Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Best Value Twisty Puzzle Ever???

Puzzles Aplenty!

Only a few years ago, it was unthinkable that the puzzles we have today would even exist. In fact, turn back the clock to the 80s and what we have now was called "Science Fiction"! Ridiculous!

Imagine the Petaminx!

Eitan's Star!

and for a completely surreal experience, how about Oskar van Deventer's 17x17x17

But most of these amazing puzzles come with a skyhigh price tag. Eitan's Star costs $100, the Petaminx will set you back $239, and Oskar's 17x17x17? Around $1,600! This is not a cheap addiction!

So when you're on a budget and you need puzzle after puzzle after puzzle, for a ridiculously low price, where do you turn?

You turn to CubeTwist, of course.

CubeTwist haven't done much lately, but a while back, they put out the

3x3x3 Bandaged D.I.Y. Kit


This is a complete kit which will enable you to make precisely 3,563 3x3x3 bandaged puzzles, including the 6 which had already been mass-produced.

I'm sorry...transmission error...


That's right. This figure comes from the world's foremost authority on bandaged cubes, Andreas Nortmann. You can read all about it on this page.

So, three and half thousand puzzles? That must cost a lot more than an arm and a leg.

I hope you're sitting down. The cost of these puzzles is ...


That's right. Less than $18 for 3,563 puzzles.

Let's Take Stock...

OK. So, 3,563 puzzles for $17.82. By my calculations, that works out to around half a cent per puzzle. I challenge you to find any other brand new puzzle which costs half a cent.

And how many hours of enjoyment will this provide? Let's average each puzzle at around an hour. This is probably a conservative estimate as many of these puzzles would take quite a bit longer. Some may have you stumped until the stars fall from the sky.

An hour per puzzle...

3,563 hours...

149 days...

21 weeks

That's 21 consecutive weeks with no sleep, no food and no toilet breaks.

You'd want to be fairly committed to the task.

What on Earth is a Bandaged Puzzle???

If you took out your favourite 3x3x3 cube and also took out a bandage from your medicine cabinet - that's right, an actual bandage - you would be able to "bind" two or more of the cubies together.

 so that when one moved, the other moved also.

and if one of the bandaged pieces tried to move where the other ones didn't want to, then none of them would move.

 This is all bandaging is, at its core (no pun intended).

Bandaged puzzles have been around for a while, and you can see some examples here:

How It Works

Alright. So we've accepted that with the bandaged cube kit, you could probably keep yourself occupied for the rest of your life, or marriage...whichever ends first.

But how does it work?

The kit is a 3x3x3 cube, along with all the bits required to make any of the puzzles.

The cube itself is a black plastic cube with holes in it which enable the parts to be pinned in.

For the life of me, I still haven't worked out why some surfaces have only 4 holes, while others have 6. If you know, leave a comment and put my mind to rest.

And the pieces? They start with one 3x2 piece of each colour.

There is also one 2x2 piece of each colour. This makes sense since it's impossible to place two of them on one face.

There are two 3x1 pieces of each colour...

Four 2x1 pieces of each colour...

And nine 1x1 pieces of each colour.

In providing these pieces, CubeTwist made the call not to bandage an entire face. This was smart in my opinion as there's not a whole lot you can do with a face completely bandaged.

You simply click on and click off the lego-like tiles to make a cube. A comment below reminded me that I should say something about getting these pieces off.

The key with all of these pieces is to not press them down too firmly to begin with. If you do that, you can almost always guarantee to be able to slip a fingernail in and pry them off. 
If, however, they're down too tight, then I've found the best thing by far is a pair of tweezers. Without fail, the piece will pop out. Give those a go!

With these pieces, you can make each of the six mass-produced 3x3x3 bandaged cubes.

The 2-bar 4 cube

The 3-slices cube

The bandaged-3 cube

The big block

The fuse cube

And the Bicube

I've tried all five, and in my opinion, the order of difficulty ranges, from easiest to hardest,

2-bar 4
big block
fuse cube



The bicube is currently impossible for me. Maybe one day I'll conquer it...

But what about others? Here are a few from the twisty puzzles forum thread on solving these things, all invented by the master-solver Burgo...

The Alcatraz series

Bandaged Fortress

Big block clock


Double block

Bandaged YZ

Help! I'm Stuck!

Here's the best part of the whole thing. Go ahead and make whatever bandaged cube variant you like. If you can't solve it, just pull it apart! Easy.

This Kit Is Still Available???

Amazingly, this kit has not sold out, and is still available at its original price of $17.82 US.

Honestly, I'm staggered that it didn't sell out as it's such incredible value for money, and provides anyone with the ability to take baby steps in learning to solve bandaged cubes.

You can buy it from hknowstore. I can unreservedly recommend nowstore as a seller. Their prices are good, when the free shipping is factored in, and their followup customer service is outstanding. And no, I don't work for them!

What are waiting for? If you don't have this kit yet, make sure you get one before they sell out. It is, after all, the best value puzzle money can buy.

You can also click the picture below to buy it.

Your Say!

So, whadda ya think? Did I get it right? Is there a better value puzzle out there? Has this post made you want to buy the kit? Leave your feedback below...


  1. The 1x1 pieces are nearly impossible to remove. Have you found a good way to get these pieces off?

    1. Seth,
      The key with all of these pieces is to not press them down too firmly to begin with. If you do that, you can almost always guarantee to be able to slip a fingernail in and pry them off.

      If, however, they're down too tight, then I've found the best thing by far is a pair of tweezers. Without fail, the piece will pop out. Give those a go!

  2. Hmm,I already own 3 CT Bandaged cube sets and your post made me want to go buy another!

    1. Doing this post made me want to go and try all your creations! Maybe I will...

  3. You're right! This is fantastic value - I found that the puzzling very rapidly got very tough. After having done the first 8-10 on your list I hit a wall and can't do the really difficult ones (or even the medium ones). I go back to it whenever I want a lesson in humility.


    1. Ah, another "pro" for this puzzle: teaches humility! I agree thoroughly.

  4. How many of the 3,563 puzzles have you made and solved?

  5. That's gotta be a trick question!

    OK. I've probably made around 12-14. I've solved around 6 or 7, not including my nemesis, the Bicube. I made this post partly to inspire myself to get back at it...

  6. I've also bought this amazing DIY kit. At first it was kinda a turn-back because the pieces (especially the 1x1 slabs) are really hard to get off. But after I fixed this by glueing some extentions (about 1/3 of the height of the pins) at each of the 6 x 9 centers of the cubes, it turned out to work very well.

    So far I've only made and solved 2 bandaged cubes, but I've looked up a lot of bandaged cubes and saved the links towards them (mostly from this post of yours, the twistypuzzle forum museum and imitating siamese / triamese cubes), which I can try to solve in the (near) future.

    Thanks a lot for this amazing post.

    1. You're welcome! IT's a great puzzle isn't it?!

      The good news is that I'm currently working on a one-stop place to store a "database" of all the bandaged cubes that have been made and referenced on twistypuzzles.com, along with who invented them and links to the discussion on them, and perhaps with a difficulty rating. I think it'll be good!

    2. I'm doing the same at the moment, though I have a local database, and I haven't included the difficult rate or makers yet. (Nor did I solve any of them, apart from the Triamese 3 xD)

      So far I have a list of 66 Bandaged Puzzles. Mostly from the Bandaged 3x3x3 thread on the twistypuzzle forum, some others from the Museum and the Siamese / Triamese imitations. If you want I can send you the Word-doc by e-mail.

    3. Hi Kevin C,
      Would you mind uploading the word-doc so I can download it? Just bought the puzzle myself, can't wait to try it out!
      Thx for this post!!!

  7. i was wondering where you got the value for the amount of puzzles possible to make from? and how it was calculated.

    1. Hi,
      With respect, did you read the whole blog post? In the post I tell you this answer (http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24406)

      And the other questions are also explained in this blog post...

  8. I would humbly offer that as primates we must set some reasonable limits on our activities; such as exercise, food, sex, ext., and puzzling should be no different. The danger seems to be to lose sight of an objective, or not identify one, and become lost in obsession. Personally, I have had allot of fun with the cube over the years; being quite satisfied in solving the 5x5. Currently, I an leaning the megaminx and have purchased a teraminx and a 9x9 cube, and I will stop there for now and be satisfied, refocusing on music and trying to imagine higher dimensions when completed. It would seem that the humble 3x3 could offer challenge to human limits by viewing a scrambled cube and solving it in as few moves as possible. If that becomes too easy, 6 types of Chinese characters could be placed on the faces (replaced each day of course), with attention to learning the language while reducing the number of moves should satisfy difficulty cravings. Anyone for some dodecahedron chess?

  9. I did but this but with more than or larger than one 1x2 bandage I can't solve it, but then I am fairly new to solving puzzles. I do hope I will learn a few of them in time

  10. Hi,

    I am really very happy to this unique post or blog. The Primary colour and transparent colour have been out of production. This is a complete kit which will enable you to make precisely 3,563 3x3x3 bandaged puzzles. Are you looking for other types of Cube Shop then you may also go through this link.

  11. Can you pls repost the link of the shop, it bugs and i cant find it on hknowstore... :( i hope it is still available, greetings jakob

    1. The link works fine, but unfortunately nowstore seems to have (finally) sold out of the kits. I expect they'll get some more back in stock, but for now, you could try cubezz.com, or amazon.

    2. It's sold out.



      There was an EBay listing for these which sold them for over $100, and like 10 people bought it and it went sold out. Is the puzzle THAT rare now?!?!?

    3. Yep. It's that rare. I have a second kit, but it currently has black markings on the 1x1 squares. I hope eventually to be able to sell it for a nice sum.

  12. Mine arrived today <3 thank you! Could you post some important algorithms about bandaged cubes on youtube or this website (if there are any)...? i am using your normal 3x3x3 method right now but i dont think you can solve the cube with this method if there are more than 2 or 3 bandages :)

    1. Great comment! Yes, the edge piece and corner piece series won't always be enough. The only other one that I use is sune, R U R' U R U2 R' and its mirror.

      Maybe have a look at my video on sune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH43AOio7kM

  13. You've got my never-ending thanks for introducing me to the fabulous bandaged kit!

    My trick for getting the stickers off: put a small piece of folded paper under each sticker, so that it cannot get pressed all the way down. Works like charm for me.

    My solutions to some of the great variants you mention here: https://ldubravsky.wordpress.com/

    Now I'm back to trying to get my head around the Double Block Clock!

  14. Any chance these will become available again? I'm addicted to new puzzles and this might keep me busy for a while!

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