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The Ghost Cube is a 3x3 shape modification which is solved when two layers are rotated out of position. As a result, in order to solve the puzzles, you need to move pieces into positions where they don't necessarily line up with the other centers or nearby reference pieces, making it unclear as to when the pieces are solved.

If you're unclear what I mean by this, here is a video which should hopefully make this somewhat more clear.

enter image description here

As a result of this strange cut pattern, each piece is of a different shape. This puzzle is notoriously difficult to solve, and is commonly considered the hardest 3x3 mod available.

What piece(s) should I focus on solving first so that I: a) don't end up trying to solve a confusing face, and b) can easily identify the pieces I need?

What shapes should I look for so that I can identify the pieces I need quickly and easily?

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    $\begingroup$ from the videos it appears the sides of the classic 3x3 are transposed to the corners $\endgroup$ – ratchet freak May 26 '14 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ @ratchet That actually isn't the case - it geometrically can't be a perfect transformation. $\endgroup$ – Aza Jul 2 '14 at 19:14
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The inner working is that of a Rubik's cube. So, You have to recognize the cube within. Identify the centers, they serve as a pivot. The edges and corners turn around the centers. The edges are delimited by 4 cuts and touch the centers. The corners are delimited by 3 cuts.

Note that in the Rubik's cube the centers are not oriented. If you rotate some, it doesn't matter. In the Ghost cube, you need to orient the centers correctly. So, if you solve it like the Rubik's cube it won't solve the centers.

I cannot explain the whole solution here. Here is an outline. On the picture you show, there is a small square corner at the center. It is actually a center or pivot. Start from there and match the 4 edges and 4 corners around it. That forms the bottom layer. Layer 2 is a belt around the cube. It has 4 centers and 4 edges. You need to orient the centers properly in a way they can match with the bottom layer and then fill in the gaps with the matching edges. From there you should be able to complete the top layer using standard Rubik's cube moves exchanging corners or edges.

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My best suggestion is to take a pciture of each face before you start. I did this when I attempted to solve this a few months back and it made the proccess a lot easier I think. The puzzle was still difficult but since every piece is unique I was able to tell which other pieces were on the same face as the piece I was actually looking at/working on.

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I never hold this awesome thing in my hands, but there is 2 very nice videos on youtube, that fully describes the approach:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBqfzmCcEeM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWVVF4hC7p4

They are made in assumption that you know how to solve 3x3x3 Rubik's.

I will do a short summary of those videos plus some basic advises, that should be exactly the answer on your question "Where to start?":

  1. First, you need to understand, that the Ghost cube is basically a 3x3x3 Rubik's cube, but you need to turn two angles (moving parts) by 45 degrees (in opposite directions) to get it. In Rubik's cube you have colours to guide you, here you have shapes to do this.
  2. Second, you need to acknowledge yourself with each "face" of this pseudo Rubik's cube. Remember which shapes correspond to which colour, which shape correspond to which piece position (corner, edge, centre). Just turn the angles and learn, find the differences and patters, and remember (or use coloured stickers if you do not like remembering, but then you would lose most of the fun).
    1. Two corners of the two "moving parts" correspond to centers of opposite faces of Rubik cube. The other Rubik centres are in the middle of the edges in the part between the "moving parts".
    2. I will not go to more details here to avoid the spoilers, patterns are not so hard to find and they are kinda subjective (I believe each person will prefer it's own patterns to use). But if would like patterns to be shown to you - they are very nicely explained in the video.
  3. When you solve it by (Rubik's-)layers (that means by shape layers, which correspond to Rubik 3x3 layers), the Ghost cube won't be that scary - once you solved first two (the easy ones) layers it is more or less structured and harder to be lost in.
  4. But be careful and pay attention to the smallest details. For example, the pieced can look like almost lined up, but not quite - then this is probably wrong position for them.
  5. If you forget differences between (Rubik's-)faces you may simply try different combinations and see how they line up at the end.
  6. You can use a Rubik's cube (if you have one) to help you to learn well-known Rubik's-combinations of moves in this shape-based cube.
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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this answers either of the questions: "What piece(s) should I focus on solving first so that I: a) don't end up trying to solve a confusing face, and b) can easily identify the pieces I need? What shapes should I look for so that I can identify the pieces I need quickly and easily?" $\endgroup$ – Aza Jun 13 '14 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul, yes, sorry, I missed your exact comments. But I will live my answer for a while, I think it can be useful for those who are new with ghost cube. $\endgroup$ – klm123 Jun 13 '14 at 18:52

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