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The Cube: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Best-Selling Puzzle: Secrets, Stories, Solutions Paperback – Mar 11 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

The Cube: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Best-Selling Puzzle: Secrets, Stories, Solutions + Rubik's Cube 3x3 in Hex Pkg + Rubik's Mini Cube 2x2 (Carded)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 34.91




Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (March 11 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157912805X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579128050
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

David Singmaster is a retired professor of mathematics at London South Bank University, England, who is most famous for his solution to the Rubik's cube.


Dieter Gebhardt has published over 70 articles on puzzles and is considered a leading expert in the field of rotational puzzles.


Jerry Slocum is a historian, collector, and author specializing in the field of mechanical puzzles. His personal puzzle collection, numbering over 40,000 mechanical puzzles and 4,500 books, is believed to be one of the world's largest.


Wei-Hwa Huang is a four-time World Puzzle Champion and one of the first few people in the world to have solved an actual 6x6x6 and 7x7x7 Cube.


Geert Hellings began collecting rotational puzzles in the early nineties and is currently the President of NKC, the Nederlandse Kubus Club (Dutch Cube Club), an association with 500 members from all over the world.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 37 reviews
55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Errata for the book May 10 2009
By science-buff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book with detailed solutions for 2x2x2, 3x3x3, and 4x4x4. It is instructive that the authors deliberately left out much of the more routine details for 5x5x5, 6x6x6 and 7x7x7 so as to force the reader to internalize and re-apply the moves learned from the previous simpler cases to the latter ones.

Some errors in the book to take note of:
Page 86: the 4th notation for the E1 diagram should be F-clockwise.

Page 112: the first notation in the last diagram of 4.1 should be F-counterclockwise.

Page 118: the first line underneath the H4 sequence should read (5)->(4)->(1)->(5).

Pages 123 & 129: V1 should be written as V1 = K1 Rs down K2 Rs up.

Page 132: two instances of U3 in the S3 sequence should be replaced by U2.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A great book for any puzzle fan! April 23 2009
By RG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes this book does have solutions for solving the 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, 5x5, 6x6, and even 7x7 cubes. However their solutions are designed to be "beginner" solutions in that they are fairly easy to learn but not super-efficient in terms of getting the fastest possible times. There are other books that provide faster (i.e. more difficult to memorize) algorithms for solving a Rubik's Cube.

Where this book really shines is as a historical guide to the Rubik's Cube and other related puzzles. A good chunk of the book is devoted to the origins of the original Rubik's Cube and how it came to be a worldwide phenomenon in the 80s.

There is also a large section devoted to other puzzles that have been inspired by the Rubik's Cube. Many of these custom puzzles are truly amazing. There are a lot of nice full color pictures of the various puzzles to dazzle you (or drool over if you collect puzzles). This book is very current, containing puzzles created as recently as 2008.

Anyone who loves Rubik-type puzzles will absolutely love this book. And even the casual cuber will likely enjoy the wealth of information packed into this book.
31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
There must be easier-to-understand solution books! June 10 2009
By Tigger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had a Rubik's Cube back in the early 80's and I vividly remember reading a solution book which was easy to memorize. When my cube resurfaced recently, I couldn't come up with the name of that book, so I randomly picked this one. I found the nomenclature, diagrams, and descriptions of the moves awkward and difficult to understand, and although I was eventually able to solve my original cube (3x3) and the 5x5 Professor Cube, it took a LOT of false starts (and diligently staring at the book for several hours). I still haven't re-memorized the 3x3 solution moves, which I was able to do fairly quickly with the original book. Unfortunately, I don't remember how the original solution book showed the moves, except that reading and memorizing the moves was much more intuitive with the old book than with this one.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Confusing solutions - Everything else excellent Sept. 15 2010
By Douglas Schiller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book already knowing how to solve the 3x3.
The first part of the book is fantastic.
It details the history of the cube, and related puzzles, a great bio of Mr Rubik himself, and excellent pictures of anything you would want to see, from collectibles to knock offs.

But my primary reason for purchasing the book was the solutions to the various sizes of the cubes and this is where it falls short.

The decision to use non standard colors was very confusing to me (the red and pink used look similar).

There would be 2 pages to describe something simple then a quick sentence when an advanced method is needed.

To sum up, great for Cube history but get your solutions elsewhere.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Cube April 22 2009
By Andy Liu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Cube is the short title of a recent publication that I highly recommend. It is a tribute to the puzzle craze in the early 1980's that readers automatically associate the title with the correct object, Rubik's Cube. This is an ingenious invention of the Hungarian engineer Erno Rubik, and the American mass market has propelled it to a cult status.
America has often been regarded as a cultural desert. This is perhaps not without justice, but certainly not without reason. It simply takes time to develop the kind of culture that has come down to us from earlier civilizations. The modern world faces a population the size of which is unprecedented in history. Thus its attention has shifted from the elite to the masses, resulting in dime novels and other limpid forms of literature.
Nevertheless, there is one aspect of the American culture that does not take second place to anywhere else in the world, and that is culture with a scientific and technological bent. The writing of the legendary Martin Gardner is well documented. Of equal significance is the fascinating world of mechanical puzzles centered on Jerry Slocum of Beverly Hills. He is the founder of the International Puzzle Party and the Slocum Puzzle Foundation. He will eventually donate his entire puzzle collection of over 30,000 items to the Lilly Library at Bloomington, Indiana. The process has started with a Grand Opening of the Slocum Room in 2006.
Jerry is both an authority and an expert in the history of puzzles. He has written a number of monumental treatises on the subject, such as The Tangram Book and The 15 Puzzle Book. Besides drawing from his extensive puzzle library and collaborating with other puzzlists, Jerry regularly goes on field trips to conduct on-site research on the topic. His books are based on sound methodology and developed with meticulous care. They are most definitely not boring like some historical documents could be. A trademark of a Slocum book is that it is profusely and lavishly illustrated, each picture with a good reason for its inclusion.
The Cube is no exception. In less than 150 pages, readers will find a full documentary of the history of the Cube, with an introduction from the inventor. David Singmaster, one of the co-authors, is the leader of the cult in its early days. Various events and diverse persona associated with the puzzle are described in detail, including an advance announcement of the availability of the 6 by 6 by 6 and the 7 by 7 by 7 Cubes. Readers are also exposed to a huge collection of puzzles derived from the Cube.
Saving the best to the last, the final section of the book contains a full solution of the Cube of sizes up to 7. Here, one can detect the finger prints of Wei-Hwa Huang, another co-author who is a four-time individual champion at the annual World Puzzle Championship, and a wizard at Google.
At the list price of $12.95, this is a bargain which is impossible to pass up, even if you have been isolated from civilization and have not even heard of the Cube before. This is American culture at its best.

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