Sunday 18 June 2017

Wandering Cubes

This was one of my favourite puzzles from Eric’s February batch of goodies.

Designed by Peter Gal, it’s one of those delightfully simple little packing puzzles… there are three pieces to put inside a little box which has a simple little constraint. I love packing puzzles like that, especially ones that have just a few pieces – Caramel Box, Four L’s, you know the sort…

This one has three pieces to be placed in a 3*3*2 box that has a single cubie semi-fixed inside it. That single cubie can move between three positions depending on what’s inside there and how they’re positioned…

The pieces between them take up 15 cubies, plus the one attached to the box, which leaves a practically cavernous 2 cubie space left after you’re finished… should be simple! 

Eh, naw… as it turns out it’s a tricky little number that requires the puzzlists to first find an assembly that should work, then exhaust all the possible ways of getting it into that little constrained box… and of course that little constraint is massively limiting. You might for instance find that there were only two possible assemblies, and then discover that the moving cubie in the box reduced that to a single solution, requiring a little bit of manoeuvring to achieve the proper solution. 

The pieces are simple enough to make it seem really accessible and draw you in… and having done that, it then makes you work pretty hard to find a wonderfully satisfying solution…

I likes it. A lot. :-)


  1. Excellent! I have this little gem still all wrapped up waiting for the annual summer beach getaway ... glad to know it will provide such enjoyment.

    1. ...I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it, but let me know what you think... and have a great holiday!