Almost as quickly as the craze started, it sputtered out. Cheaply made counterfeits cubes flooded the market. (Shutterstock)
The first person to solve a Rubik’s Cube spent a month struggling to unscramble it.
It was the puzzle’s creator, an unassuming Hungarian architecture professor named Erno Rubik. When he invented the cube in 1974, he wasn’t sure it could ever be solved. Mathematicians later calculated that there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 ways to arrange the squares, but just one of those combinations is correct.
When Rubik finally did it, after weeks of frustration, he was overcome by “a great sense of accomplishment and utter relief.” Looking back, he realizes the new generation of “speedcubers” — Yusheng Du of China set the world record of 3.47 seconds in 2018 — might not be impressed.
First Published: Sep 17 2020 | 09:38 AM IST