GeekDad Puzzle of the Week Answer: Cubic Corners

Geek Culture

My dog ate the Rubik’s Cube. You can see her, even last summer, visualizing the attack. That’s a seriously self-satisfied Labrador. Sheesh.

In the answer to this week’s puzzle, Patrick points out a couple cool things I didn’t notice. First, the puzzle:

What are the possible perimeters of my family’s irregularly shaped Rubik’s Cube with one cube removed? Does it matter which cube my dog chewed off — the corner, center-side, or center? For the purpose of this puzzle, consider all cubes to be regular, 1.4cm to the side with no space between.

Patrick noticed that, “In all three cases, the resulting volume of the large cube is equal. Removing a corner cube does not change the surface area of the large cube.” Every once in a while I’m smacked in the head with the frying pan of the appropriateness of my inclusion at this blog. This is one of those cases. Who out there joins me in thinking these things are surprisingly cool? Dude.

In any case, missing a corner block, the perimeter is 58.4 cm; missing and edge block, the perimeter is 64.4 cm; and missing a center block, it’s 67.2 cm. It seems that a notable frequent solver of the puzzle forgot that the removed block would leave new, interior edges that would technically now be “perimeter” (in addition to removing the edges that were once there). You know who you are. And by my reckoning this is your first incorrect answer in about a year. Let me be the first to say: muahahahahaha! (And cheers.)

The reason I bring up Patrick is that, finally, his name was pulled from the pool of correct entrants as this week’s winner! Congratulations! The world’s riches will be yours, all yours! Or at least a $50 gift certificate from our spectacular sponsor, ThinkGeek.


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