Rubik's Cube

|
5
Rubik's Cube

Many a player has tried to best this colorful puzzle cube.

Jupiterimages/@Getty Images/Thinkstock

Yup, it's old-school. It's low-tech. It's a toy almost everyone had (and kind of hated for its inability to transform into a robot or shoot lasers). But the Rubik's Cube persists as the epitome of the unsophisticated, maddening puzzle that doubles as an innocent toy for children.

The Rubik's Cube was invented by a Hungarian by the name of -- you guessed it -- Rubik. Although Mr. Rubik originally titled the toy, the "Magic Cube," when it began exporting out of Hungary it was renamed for the inventor. (Thus, don't forget that apostrophe in the name!) The cube itself is a three-dimensional square; each of the six sides has a 3 by 3 grid, with each square one of six colors. You can pivot the rows and columns, and the goal is to get each face of the Rubik's Cube to consist of all same-colored squares.

And while there are loads of ways to solve a Rubik's Cube, that doesn't mean most of us can do it without some serious curses and gnashing of teeth. Lucky for us, after hours are spent hopelessly turning and swearing, you can easily go online and find out ways to make the puzzle bend to your will. (Don't be discouraged that children who haven't yet graduated elementary school write many of the solutions.) You can also practice your Rubik's Cube skills by playing online games of the toy, but be warned: you don't get that satisfying feeling of throwing the cube against the wall after hours of fruitless twisting.

|