A while back I managed to find a copy of Markus Götz’s Edge Corner Cube. Crafted by Eric Fuller in Canarywood, this 3*3*3 cube assembly is pretty unusual in that virtually all of the joints between cubies are either edge-to-edge or corner-to-corner – so they need to use some neatly engineered steel joiners. (Eric’s probably one of the only craftsmen out there crazy enough to even take on such a thing…)
Anyhow, back when I got it, I remember playing with it a bit and thinking to myself “It’s cute, but not brilliant” and filing it away in the Fuller section after taking the obligatory pictures for the catalogue-that-I’ll-get-around-to-one-of-these-days.
That day has now arrived and I decided to start my cataloguing with the stuff that Eric has made… and when I got to entering the Edge Corner Cube, I noticed something a little off with my pieces compared to the ones in Eric’s pics… I consulted some other references thinking that maybe this wasn’t that puzzle after all, it must be something else… and then I looked a little more carefully: most of the pieces matched up nicely but a couple didn’t… and Eric’s pics had only one piece where I had two… and slowly it dawned on me that one of the pieces has been broken in two… since I got it…
After scraping off the barely visible remains of the previous glue, out comes the glue pot and the errant piece is duly affixed, and placed under a kilo or two of brass courtesy of Mister Popp.
Next morning things look like they’re supposed to on Eric’s pics and I have a new challenge – and far from being a bit m’eh – this one is a decent challenge! AND those whacky connections make all sorts of weird moves that shouldn’t be possible, happen effortlessly – this requires a new way of thinking about things.
Assembly is really interesting: starting with a couple of the larger pieces you can construct a bit of a frame and then try and introduce the other pieces – but working out the order to introduce them, and then getting your head around the new types of moves that are possible with the connectors sliding neatly between the bevelled cubies provides a whole new world of fun… get it all back together again and unless you’re cursed with a photographic memory, disassembly is going to be just as much of a challenge – literally.
On disassembly, there’s a spare cubie that just drops out – but from there you have nine interesting moves before the next piece is freed… this thing is a wonderful little puzzle – all hiding in an apparently benign 3*3*3 cube.
In retrospect I should have been ashamed of thinking that Markus had designed an ordinary puzzle, or that Eric had selected a straight-forward puzzle and gone to all that bother of engineering the connectors without good cause… either way, I’m really glad I stumbled across the problem and fixed it while I was cataloguing my puzzles.