What is this cube puzzle?
October 1, 2010 6:19 AM   Subscribe

A cube composed of six jigsaw-like pieces which lock together. What is this type of puzzle called and where can I get one?

Although they fit together like a jigsaw, it is all right angles and (I think) based on a grid system. It sounds simple but I remember it being pretty taxing because the pieces all looked very similar. The cube example given above is the most basic form but I think you can get them in packs of varying levels of hardness and where individual cubes can be added together to make bigger shapes.

The ones I had when I was younger were made out of firm, brightly coloured foam and I think they came out of a box of Wheetos. I've not seen any since but I'm sure they must be relatively common, I just don't know the right search term.
posted by ninebelow to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you mean a Soma Cube?
posted by procrastination at 6:22 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: To Rob's Puzzle Page!

It's probably in the interlocking puzzles, or possibly in jigsaws.
posted by zamboni at 6:22 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Soma cubes are under assembly, apparently.
posted by zamboni at 6:25 AM on October 1, 2010

Best answer: something like this, right? i can't remember the name of them...
posted by jangie at 6:30 AM on October 1, 2010


We've got these! We're temporarily out of stock of the regular version, but we have plenty of the colored version, as well as the Rattler puzzle, which is similar, only the pieces are connected.

posted by Merzbau at 6:30 AM on October 1, 2010

Like this?
posted by Bruce H. at 6:31 AM on October 1, 2010

Response by poster: Its not a Soma Cube. Each piece is flat, as if you split a cube along each edge. Then to imagine each face, think of a 4x4 grid of graph paper with some of the outer squares shaded out (each face is 1 square deep so they can connect together).

Right, now I'm going to spend some time looking at rob's puzzle page!
posted by ninebelow at 6:31 AM on October 1, 2010

Best answer: I remember those! - and I think these eraser cube puzzles (from Amazon and a zillion other places) ought to fit the bill.
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:31 AM on October 1, 2010

And here are a kajillion others...
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:35 AM on October 1, 2010

Best answer: Fuck me, there is a lot of information there! Thanks to that link I now know what Burr puzzles are called whcih is awesome because I like those too. The Screw Cube is pretty cool too. And - yes! - I've found them down at the bottom: Happy Cubes/Snafooz. It seems like they are pretty niche and not considered a serious puzzle. I like them though.

On preview: Thanks, julthumbscrew. The ones I remember must have had a bigger grid - I think they probably were actual Snafooz - because those 4x4 ones look too small.
posted by ninebelow at 6:42 AM on October 1, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry, jangie, missed your answer first time round.
posted by ninebelow at 6:44 AM on October 1, 2010

I'm so happy you posted this - I used to adore the ones I got out of vending machines, and had forgotten about them for years. I sense some puzzles being FedExed my way in the near future...
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:55 AM on October 1, 2010

I had the SOMA cube as a kid and loved it. I used Rob's puzzle page a few years ago and found a replacement, but the booklet that came with the replacement is not the same as the original. They both have instructions for building different types of shapes, but the original booklet had a section which showed you how to transition from one shape to the next:

if you build the BED, then fold up the ends you can get the CANAL, then stand it on one end and move a bit to get the ZIG-ZAG WALL, then separate that along this axis and shift to get the CUBE, then pull this one piece out and put it upside down on top to get the CRYSTAL.

Anyone know where to find something like that again?

(sorry for the derail, but I think it's pretty closely related.)
posted by CathyG at 7:12 AM on October 1, 2010

I had one of those from Weetos!

Bedlam Cubes are pretty similar.
posted by mippy at 9:39 AM on October 1, 2010

That's the Parker Brothers SOMA manual, CathyG, which you can see on Thorleif's SOMA site. The 'transitions' instructions are near the end of the manual. (If you haven't seen them yet, let me point you to Kadon Enterprises' polyominos, a joyful discovery for a SOMA fan.)
posted by Ery at 9:47 AM on October 1, 2010

Response by poster: I just bought a Bedlam Cube which is what prompted this question actually.
posted by ninebelow at 9:56 AM on October 1, 2010

Thanks Ery!
posted by CathyG at 1:44 PM on October 1, 2010

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