Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Crazy 2Face Puzzle Kit - Awesome Value and Lots of Puzzles!

Back in early 2013, I had an idea. Ideas don't come that often to me, so I held onto this one. It seemed worthwhile. I'd been struggling with the Crazy Uranus Tetrahedron for a while, and was really getting nowhere with it. I still find it pretty impossible, as evidenced by the fact that there's no link to it on this blog. The Crazy Uranus Tetrahedron has 3 faces which have "0" centers (meaning the pieces inside the circle stay fixed when the face turns), and a 4th face which has no circle parts at all. The thing about a face with non-circle pieces interacting with a "0" face is that any non-circle pieces on the "0" face will prevent that face from turning. It's a pig. Really. It makes life incredibly difficult, particularly when there's hardly anywhere to hide those non-circle pieces.

[Now, in case you're wondering, yes, I'm going to tell you how to get your hands on what I'm talking about in this post. Stay tuned for details on some amazing puzzles for a relatively small amount of money.]

Inventing The 2Face Cube

So anyway, mf8 (who put out the crazy tetrahedron series) had already named the "0" face as well as the "1" face (where the circle pieces turn when the face is turned). And on the tetrahedra, they had some faces which had no circles, which they named "2" faces. Have a look at this diagram and things will make sense.

Mf8 had also released a series of Crazy Planet 3x3x3 cubes. Same deal. Six faces.

I had a thought (yep, this is THE thought...) that maybe if I made a cube with five "0" faces and one "2" face (as in, a normal Rubik's cube face), it would give me more room and help me to figure out how to go about solving the crazy uranus tetrahedron. So I grabbed a spare mf8 planet cube and modified one face worth of pieces, to change it from a circle face to a non-circle face. This was done using some superglue, milliput and sandpaper. A pretty simple mod.

I realised that even with just that single new "2" face, I had a kit. Just change the centers on the circle faces and I'd get different puzzles.

And thus was born the Crazy 2Face kit.

Presenting the 2Face Cube Kit

In March, 2013, I presented it on the Twisty Puzzles forum. You can go have a look here if you'd like. It got some good reactions, probably because it was such a simple mod but created a whole new series of puzzles. Later, I made a video showing how to make the kit. Here's a schematic of the original Crazy 2Face puzzles. Note that I actually had enough parts to make a set of puzzles with one "2" face as well as a set of puzzles with two "2" faces.

Puzzles A through K are those with a single "2" face. Puzzles L through Z have two "2" faces. You can imagine how excited I was to discover that there were 26 puzzles in total! Alas, it turned out that there were two duplicates. What I haven't shown above is the chart of Crazy 2Face puzzles with three, four and five "2" faces. (Obviously a puzzle with six "2" faces is a Rubik's cube.)

If you have a good look at the chart above you'll notice that the yellow face is always a "2" face. This was a decision on my part based on .... I have no idea. But in some, the green or white faces are also "2" faces. If the two "2" faces were next to each other (Linear) it was yellow and green. If they were separated (Non-linear) it was yellow and white.

Puzzle D above shows the red, white and orange faces being "0" faces, the blue and green faces being "1" faces and the yellow face being a "2" face.

The Eleven Iconic 2Face Puzzles

Here's a chart of just the 11 "iconic" Crazy 2Face puzzles (those which have only one "2" face). See if you can figure out the naming scheme for the duplicate planets. These duplicate planet puzzles are different puzzles.

2Face Puzzles With More Than One 2Face

So, just how many possible "2" face puzzles can be made?


That number takes into account all  "2" face puzzles with one, two, three, four or five "2" faces and at least one circle face. It should be noted that the single puzzle with five "2" faces is not worth thinking about, as it can only really be scrambled like a Rubik's cube.

So let's call it 34.

My friend on the twisty puzzles forum, Burgo, took hold of the Crazy 2Face idea and sent it to a different stratosphere. He ended up making and selling a bunch of kits which he called "Crazy B4Cube". These things had bandaging all over the place and were a labour of love. This was all well and good (and it was good!) but partly due to this, and partly due to my own inability to get into solving the Crazy 2Face puzzles at the time, the Crazy 2Face series/kit/puzzles sort of got forgotten.

That is, until earlier this year, when Burgo suggested to Calvin Fan, of, that he partner with mf8 to make and sell the 11 iconic Crazy 2Face puzzles.

And that's what happened. Sort of.

The 2Face Kit Is Released

There is indeed now a kit available from nowstore which will enable you to easily make all 11 of the iconic Crazy 2Face puzzles. Fantastic! This is really good news because puzzlers have long been saying we need more kits, rather than individual puzzles.

