As I mentioned in my last post, Brett Kuehner very kindly gave me several puzzles when I visited his house. I have been playing around with them for the last week or so and enjoyed them very much.
This puzzle was designed by Katsuhiko Okamoto and won the 2009 Puzzle of the Year Award (Puzzlers' Award and Jury Grand Prize) at Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition at the International Puzzle Party.
I should mention that this puzzle is actually not licensed by Okamoto, it is a knockoff made in China, which is unfortunate. Currently, legitimate versions are not for sale, though they will be produced in 2010. Brett is planning to purchase the official version when it is available, since he knows it will be of high quality and support Okamoto's continued innovation.
As a puzzle, it is actually quite easy. Due to the fact that you can rotate an edge 90°, you can move all the corners away from an edge and rotate that edge independently. This makes it pretty easy to solve, since (at least for me) orienting the edge cubes properly is the main challenge. Even an inexperienced puzzler should have a pretty easy time with this one, which I actually think is great. It would be a good introduction to this type of puzzle without being overwhelming. You can make it a bit more challenging by not permitting yourself to use the single-edge-twist move.
2 days ago