[next] [prev] [up] Date: Fri, 20 Oct 89 16:24:00 -0400 (EDT)
[next] [prev] [up] From: Allan C. Wechsler <ACW@yukon.scrc.symbolics.com >
~~~ [prev] [up] Subject: [To: PBECK: new cube puzzle]
Date:     Fri, 20 Oct 89 10:27:35 EDT
From:     Peter Beck (LCWSL) <pbeck@pica.army.mil>

Are there any patent engineers out there?

The following is a public service announcement -- everybody ought to
know this.

Patent 4,872,682 by Kuchimanchi (U of Maryland PHD student) and Thekur
(UC santa cruz PHD student) is for a new cube puzzle.

Whenever you know a patent number, you can obtain a complete copy of the
patent by writing to:

Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks
Washington, DC 20231
Attention: Patent orders

Include the patent number and a check for $1.50. Used to be you could
get the patent back in ten days. Lately the delay is more like four

From the NY Times 10/14/89 Patents column:

"... ,the new brain teaser is a cube divided into squares, nine on
each face. Each square can be rotated in both a horizontal and
vertical plane, creating billions of possible combinations. at the
outset, all squares on each side have the same color. the goal is to
mix up the colors and get them back in order.

In addition, however, the new puzzle contains one blank square, which
can be slid to any location on the cube. This makes the challenge
easier, because it gives the players another way to move squares from
one place to another."

So what do you think this puzzle is? Do cubies rotate or do cubie
faces rotate? Is this a sliding block puzzle on the equators like the
hungarian globe puzzle as sold by nature company etal? Is this just
sam lloyd 15 puzzle on the surface of a cube?

All these questions will be answered by the complete patent.

If you are more impatient, call the local government printing office,
and ask them where the patent depository for your area is. Access to
patent depositories is free, although the depository (usually a public
library) can charge a fee for printing. The librarian at the depository
can tell you how to look up the patent. Usually it is on microfilm or

Warning: if you are like me, you will find the patent depository
addicting. Stay away if you have family resposibilities. Above all,
avoid learning the seductively simple cross-reference scheme or you will
spend the rest of your life browsing through puzzle patents!

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