The Rubik's Cube

On the original Rubik's Cube, how many stickers could be found on each side?

And the answer: 9.

Photo courtesy: HPCwire.com

In 1974, Hungarian designer Ernő Rubik invented the Magic Cube, which was later renamed as the Rubik's Cube. Since then, over 350 million Cubes have been sold worldwide, making it one of the most popular puzzles ever sold. The inventor explained the popularity by saying, "People like its beauty, simplicity and form. It's really not a puzzle or a toy. It's a piece of art."

Upon its creation in 1974, Rubik realized he had made something worthy of avid-puzzlers' attention when the inventor himself could not solve his puzzle for the first month of its existence. Eventually, after cracking the code and receiving a slew of patents, first for Hungarian sales and then worldwide distribution, Rubik had a second realization: he had created a near perfect puzzle. In 1980 and 1981, the Rubik’s Cube received the UK Toy of the Year award, and in the first three years of its release it sold 100 million cubes. Today, over three times that figure have been sold, making it the most popular puzzle toy of all time.

Apparently, the idea behind the toy was mathematical. Rubik himself acknowledged that he purposefully set out to design a puzzle based on geometry, initially believing that the cube would appeal to those with science, math, or engineering backgrounds. However, the inventor writes in his recent book Cubed: The Puzzle of Us All, that he was shocked when “it found its way to people whom nobody would ever have thought might be attracted to it." Young puzzlers, known as "cubers," are attracted to the seeming simplicity of the puzzle, and are often skilled at spotting the patterns ("algorithms") necessary to solve the cube. Today, competitions around the world invite cubers to put their skills, speed, and techniques to the test.  

Learn some speedcubing tips from the current world champion of the Rubik's Cube below.



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