Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The World's Easiest Rubik's Cube

Like any kid who lived through the '80s, I spent a lot of time twisting and turning that classic cubic puzzle from Hungarian sculptor, Erno Rubik. In fact, I've managed to collect a bunch of cubes devoted a video blog to them a while back.

Well, it's been a while since I added to the collection, but when I saw this knock off cube version at a local book store for a whopping $1.99, I snatched it up faster than Feliks Zemdegs can solve a 3x3x3 (look it up).

Ladies and germs, I present to to you, the 3x3x1...

That's right, kids, it's a Rubik's Cube with only one single row. All of the colors are represented, but now the red, blue, orange and green squares are whittled down to just three each, leaving the white and yellow squares to take up the full nine cells of the usual cube.

I guess i shouldn't be calling this a "Rubik's" cube, since it's clearly a knock off, but much like people call all cotton swabs "Q-Tips", the Rubik name has transcended mere brand name status.

The cube turns from the central hub cell, like any other cube, but it makes for some weird shapes. You can turn the sides...

Or just the center...

And when you're caught with a single cell out of place...

You can just turn that one piece!

The best way to solve this baby is to do the old one-side-solve, which even my grandma can do. Solve the one side of this particular version, however, and the other side is also solved, natch.

The trouble starts when you  have the "plane" sides solved, but the side cells don't quite add up. There's only a few ways that these cells can be jumbled, so the solutions are pretty easy. And lucky for me, they are included on the back of the packaging.

Ka-BAM! I'm a frickin' genius! Well, okay, maybe not. I've never been one of those people with the kind of mind that can solve these types of puzzles out of sheer deduction and mathematics, but give me a set of instructions and I'm good to go, as long as I can memorize the algorithms for later use when someone is all like, "Hey, smart guy, solve this!' and then I do and totally look like I have a brain the size of radial truck tire.

If there are any other puzzle collectors out there that would like one of these, I'm pretty sure I can hook you up. Because I'm a genius and I'm cool.