Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rainbow Nautilus Puzzle

The Rainbow Nautilus Puzzle is a twisty puzzle in the shape of a spiral. It's a fascinating, beautiful and difficult puzzle to solve. It's also a difficult puzzle to scramble. To buy this puzzle, click here.

The Basic Plot

  1. Hope for the best.
  2. Make an orange-yellow-green triplet.
  3. Rejoice as the other parts fall into place.
Step 1: Hope for the Best

Despite this silly heading, it's not such bad advice. It is possible to be turning this puzzle feeling as though you're trapped in a neverending loop where nothing really changes.

A word about angles will be of use here.

If we consider the puzzle having an "Up" and a "Down" face, then each face has essentially identical pieces. And the angle sum of all pieces on a face is 360°. The piece types are as follows:

Red - 90°
Orange - 70°
Yellow - 60°
Green - 50°
Blue - 40°
Indigo - 30°
Violet - 20°

This means that if we want to be able to turn a face by 90° and still line up along a cut, we need each quarter of the face to have 90° worth of pieces self-contained. For example, if we had a face with pieces as follows:

orange-violet ... yellow-indigo ... red ... green-blue

then we could turn the face by 90° and know that the cuts would be maintained.

Having said all this, when it's fully scrambled, there may be a bit of trial and error involved until you achieve the cuts desired.

Step 2: Make Orange-Yellow-Green Triplet

I have found that once an orange-yellow-green triplet has been made, the rest of the puzzle is quite straightforward. 

On fully scrambled puzzles (it's possible to have a puzzle that's scrambled but not completely), I've also found that to create the orange-yellow-green triplet, I first need to place the two red pieces next to each other and store them out of the way.

There are no algorithms for solving this puzzle, as the turns you make will depend on the relative position of each of the pieces.

The following video contains 3 different scrambles and solves, and should provide some idea of how I go about solving it.

Step 3: Rejoice

Why not?!? This puzzle was hard! It's not the sort of puzzle I generally like but it's been conquered.

Besides, the odd bout of rejoicing never hurt anyone...

And that's it. Your Rainbow Nautilus Puzzle is now solved. I trust this site has been helpful. If you have any questions or want some clarifications, please use the comments to do so. To buy this puzzle, click here.


  1. Very nice! I like the added humour!

    I didn't buy this because I thought it would be impossible for me! Maybe I should get one now?


    1. Hey Kevin

      I think I'd buy it if I were you. It's a fairly unique kind of puzzle. And it'd definitely go well in your workplace! I would say though that it's the sort of thing that can drive you mad!