Unlocking the secrets of the pyramid
Did you know that before the Rubik’s cube, there was the Pyraminx? This 3-tiered tetrahedron puzzle was designed by German Uwe Mèffert in 1971, three years earlier than the invention of the Rubik’s cube. However, it was only patented in 1981, after Mèffert witnessed the commercial success of the Rubik’s cube (Mèffert now has his own line of puzzles, many of which are extensions of the Pyraminx).
Similar to the Rubik’s cube, the goal of the Pyraminx is to twist and turn its vertices in the right order so that each face of the tetrahedron is the same colour. While it looks intimidating, the Pyraminx is actually a good place for beginners to start gaining experience in tackling sequential movement puzzles. It can be solved intuitively, without the use of algorithms. Mathematically, it has fewer permutations as compared to its more famous six-sided neighbour, and can be solved from any random position in less than 12 steps.
The world’s fastest Pyraminx solvers can solve the puzzle in just a few seconds, and the current time to beat is 0.91 seconds, held by Polish Dominik Górny at the 2018 Byczy Cube Race (check out the clip here; blink and you’ll miss it!).
Other puzzles which resemble the Pyraminx include the Tetraminx, Master Pyraminx, Megaminx and the Skewb, as well as the shape-shifting puzzles Pyramorphix and Master Pyramorphix.* The latter two are constructed differently, so scrambling these puzzles changes both their shape and their colour.
Of course, for your own sanity, do familiarise yourself with the Pyraminx first before attempting any of these wackier puzzles - the experience will come in handy! Not confident about starting on the Pyraminx? Don’t fret, give the floppy cube a shot*: this is a modified Rubik’s Cube that is suitable for those completely new to sequential movement puzzles.
*If you wish to try out these puzzles, check out our class plans (we offer free trial classes on mechanical puzzles and science toys) and rental kits. Do contact us if you have any other queries!
“Pyraminx”. Ruwix. Visited June 2020. https://ruwix.com/twisty-puzzles/Pyraminx-triangle-rubiks-cube/
“Fastest time to solve a Pyraminx rotating puzzle”. Guinness World Records. Visited June 2020.