[next] [prev] [up] Date: Wed, 29 May 96 17:08:37 -0400
[next] ~~~ [up] From: Nicholas Bodley <nbodley@sunspot.tiac.net >
[next] ~~~ [up] Subject: Another subscriber

Thanks to Alta Vista and Rubik as a keyword, I did an all-nighter over
the holiday weekend, and discovered you folks. I haven't yet downloaded
the archives, but will do my best to be a good Netizen before posting
"real" queries.

The first Cube I saw must have been pre-Ideal; I was riding home on the
West Side IRT local in NYC, and noticed someone sitting at the other end
of the car manipulating a puzzle that looked so unbelievable
(mechanically) that I really wondered whether my perceptions had gone
haywire from too many consecutive late bedtimes and regular mornings. It
was *some* sleep debt! I have little doubt that it was a Cube.

When I got mine, I came quite close to solving it by sheer persistence
and brute force (probably about 4 cubies out of position); beginner's

When Meffert was mentioned in (Martin Gardner's col.?) in Sci. Am., I
wrote away for his catalog, which I'm just about sure I still have. I
bought a "5" from him, and sent another check for more items; never
received them. He said Customs must have confiscated them; Customs never
notified me. At the time, I could afford $112 or so. I consider it lost;
I hope Meffert used it to good advantage. (This would have been around
1987.) It was fascinating to see that he apparently is active once more.

I've seen "5"s for sale again within the past year or so, I think at The
Compleat Gamester (?) in Waltham, and also The Games People Play in
Cambridge, which has moved (not too far) about a year ago.

Does *everybody* know there's a ball inside Rubik's Revenge?

I'm at least as much of a gadget-hound as a puzzle-solver; I have a
decent collection. I get a real bang out of dismantling group-theory
puzzles to see how they're built; almost all can be disassembled, although
(as most people probably know) the "2" (Pocket Cube) is quite hard both to
disassemble and to reassemble. I have the Hungarian Globe, which is truly
impossible to dismantle, IMO. (I haven't dared to scramble it!) This one
has printed metal surfaces attached to a plastic structure; the "tiles"
take paths like the grooves in the ball inside the "4" (R.R.).

I hope I might be forgiven for posting one question that has been paining
me-- I'd dearly love to know the answer! Is it true that a physical
prototype of the "6" (6 X 6 X 6) has been constructed; if so, could
anyone tell me the approximate date(s) of messages that discuss it? I
would not want anyone to do lots of searching on my behalf, but just a
recollection would be welcome. I'm also very curious about the mechanism
for a "7"; it seems to me that locking pins (or the equivalent) would be
necessary. I really wonder whether the mechanical design can be practical.

I'm also a mechanical calculator (See Erez Kaplan's pages on the Web, in
particular) and also mechanical analog computer enthusiast. Paradise was
being a Navy fire control tech. who correctly diagnosed a loose screw
inside the Mk. 1A main battery computer on a destroyer; it took three
weeks to repair. The Master Technician scheduled things well; it happened
just before the ship went in for its every-3-year yard overhaul.

I expect to be enjoying this List!

NB   Nicholas Bodley   Autodidact & Polymath  |*| Keep smiling! It makes |
      Waltham, Mass.   Electronic Technician  |*|   people wonder what   |
     nbodley@tiac.net    Amateur musician     |*|  you have been up to.  |

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