Rubik’s Cube

Rubik's Cube

 

In 1980 the Rubik’s Cube hit the market and I was one of the first to get one. I was about twelve at the time and I was absolutely fascinated by this twistable puzzle that required multi-dimensional thinking. I had good spatial awareness, but this forced me into a new dimension of thought processes and I loved it.

That was the intended purpose of the toy. Erno Rubik created the cube to help explain three-dimensional geometry. He was a young teacher in Budapest, Hungary in 1974 and he wanted to find a way to teach his students about spatial relationships.

I did reasonably well on my own. I was able to complete one side easily and portions elsewhere, but I didn’t master the puzzle until I watched someone do it in two minutes. Fortunately, my parents were captivated by the man’s demonstration so they bought me an autographed copy of his solution instructions. With the help of these diagrams, I learned the thought process for how to tackle the CUBE from top to bottom and how to think three-dimensionally about how to move the colors where I needed them to go. Most of all, I learned that sometimes you have to be willing to undo something in order to restore it to order.

Rubik’s Cube required both analytical and creative thinking, a combination that I craved. Analytical puzzles are everywhere, but it’s rare to find puzzles that require a creative ability to think outside the obvious solution–to think outside the CUBE.

As a teenager, I learned to solve the CUBE in 30 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 3 minutes, and eventually 2 minutes or less at my best. Over the years, I’ve picked it up now and then but due to lack of practice, I’m not nearly as fast as I once was. I can eventually work it out, though. It may take me a day or two, but I’ll get it. (Cheese Whiz, I really need to practice!)

Rubik’s Cube was probably the most influential toy in my childhood. The mental development that came with solving it has served me well ever since.

 

“If you are curious, you’ll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them. ”

Erno Rubik

 

 

 

“There are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (43 quintillion) ways to scramble a Rubik’s Cube.”

https://www.rubiks.com/about/cube-facts/