The Magic Cube is a redesign of the familiar Rubik’s cube. Unlike the traditional Rubik’s Cube, the faces are the same color and are inscribed with numerals, each forming part of a number series that holds historic significance. It is precision engineered and can be fabricated from a variety of different materials including wood, plastic and metal. More than just an intriguing puzzle; the Magic Cube is also intended to stimulate interest in fundamental concepts of number theory, serve as a beautiful accessory, or a tactile device to hone your logic skills.
Aesthetic Crit – “So, what happens if you get thoroughly frustrated? Well, the folks at the Innovation Factory thought about that too. They will be building an online solver so that you will not have to break apart the cube to “reset” it.“
Built In Chicago – “Everyone at Built in Chicago is invited to nominate themselves or others for the Innovation Factory Magic Cube. “
Chicago Grid – “Kinlay, founder of hedge fund Systematic Strategies and CEO of Innovation Factory, says he’s been planning the cube for years. The trickiest part? To solve it, the player needs to know historically significant mathematical sequences.”
Coolest Gadgets – “There are puzzles that toy with our minds in a fun way, and then there are those meant only to try and cause harm to your brain. “
Gadgetify – “Not all geeks love math but if you are getting them a gift, a math puzzle is a fairly safe bet.”
Gaming Gadgets – “As the long name of this cube suggests, it comes not simply with a matter of sorting six different colors, but the mathematical number sequences must be arranged in the correct order. “
Geek Alerts – “Math geeks, this one is for you. Besides, I don’t have the brains to figure this cube out. “
Gizmodo – “Unless you’ve memorized these numberical formations, solving this puzzle will be all but impossible for anyone other than practising mathematicians. But it’s great news for anyone with a math professor on their holiday shopping list, and a $20 limit.”
Infinispace – “If you think the original cube was frustrating, prepare for your brain to explode.“
Jebiga Design Magazine – “What’s the catch, you ask? You will have to sort out how the numbers correlate and what order should they appear in on all six faces to form a solution.”
MSN News – “Unlike a traditional Rubik’s Cube, in which same-color squares are identical and squares can be oriented in any direction, the numerals on Magic Cube must be aligned properly, adding another level of difficulty to the puzzle. In other words, your ‘5’ can’t be upside down, even if you have the numbers in the right sequence.”
Plus Magazine – “Rather than having colours on the little square faces it has number on it. So your task is not only to put the large faces together in the right way, but also to figure out what this right way is. “
Puzzle Pile – “Heavily influenced by the Rubik’s Cube, Kinlay’s creation takes the classic puzzle and gives it a mathematical twist. “
The Aperiodical – “A chap called Jonathan Kinlay has innovented a Rubik’s cube variant which only has one colour, but six different integer sequences on its sides. As a colourblind integer sequence enthusiast, this basically has to be my ideal Christmas present, right?”
Witty Sparks – “Adding to the complexity, several of the numbers appear on more than one face. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? “
The Number Sequences
The number series on each of the six faces of the Magic Cube represent a selection of the most famous series or numerical constants in mathematical number theory.
Click on the following number series to learn more about their origin & modern applications:
Triangle Series – This exponentially expanding set of numbers is generated from a pattern of dots which form an equilateral triangle. By adding another row of dots you can find the next number of the sequence.
Solving The Magic Cube
To solve the Magic Cube, all the faces must show the six mathematical sequences (shown above) & all of the numbers must have the same orientation.
The following instructions for solving the Magic Cube were submitted to us by Cedar Turek:
1. Look for numbers that only appear once on the cube (“unique numbers”)
2. Solve the Prime Number side.
3. The lowest-level (17, 19, 23) and 13 are unique to that side.
4. The side adjacent to 17,19, 23 is the first three numbers of Pi. So that is the start of Pi side.
5. Treat the Prime Number side as “white” for a standard Rubik’s cube solution algorithm
6. 13 and 23 have 3 and 8 of the Magic Square side
7. 17 has 34 of the Fibonacci series (unique number)
8. Take the other numbers on the Prime side (2, 3, 5, 7). Use 2 and 7 and get them in the right orientation.
9. The 2 cube on the Prime Number side has to have another 2, (to satisfy the Fibonacci side -to the left) and the 7 has an 8, because there is only one 7-8 edge piece. This 2-2 corner also has to have a 28 to satisfy the Triangle Number side.
10. 2 and 8 on Fibonacci side, and 2 and 7 on the Prime side shared
11. You need a 3 and 5 on Prime Number side, since they are the 2nd and 3rd Prime Numbers. Since the 2 has a 28 on it, the 3 has to have 36 and 5 have 45 to satisfy the Triangle Number side.
12. Since there is only one 5-45 corner piece, is will have a 4 on it to the right, which fits the diagram of the Magic Square.
13. Now that you have the Prime Number(white) side finished, you need to get the edge pieces shared by the sides that touch the Prime Number(white) side.
14. Apply the algorithm for solving the edge pieces that are shared by the sides that touch the Prime Number side.
15. After that, you need to get the correct edge pieces on the “e” side.(orientation doesn’t matter right now)
16. When you have solved the ”e” side edges, you need to solve the ”e” side corners. if you have the correct edges, then the edge pieces will be correctly oriented. if you don’t, then you will need to switch the corners with each other.
17. Now you have the top side (”e” side) and the bottom side (prime number side) done.
18. All that remains are the edge pieces of the Pi side, Magic Square side, Fibonacci side, and triangle side. once you rotate them, your cube is solved!
Submitted by Cedar Turek, age 12
Solution time: approximately 3 hours working time.
Jason Bohanon was the first to solve the Magic Cube (before he even received it!) check out the video of Jason solving his mock-up-Magic Cube: