard for me to find commutators or cycles for non WCA puzzles. Is there such thing as a universal commutator?
     
  4. Mike Hughey

    Mike Hughey Super Moderator Staff Member

    9,142
    951
    Jun 7, 2007
    Indianapolis
    WCA:
    2007HUGH01
    YouTube:
    MikeHughey1
    I guess now looking at this particular cube, a logical way to try to solve it might be to simply reduce it to a 3x3x3 first, then solve that normally. If you're going to do that, it simplifies the number of new algorithms you'd need to learn - you just need to get the "sub-pieces" into their correct pieces, and then might possibly have to worry about parity (where it looks like a sub-piece is correctly solved, but perhaps 2 pieces that look identical have been swapped - this looks like the sort of puzzle that might have that possibility).

    I wish I had a good reference for how to come up with generic commutators, but I don't know of one right now. I did a quick search and found this, which is a basic explanation of how commutators work:
    https://www.quora.com/Why-are-commutators-useful-for-solving-permutation-puzzles

    But I don't know if that will be helpful enough for finding new ones on a totally different puzzle. Maybe someone else has a better site they can recommend.
     
  5. xyzzy

    xyzzy Member

    1,124
    579
    Dec 24, 2015
    I've seen this video recommended as an introduction to commutators a few times:
     

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