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What are Some Random/Funny/Odd Rubik's Cube Trivia Facts?

PEZenfuego

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The frame (coined by Pochmann) plus 8 corners and 12 edges is 21.

On topic:

You could phrase this as a question or do true/false.

The 7x7 cube has more combinations than there are atoms in the universe.

It is likely that by randomly turning a 3x3 for one's entire life, one would never reach the solved position.
 

cmhardw

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I always thought it was fascinating that the number of unsolved, legal, positions on a 3x3x3 cube is a prime number. Also the number of unsolved positions on the 8x8x8 and 11x11x11 cubes are both prime numbers. As far as we know, no other cube sizes where this is true has been discovered (but this does not mean there are no others).

What was the first WR for the Rubik's cube, and who was it set by?

I don't know the answer to this question. Are you referring to Minh Thai's 22.95 set at the 1982 Budapest World Championship? If so what about the times set at the rounds leading up to that? For example Minh Thai won the "Rubik Cube-A-Thon National Finals" on That's Incredible in 1981 with 26.04 seconds, so was that not a potential WR before the 22.95? And this is only from the US standpoint, what about the fastest times across the world in Europe as well?

I think this question does not have an easy answer, and now I am curious of who really did hold the very first WR for single solve for 3x3x3.

Chris

P.S. 10/10 on the Rubik's cube quiz. I think it's interesting that only 13.5% of people knew there were 21 pieces to the cube. I wish they showed how many answered the other answers, but I guess the number with the most votes was probably the 27. I think most people, with no experience with the cube whatsoever, might guess 26 though. They would probably reason that 3*3*3=27 but that there must be something on the inside of the cube, so that insidemost internal cubie would actually be puzzle mechanism, so 26 total. That is just my guess though. Also, counting the center pieces separately we really should get really 27. I wonder what the layman's perspective is of how many pieces there are.
 
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cmhardw

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Ok I thought of a way to phrase the question I was thinking.

What was the winning time of the very first ever Rubik's cube competition? Since we were before the WCA here I define a competition as: A gathering with the intended purpose of selecting one person (or people) who set the fastest time out of the group.

I think we can agree that this winning time is a candidate for one of the first ever single solve world records ever set.

Chris
 

cmhardw

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Since we were before the WCA here I define a competition as: A gathering with the intended purpose of selecting one person (or people) who set the fastest time out of the group.

Since this includes any backyard gathering where people time themselves, let's also add that this candidate for first ever competition must have had it's results reported via either radio/TV/or newspaper media. This will also allow us to find the result, and not hear it through word of mouth.

Chris
 

Stefan

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Chris, that's still a bit vague and likely not documented well enough to find a definite answer for trivia/facts. You can certainly make it a little challenge, though - who can find the earliest documented competition? Here's my attempt:

After the first competitions in Hungary (N38), the next major competition was on 31 January 81 at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, sponsored by the Japan Cubist Club. There were 400 entries and 73 passed the qualifying round. The contest consisted of restoring three new cubes. The winner was a 16 year old schoolboy, Hideki Kitajima, with times of 62, 46, 49 seconds (average: 52 1/3 seconds). He won a new Datsun! Second prize was a Sony video tape recorder, and there were three further substantial prizes. Kitajima said the new cubes slowed him down - he usually does 25 to 30 seconds in his morning practice of 100 cubes.
http://www.jaapsch.net/puzzles/cubic1.htm#p12

The N38 refers to Singmaster's notes page 38:
early_competitions.jpg


So I have:
Viktor Tóth
55 seconds
Jan 4, 1980
 
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jazzthief81

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You can certainly make it a little challenge, though - who can find the earliest documented competition?
So I have:
Victor Toth
55 seconds
Jan 4, 1980
Funny. This is the same guy I talk about in a blog post I made a while ago about when I started cubing. I mention it near the end when I list some interesting facts that were printed in a solution booklet. Although I didn't mention him by name in that article, I know it's the same guy because he's mentioned by name in the booklet.

I don't think I have any documents that go further back.
 

KConny

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qqwref

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What was considered the largest (counting layers, not physical size) cube that was believed to be possile to make until recent inventions?
This is a pretty common misinterpretation. As someone who was part of the twistypuzzles community before the V-cubes were created I know the real story - people knew it was possible to make arbitrarily large cubes (for instance by making the outer layers really wide, or by making the entire thing perfectly spherical) but they didn't because of aesthetic concerns. Few people wanted to waste money producing a very ugly and complex puzzle that might not even work well if at all. I think a few people did try making the 6x6x6, with different mechanisms, but I don't think any of them turned out stable. In those days people were only (mostly?) interested in cubes with equally sized layers, and that was the goal for anyone who wanted to make a bigger cube.

Anyway, it was shown that the 6x6x6 is the largest cube you can make with evenly sized layers - using the standard mechanisms. So nobody believed bigger cubes were impossible, just that they couldn't be constructed with the normal technique (a bunch of plastic pieces and a core held together internally by their shape, with any layer able to turn without affecting other layers) and with even cubical pieces. People thought bigger cubes should be possible using magnets (the c4y guy made a 9x9x9 out of dice and magnets) or other things like that, but few people were interested because of aesthetics. A modder named Etienne de Foras made an even-layered 7x7 using a new technique where turning one layer would push out pieces on neighboring layers, much like the Floppy Cube, but I don't think the idea was ever made into a fully functional stickered cube, even though pictures of the almost-complete cube exist.

To me, the big invention of Mr. Verdes (apart from the great mechanism) was not the idea that bigger cubes are possible, but that the pillowed shape is a good one. Everyone assumed a perfect cube would be better and didn't even try to look at other alternatives; when Verdes first showed off the V7, people finally began to realize that the pillowed shape was both pleasant to hold and more stable. For a while after the worldwide V-cube release, many builders transformed smaller puzzles (3x3x3, 5x5x5, megaminx) into pillowed versions.

When & where was the first WCA competition?
This might be a tougher question than it sounds like. The WCA was definitely not around in 1982; that competition is accepted as official retroactively, because the results are all well-known and because it had been advertised as a world championship which gave a good inaugural world record (i.e. the Gunness world record) to compete against. I believe that faster times than 22.95 had been achieved in competition by 2003 - the fastest I have heard of was a 17.02 by Robert Pergl at the Czechoslovakian Championship 1982. Anyway, I don't think the WCA was even around at Worlds 2003 - I wasn't around then, but after asking around it seems like the WCA was actually created (as an organization) around mid-late 2004. So asking what the first real WCA competition (WCA-official, after the creation of the WCA) is is not at all a trivial question. Perhaps it could even be categorized as a trick question, as the answer is certainly not what most cubers would suspect.

EDIT:
Well I read somewhere that "The number of unsolved configurations on a Rubik's cube is a prime number."

43,252,003,274,489,856,000

Umm... no.
Subtract one (for the solved position, right?). Now it's prime.
 
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