I just got a new cube puzzle, called "Color Cube Mental Game". Not a
Rubik's cube, but still combinatorial, and a lot easier. It consists
of 8 cubes in a 3x3 box, arranged around the perimeter (so there is a
cubical hole in the center). The cubes are colored on all 6 sides
(identically in mine). They roll by tilting them over an edge to an
adjacent vacant space, and they change colors in doing so. The puzzle,
of course, is to roll them and randomize the pattern, then restore the
original color (or a new color). What patterns can be made? What is the
minimum number of rolls to solve from some pattern to another? This type
of puzzle was talked about in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, and
similar types in Mathematical Games by Martin Gardner (I can give more
accurate references if anyone wants).
Here's the last paragraph on the "instruction" sheet: "It should be
finished. please don't dishearten and try your best till you can complete
the all test. Good Luck!!!"
--- Stan ------- Happy Holidays to all -------