From:

~~~ Subject:

After seeing my collection of Rubik's magics in my office, a student

came by yesterday with a variation I hadn't seen before. It is a 2x4

version, but the 8 "tiles" are colored differently. Each of the eight

tiles has a "four-square" pattern -- the square is divided into four

regions, each colored red, blue, yellow, or green. The center of each

is black with Rubik's signature on it. The tiles thus look something

like the following:

+----+----+ |Blue|Yell| | / \ ow| +--+ +--+ | \ / | |Red |Gree| +----+----+

(with Rubik's signature in the center)

Both the front and back tiles have this four-square pattern. However,

on one side the order of colors on the tiles are all as in the picture

above, and on the other side four have that order and the remaining

four have yellow and green switched (so that blue and yellow are on

opposite corners).

I don't know if this description gets the idea across to those who

have never seen one like this, but I'm more interested in those who

have seen it. Is anyone familiar with this version, and if so, what

is the goal pattern to reach? It turns out that the student worked at

Bradlees (a downscale version of Kmart, if such a thing is possible)

four years ago, and he got it from the returns bin, without any

packaging. I've looked at it briefly, and didn't come up with an

obvious goal pattern.

About the only other info that may be helpful is that the copyright

for this variation is 1987. The copyright for the original 2x4 is

1986, and similarly for the 2x2 I have; the 2x6 is copyright 1987.

Finally, since I am on the topic of the magic, I have heard a

number of times about yet another version of the magic that can

be folded into a cube. Does anyone know any sources for it?

(I thought for a while that the alternate-coloring version may

be it, but it seems to have the same connectivity as the standard

2x4.)

Thanks for any help!

Haym (hirsh@cs.rutgers.edu)