Wednesday, September 2, 2020

I Had This Feeling That I Was Going To Like This Puzzle - MystTIC

MysTIC by Andrew Crowell

After having done so many of Andrew Crowell’s TIC puzzles, I’ve developed this sixth sense that lets me know that I will enjoy the solving process, and so far, it hasn’t been wrong.  The latest of these is Andrew’s puzzle, MysTIC.  

MysTIC is a 4x4x4 Turning Interlocking Cube (TIC) cube consisting of 5 pieces.  It is 3D printed with the 2 main frame pieces printed in red and the other 3 pieces in green.  The colors are really vivid and stand out nicely.  As with all of Andrew’s 3D printed TICs, the name is conveniently debossed on the outside of the puzzle.  Very handy when you have dozens of these puzzles and are looking for one.
Right off the bat, I like the fact that there are no filler pieces.  In fact, it takes 10 moves to remove the first piece from the completed cube.  And some of those moves require rotations.  However, since I received the puzzle unassembled, those 10 moves define the completing sequence.

When assembling MysTIC, you just know where the pieces need to go.  It’s spooky.  You also get the feeling that there are going to be rotations required to assemble the cube.  It always amazes me how I can just tell that a TIC is going to require rotations.

MysTIC PiecesIt’s quite obvious how the 2 frame pieces go together when all you have is the 2 frame pieces.  It’s altogether a different matter when you have to get them together with the other interlocking pieces getting in the way.  With a little bit of investigation and some rotational magic, you end up with most of a cube and 1 piece left to put in place.  If it’s the correct piece, you are 10 moves away from completing the challenge.  It it’s not, a little bit of meditation is in order.

I have to admit, it took me longer than I expected to add that last piece.  For some reason, I was just not getting it.  So what if it takes 10 moves to complete the cube when adding that last piece and that 2 of them are rotational moves.  It’s not that difficult and I was chagrined to have not seen it immediately before the chanting.

MysTIC is another great puzzle design from Andrew Crowell and sure to awaken the inner cosmic puzzler in you.

This is the 9th post of the monthly Andrew Crowell Rotations and Obstructions Series - Turning Interlocking Cubes (ACROSTIC).  You can find the prior posts of the series here:

January: Puzzling DNA - GeneTIC

February: TIC, TIC, TIC - PackTIC II

March: Green Beer ‘ill Cure What Ails Ya - BioTIC

April: The Proper Way to Solve a Puzzle - PedanTIC

May: Will This One Really Be Better Than The Others? - SkepTIC

June: Space, The Final Frontier - MagellanTIC

July: Hanging in Suspense - PackTIC V

August: Fantastic 20+ Move TIC with an 11 Move Non-TIC Alternate Solution - PatheTIC

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