28 May 2000
When looking for CUBE puzzles, The SOMA addicts
will tell you long stories about SOMA. BUT
SOMA is not the only cube puzzle, that has been
invented throughout the years.
Isidor Bressler Email: (Contact me, Thorleif, for the address if you need it) the oldest SOMA player I know (85 Years) has investigated a series of cube puzzles.
This newsletter shows you a few of Isidor's discoveries both in solving these cubes, as well as some artistic figures using these other types of puzzles.
This story is by Isidor Bresler:
Since 1980 a pensioned engineer in electromachine construction. Born in Warsaw 1915, lived in Russia 1939-1945, and back in Poland 1945-1957, and then in Israel from 1957.
My interest in Cubes started in 1995. And my first contact with computers was in 1995 - as I got one to my 80'th birthday...
Interesting - am I the oldest member of the "Cube Addicts"?
By the way, in my opinion, the main potential of "Cube users" may be found in the old people's home, prisons, hospitals etc.
It may be, that the 'Brain Gymnastics' - during the game - has a good influenze in braking or delaying the Alzheimer desease.
The conditions for using this potential, requires an active part from the younger people, as instructors during the start period.
Children and young people currently prefer computer games, and the implementation of cubes and puzzles in Kindergardens and schools is only possible through active initiatives by the guides and the teachers.
It may be that all these are not new to you, but it would please me to hear if my thoughts can be of use to other "Cube addicts".
<--- Isidor Bresler
Design of symmetric puzzles using the "Symmetric Combination"
My puzzles conform to two guidelines:
1. The forms must be symmetric (i.e. there must exist a plane which divides the form into two mirror images).
2. The forms must be stable (i.e. a puzzle should be able to stand Without support).
Construction of puzzles by trial and error is slow, and turnout is
The method I have developed, is based on the possibility of combining symmetric forms to create a new, compound, symmetric puzzle.
In addition it turns out that a few of the pieces can be used to create "Mini-Puzzles" which are partial symmetric combinations, consisting of a subset of the pieces of one cube (usually two or three pieces).
Using combinations of the mini- puzzles, a large number of full size shapes, containing all pieces of a cube, can be easily created. It is possible to come up with many variations, of which the more "elegant" can be used to create complete puzzles.
At the moment I have 12 different types of 3x3x3 cubes in my posession
I have the pleasure also to present the solutions to the "Five pieces Coffin Cube" (Z)
According to Trevor Wood email@example.com only one solution is possible, that is the reason it is so hard to find.
Some months ago I found some wonderfull plastic cubes 20x20x20 mm
at a shop, They are delivered in 10 colours
These cubes can be obtained from many sources, Among wich are:
Israel Palda Ltd. 8 Rakefet St. Hagor. POBox 3496, code 45870, Keriat Aria.
Each cube has 5 openings and one connection bud So that the making or demounting of the cubelets only take a few minutes.
For each puzzle piece I have removed the connection bud from one of the cubelets, this ensures a fine stability.
I decided to exploit the possibility of building a multitude of different
forms from the puzzle pieces.
My innovations/extensions/improvements can be as follows:
The multi-level game.
Level 1. One of the possibilities is a multi-level game, beginning with the easier stage, and becoming increasingly harder with each level.
Level 3. The third hardest level contains the uncolored perspective drawings.
Whoever has difficulty, can try first solving the same puzzle using the drawings from level 1, 2 or both levels at the same time, and only attempting the level 3 puzzles.
The numeric presentation of SOMA (and others) "Puzzles" by Thorleif Bundgaard. (Described here)
The large benefit of the presentation is, that it covers all elements of the Cube or Puzzle.
In spite of these benefits, is it not easy (especially for untrained people) to put together a puzzle according to the Numeric presentation... I have finally developed a simpler method, that significantly eases the procedure:
1. In addition to the 7 original Soma pieces, I have prepared cubes with colors and code numbers on all 6 sides, these are then combined exactly as the original pieces.
2. Now the puzzle can easily be assembled according to the Numeric presentation, (each level independantly) starting by the lower level. And continuing with the next levels.
3. Then build the puzzle with the original pieces, identical to the numbered, or carefully exchange the numbered pieces with the original ones.
4. Then draw the isometric presentation of the puzzle on a sheet of paper.
Also the reverse task of Numerical presentation
of a new puzzle is easy.
After having build a puzzle using the numerical pieces, You note the numbered layers level by level, exactly according to the Bundgaard method.
After having written one level. Remove the pieces, to continue with the next level.
I have tested the method with succes.
I am indebted to Mr. Thorleif Bundgaard who not only offered to host me in his website, but also invested a lot of work in adapting the material I have sent him. Moreover, he contributed to enlarge the list of the 3x3x3 cubes that I added to the range of my activities. I owe him also my introduction to the website of "Johan Myrberger's List of 3x3x3 cube puzzles", from which I borrowed a few interesting cubes.
Thanks to Thorleif, I managed also to get in touch with Mr. Trewor from UK, who supplied me with a solution for a 5-piece cube (with which I struggled without success for many a day...)
I found this cube in the rich work of Coffin published in the internet.
My thanks to all of these "cube masters"!
Regarding the Designer of the Livecube-3
Design and Copyright: Min S.Shih & Guan S. Shih (2003)
Checkout the SUPER homepage at
Mail to Min Shih at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subject: The solution of the 4x4x4 cube.
ABBB | ABEE | AAGE | GGGE ACEB | BBED | FAGG | GAHE DCEH | BCDD | FFHG | CAHF DDDH | CCDH | CFHH | CFFF
It has now been 10 years since I first heard from Mr. Isidor, and saw his amazing SOMA figures.
During these years Isidor has regularly kept me updated about his works. Especially about the
innovative use of the popular PALDA cubes.
Isidor handles these cubes by removing the connection tabs from a few of them. Thereby allowing the construction of not only the 7 SOMA pieces, but of any other shape.
I am still wondering why this simple idea has not been implemented by the manufacturers of the PALDA blocks. but apparently they are happy, by just making a single type of blocks, even though Isidor has shown so clearly that there are a lot more possibilities when some cubes have no tabs.
Anyway - below are a set of very nice photos showing both Isidor, and some of his many cubes.
Isidor is here sitting with his PALDA cubes all lined up nicely
Here we have some of the finished SOMA cubes
Notice that both different colored versions and checkered versions are possible.
And here are some more of Isidor's fine puzzles.
It is now 3 years later. During the years Isidor has been continuously at work creating a range of good ideas
Once in a while sharing these with me. Even now when the health is deteriorating - he still create new stuff.
This time the idea is to Solve a SOMA like cube, using different shaped pieces again using his popular PALDA cubes.
CBB CCC AAC COB AAA BAC CCB BBB BCC
DDD DBB CCB AAD DOD CBB CAA CCA CBA
BBE AAE DAE DBE DDE DAC BBC BCC AAC
AAA FEA FBE AEE CEB CDE CCE CDD DDE
CAA EFF EEF CAG CGG BEF CDD DDG BBB
BCC BCC FFE BDD BGE HGE ADD AAE HAA
BCD ICD FCD BEG IEG FEG BAA AAH FHH
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