Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Rubik’s Cube

This month I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge. My theme is the 80s. Today's letter is:



It's rare that a toy comes along that sets of a national frenzy. But in the early 1980s, one toy got us all.


The Rubik's Cube was actually invented in the mid-70s but it took a while to flood the market. The original name was the Magic Cube. It was renamed for its founder, Erno Rubik, who was a Hungarian architect and professor of architecture.



The Rubik's Cube may be the top-selling toy of all time, but it wasn't the staple of the 80s that pop culture would want you to believe. Like everything else, it was here and then gone again in a brief period of time.



Most of us had a hard time figuring it out. In fact, Rubik himself had a rough time solving the cube. He created a block, made a few turns, then realized he had a mix of colors but no idea to get them back to their original solid state.




For the brief couple of months we were all into the Rubik's Cube trend, we figured a few things out. One, you could remove all the stickers and put them on different cubes to "solve" the puzzle. Or you could get a screwdriver and disassemble the thing, then put it back together again.



You can still buy Rubik's Cubes today. We have one. My husband got it as a promotional item at a conference. But somehow it isn't as fun if you're the only one who has one.



What's the most difficult puzzle you've ever solved?

69 comments:

  1. Puzzles are not my strength. I fail much more often than I succeed. Perhaps one of the most frustrating (and a failure) was a jigsaw I was given. It was two-sided. The picture on the front, was identical to the picture on the back - except that it had been rotated ninety degrees.

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    1. I get frustrated, as well. I can't even comprehend how someone could get the Rubik's Cube back in its original formation.

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  2. I never could figure it out.
    I prefer computer game puzzles. Although we also put together jigsaw puzzles sometimes.

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    1. Jigsaw puzzles are fun...and relaxing! Except when you get a piece that doesn't seem to go anywhere.

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  3. I'm usually good at puzzles but this one eluded me... frustrated me... made me crazy... I hid it and never took a second look...lol. I gave up to keep my sanity ;-) ♡

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    1. I tried, but I mostly ended up just moving it around and accomplishing nothing.

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  4. I was thinking when I read this, I know I had one in college (at least in my undergraduate years) and I graduated in 1979 (that now makes me old, right). I'm still trying to figure out the puzzle we call life!

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    1. You were ahead of your time! I remember everyone in school had one in sixth grade, which would have been the 1981-1982 school year. My memory sometimes isn't accurate, though! I think by that time they were everywhere and fairly cheap to purchase.

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  5. Aw I love the Rubik's cube!! And hate it at the same time, purely because I've NEVER been able to solve it. I get so close, then have one or two colors out of place and it infuriates me! But it can keep you entertained for HOURS! Brilliant :)
    I may just got buy one after payday... give it another bash :)

    www.bohemianmuses.blogspot.com

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    1. My stepdaughter was trying to solve the one we have a few weeks ago. She worked on it for a while. Yes, very frustrating!

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  6. I loved the Rubik's Cube. Fastest I ever solved one was 1:35 minutes.

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  7. In the sf trilogy I'm translating right now, they have a digital cube which changes colours constantly and also has different levels in which you have to match the puzzle... and when you're done the cube turns into a ball with another level :)

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    1. Yikes...a futuristic Rubik's Cube!

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  8. Like Luanna, I'm also good at puzzles, but could never do Rubik's cube. We still have one!

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    1. I'm not sure where ours is...around here somewhere! I can't even think about trying to solve it, though. Who has that kind of time?!

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  9. I think I had one, maybe a mini one, like a key chain, but I don't recall ever actually figuring it out. :)

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    1. I remember the ones that went on your keychain. Way too tiny to figure out!

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  10. I solved it once way back when, but it took me a while. I cheated a few times after that lol but solved it once without cheating

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    1. I can't even say I've solved it once, but I admire those of you who cracked it!

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  11. Your posts are truly a walk down memory lane! I loved mine and could only solve a few sides at a time. I've seen the videos of people solving the whole thing in like a minute!

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    1. I don't get that! I think I might have solved three sides once and I felt like a rock star for doing that much.

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  12. We still have one too but I could never get more than one side done but I did spend a lot of time trying, they did fascinate a lot of folks.

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    1. Hearing stories of those who solved it in a couple of minutes makes me want to give it another try.

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  13. I certainly remember this craze! I had one for a while and managed to get three sides, but not all four! LOL. But, yes, I do remember my friends removing the stickers. LOL.

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    1. Once you took those stickers off, the cube was never the same again. You never could get those stickers back on right!

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  14. I could never figure this one out, LOL. Don't know if you have Cracker Barrels there, but here they have them (restaurant). On the tables they have that wooded peg game where you are supposed to jump over the pegs, remove the pegs that you jump over and end up with one peg at the end of the game to win. I've yet to win that one :)

    betty

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    1. Yes! I live in Nashville--Cracker Barrel was founded in Lebanon, about 20 minutes from here. The headquarters is still there. My husband is the boss of that peg game. He can get it down to one peg in about 20 seconds...but he has a system.

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  15. My husband loved the Rubik Cube and could be found playing with it a lot. Gee I wonder where it went!!! I haven't seen it in a long time.

