Date: Tue, 23 Apr 91 12:26:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: Haym Hirsh <hirsh@cs.rutgers.edu >
~~~ Subject: rubik's magic alternate coloring

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)