However, I think there are two issues with this approach.

1. The kit is a nowstore exclusive. This means that only nowstore can sell them. Great for nowstore. Not so great for people who don't visit nowstore. My problem with "exclusives" is that they limit and constrict the ability of puzzles and puzzlers to connect. Not so good. And from my own point of view, I think these puzzles are brilliant, and I want as many other people to experience them as well. Exclusivity doesn't help that. I should also say that I was sent some kits by nowstore as a recognition of it being my design, but I don't get any "royalties" from any other kits which are sold.

2. Having the puzzles in kit form meant that it sort of appeared on nowstore with no fanfare, no explanation, and worst of all, no picture of an actual 2face puzzle. It was quickly pushed down the list by other puzzles, and once again, seems to have gotten lost in the mix. What you see instead is an unstickered black puzzle with a set of stickers, center caps, a set of planets logos, and an "rline" sticker. 

[For those wondering, rline is me, and it was a nice gesture to make a sticker showing me as the inventor.]

Now, I ask you, does that image above make you want to buy whatever-it-is-being-sold? No, me neither.

What they should have done is

1. Release the kit as they've done but showing a stickered "ready-to-go" puzzle as well.
2. Release each individual puzzle with its own photo, stickered, in all its glory, selling each individual puzzle as cheaply as possible.

I don't run nowstore so it is what it is...

Getting A Kit With ALL 2Face Puzzles

So where does that leave us?

Well, the kit itself is $28. That means you can have 11 Crazy 2Face puzzles for around $2.55 each. Pretty cool. And believe me, these puzzles aren't the sort of puzzles you pick up, solve in 2 seconds, and never touch again. They're much more interesting than that.

But what about the 2face puzzles with two or more "2" faces?

Well the kit in itself won't get you any of them. But you can make ALL the Crazy 2Face puzzles (not just 2face puzzles with a single 2face) by buying

* one crazy 3x3 plus - 4 circle faces (F, R, B, L) cube

* one crazy 3x3 plus - 2 circle faces (U, D) cube

Yep, that's all you need to make all 34 of the 2face puzzles. But it gets better! Not only can you make all the 2face puzzles, you can also make ALL the Crazy 3x3x3 Planet cubes as well! Plus a Circle cube! Plus a Rubik's Cube!

At current prices, with each puzzle costing $23, that's 44 puzzles for $46. I make that to be around $1.05 per puzzle. Incredible value!

Even cooler, there's the possibility to make many more hybrid puzzles using 2face parts on circle faces and vice versa.

2Face Puzzles, Stickered And Ready To Go!

And what do the puzzles look like in all their glory? Beause I wanted a few more permanent members of the Crazy 2Face set, I went ahead and made
  • 8 of the single 2face puzzles to have as standalone puzzles
  • 2 of the two "2face" puzzles to serve as a kit for all the two "2face" puzzles
  • 2 of the three "2face" puzzles to serve as a kit for all the three "2face" puzzles
  • 2 of the four "2face" puzzles to serve as a kit for all the four "2face" puzzles
Here's a photo of my 14 Crazy 2Face puzzles.

A while back, I wrote a post called The Best Value Twisty Puzzle Ever???

This Crazy2Face series isn't quite in that category, but it's not far off.

If you'd like to add just the 11 iconic Crazy 2Face puzzles to your collection, you can go here.

If you'd like to be able to make all 44 possible puzzles, you can go here.

Charts With Colour Scheme Of ALL 2Face Puzzles

All the single 2face puzzles

All the two 2face puzzles

All the three 2face puzzles

All the four 2face puzzles

Constructing And Stickering Your Kit

Alright. So you've bought the 2 required puzzles. Now what do you do?

First, if you twist the puzzles and find them turning badly, don't worry at all. All these mf8 puzzles do that at the start. They improve dramatically with use and with a drop or two of lube.

Now, let's sticker.

Grab the 4-circle face puzzle and sticker it as follows:

U- 2face - Orange
D- 2face - Red
F- circle face - White
R- circle face - Blue
B- circle face - Yellow
L- circle face - Green

Grab the 2-circle face puzzle and sticker it as follows

U- circle face - Orange
D- circle face - Red
F- 2face - White
R- 2face - Blue
B- 2face - Yellow
L- 2face - Green

Having done that, you'll now have 2face pieces in every colour, and circle face pieces in every colour. You'll also have six "0" face centers, and six "1" face centers.

To construct your desired puzzle, simply pull apart the individual puzzle pieces and mix and match to get what you want. It's incredibly easy to do. But if you're having any trouble, please...

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