    I love making jigsaw puzzles. The hardest one I made is a 5000 piece puzzle called Midsummer Night Dream and is hanging on my office wall. It's huge and takes up a good portion of the wall.
    Have a Restful day.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  16. I love puzzles and games, but I never have completed a Rubik's cube. I know there are Youtube videos out there to show you how to solve them, but that seems like cheating...

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    1. My stepdaughter tried that...it didn't help at all, she said. She said it was all just B.S.

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  17. I got close to solving Rubik's cube once, but yeah, that story of my life image is about right. I do remember all the "hacks" with the stickers and taking it apart. Funny!

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    1. I never actually popped the cubes out, but I did remove the stickers once!

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  18. One of the kids in the family figured out that the colored squares were "stickers" and took the time to move them. I think it would have been easily to solve the puzzle!

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    1. LOL, see my comment right above yours. Yeah, we all liked to do that to make people think we'd solved it.

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    2. I missed that comment, ha ha.

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  19. There is a pattern you use to solve it. You memorize the patterns and you just keep doing those patterns and it works itself out. :)

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    1. Tried that--I even had a book. The word "orient" was used in the book a LOT, I remember. (Orient the bottom square in position C, etc.) That was how I learned the meaning of the word "orient."

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  20. I was never able to solve one of these and as a result they worked my last nerve. I have no patience so puzzles have never been my strong suit LOL.

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    1. Yeah, it was just frustrating! Life's too short.

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  21. that's a good one. i don't think i ever owned a real cube, but maybe had a small one on a keychain. :)

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    1. Those were hard to work--so small!

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  22. I tried to learn how to solve the rubiks cube a year or so ago - in the 80s I could only ever do one side :). I never did manage to find instructions that made sense. In the 80s I had a little one on a key chain.

    I love doing Mahjong puzzles on the PC - I seem to be quite good at them and Sudokus. I'm really bad at Solitaire type puzzles though.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. The keychain versions were popular, judging by the comments today!

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  23. I tried the screwdriver cheat and failed at that too. Stupid cube. Best I ever got was one side.

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  24. I had a friend whose 12 year old could solve it in under two minutes. The damn thing always made me feel really stupid. I think the record for solving it is under 30 seconds. Some people can do it blindfolded...crazy!

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  25. YouTube is a gold mine for solving difficult puzzles. There's always a video with a seven-year-old kid showing you how it's done.

    My bf times himself to solve the Rubik's cube as quickly as possible, but he was stumped by a wooden star puzzle. I watched the YouTube video, solved it, and watched his jaw drop. ;)

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  26. Once I did a photo puzzle of a bowl of popcorn. 1000 pieces - drove me nuts, but I glued and framed it when I finished.

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  27. I never mastered this puzzle. Try as I might it never happened. I never even got close.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  28. I think I failed to put all the colors together. Good reminder. Almost everyone had one.

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  29. I never managed to get the rubik's cube solved. I used to like the rubik's snake instead, but I could only make two shapes, the ball and the dog :).
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
    FB3X
    Wittegen Press

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  30. I'm not good with puzzles of any kind and the Rubic's Cube was no exception. If something doesn't work for me, I let it go. Too frustrating otherwise.

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  31. My old Rubik's Cube comes apart if you move it too harshly due to all the times I took it apart and put it back together again. Did you know that you can find instructions on how to solve it online now? One of these days I'm going to try. All I could do on my own was solve one side.

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  32. The Rubik's Cube! My Hungarian neighbor's pride and joy. I loved that toy, even though I never mastered it. My brother carries one around today and can solve it with ease.

    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

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  33. I had the Chex and Fruit Cube. It was a mail-in promo from Chex Cereal that had Chex cereal on one side of the cube (with the Chex logo in the dead-center square), and different fruits on the other sides. The idea and the results were the same, obviously. I'm pretty sure I didn't solve it :-)

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  34. I was never into the Rubik's Cube but I knew people who were. One of them still carries his cheat sheet in his wallet. May have been one of the reasons we divorced.

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  35. I remember playing with the Rubik's cube as a kid and messing with the stickers!

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  36. I'm not sure I ever figured it out...should have messed with the stickers;)

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  37. Oh, yes! I had numerous Rubik's cubes. I never switched the stickers, but I knew people who did! ;)

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  38. Shigeru Miyamoto (who created Mario, Zelda, and many other Nintendo games) considered his biggest rival to be Erno Rubik and his cube.

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  39. Ah yes that damm cube! I hurled it across the lawn once. Finally i took the colours off and put them back on but I created an F on one side and a U on the other and dropped kicked it somewhere:)

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  40. I could never get it, but my son always did. How did he become so much smarter than his mother?

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  41. Lol. I have a whole Pinterest board of fun puzzles.
    https://www.pinterest.com/lilithlittle52/solitair-games/

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  42. so interesting!! I never solved one :( you know the show Lost? I had a Lost rubiks cube lol I never solved that one either ha

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  43. I have never owned a Rubik's Cube, never messed with one very much, and certainly never solved one.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  44. The most I've done on a cube is one side. :( There's definitely a trick to it...but I just haven't taken the time to figure it out or practice. hehe

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  45. I've always been good at puzzles, but I could never get anywhere with the Rubik's cube. It was sooooo frustrating! :)

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