SOMA Crystal
SOMA News 27 April 2008 + april 2015 + august 2016

A Spotted SOMA.

Now it is 20160827 We (Theo Geerinck and I) figured the position of all the spots.
This makes it possible for anyone to make a copy of this puzzle - See the drawing almost at the end of this text.

A Question: We assume that "when" these pieces are assembled correctly,
then the spots will form a specific pattern on the sides. maybe checkered or maybe something else.
If YOU find such a solution, then please take a set of photos so that we can see how it is assembled
and eMail them to me = Thorleif (my eMail is at the bottom of this Newsletter).

A week ago I received a mail from Theo Geerinck.
"In a sale I bought a SOMA like puzzle in the sense that the seven pieces have the shape of the standard soma pieces but they are spotted with red and white dots on all sides of the unit-cubes of which they are build. It is made from black plastic and there are 66 red, and 56 white spots."
Apparently he had a SOMA with colored dots on the cubes. At first I imagined something like pieces made from dice, or spot colors alternating, like the twocolored wood SOMA's we know. But a pair of fotos soon revealed that this was indeed something special.

Soma One side

Soma Other side

The thing is - None of us have ever seen this version before. And we dont know the challenge involved.

BUT - the way the dots are placed, makes me feel that it should be possible to assemble the SOMA 3x3x3 cube having it all red, or with sides of same colors. So I imagine that this is the purpose of these dots.

Why then.?

Lets see.
Scroll it down to the color drawing in the middle.
There you see some pieces, and their position in the box.
This diagram shows the ONLY possible positions that each piece can have.
(No other positions are possible, if you want to assemble the cube)(( Except mirror versions !!!!))

Now, look at the 'L' shaped piece, you see that it will always show its left side to the public.
Looking at the spotted cube I see that the 'L' piece show the 'right' side as 'ALL RED'
Not the same side as my drawing - but remember, mirror versions also exist.
OK so the 'L' is not 'same color' on its back, so this would mean that the ONLY position for the 'L' is the diagrams position "Y=2 Deficient"

Then look at the 'T' piece, according to the diagram, this can "Only" be a "G=3 Normal" requiring it to be the same color on one of its sides, AND, same color at the ends and its back.
Alas, I cannot see its end colors, nor its 'back' color - But - If it is red, then all sides assembles to red.
However - IF the ends are white, then I would assume the finished cube to have some sides all red and the rest to be all white.
[by the way I just noticed that the 'L' has a white top, so this speaks for a cube with alternating side colors.]

I use the figure diagram to establish that piece 'T' have only ONE possible position, and that 'L' and 'Z' is limited to one of two places, this is helpfull when assembling, because the number of triels are reduced this way.

If YOU have any experience with this, or own a SOMA like this, then please let me know.

It is now april 2015.
And Theo wrote to me again. This time with one more foto, so now we have 'almost' all the sides of this interesting puzzle version.
Can anyone out there help us with a solution or explanation.
Third side

Theo wrote: "I tried in vein to find a special pattern, while forming a 3x3x3.
So I wonder about the objective of the puzzle. Can anyone help me out?
The reason I returned to this problem was that I got the design of a Soma cube with dotted pieces so that the die pattern gave an unique solution. The designer is unknown to me.
I have tried the free Burrtools program that allows you to try patterns on the outside, so I know that two all white dotted sides are impossible."

Can we make a copy ?

I tried to combine all Theo's pictures, to find out where the spots appear.
On the left of each little drawing field, you see a piece slightly from above,
and on the right you see the same piece then turned 180 deg, and the view is now slightly from below.
This should make all sides visible and making it possible for you to create a copy.
Now in this image I have (Red side = Red spots) (White side = White spots).

Will anyone help us finding a solution to this enigma ?.
The color distribution

Another spotted SOMA

By the way, have a look at another of theo's spotted cubes. :o)
Dotted V2 side
Dotted V2 Pieces

And his Name i cubes: "Hi Thorleif, This is another example of how a prescribed pattern can force an unique solution to the Soma Cube (240 solutions). The design is by Ken Johnson and the pattern is my first name in capitals on four sides (top and bottom are blank)."
TH side
EO side

Submitted by Theo Geerinck
Edited by Thorleif Bundgaard <>

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