SOMA Crystal
SOMA News 9 july 2016

Apparently correct figures.

Inspired from a mail I received, my thoughts wandered along the trail.
"How do we know if a solved SOMA is really the solution, or is it just an Imagination.?"

It started back on 3 january 2015 with a mail - as things often do.

3. januar 2012 from JaggerG
Hello Mr. Thorleif. I like puzzles. Puzzles are fun.

I have recently revisited my childhood through a Christmas gift my brother gave me: Soma cubes. He got them from, and the box contained a sheet of various figures to build, including the memorial.
I came to the conclusion, as you did, that it is impossible
(object 7 only has 2 possible positions, forcing object 4 in the position across it, forcing object 3 on top/underneath, forcing object 5 or 6 to form a corner, any formation of the remaining 3 pieces results in a hole in an edge).

But then I started thinking: This list includes 2-dimensional diagrams of 3-dimensional objects, and is angled in such a manner that, actually, you can't be certain if the shape is disymmetrical. You can't actually prove from the image given that the front and back are mirror images. It's only implied that it's symmetrical from the y axis.
From there, I started thinking of other means of solving the particular puzzle, and ended up finding a symmetrical figure that looks just like the diagram if observed from the same angle.

Some might be considered cheating, but if that's true, then the creator of the list is cheating by providing an impossible puzzle.
Still haven't figured out 29 and 33, but I thought I recall having solved 29 in third grade, and I remember 33 being proclaimed impossible, though maybe not proven.
I've also "solved" that through alternative interpretation of the diagram, but given the name, it's probably not passable.

Thanks for hosting that site!

Of course I answered right away.

Hi JaggerG

Thank you so much for your mail
Basically you are right, there is no real way to determine the figure shape unless it is viewed from several angles.
Though there is a general consensus that the figures are mirror like if they look as if they are.
Unless they carry a note stating otherwise (ie. The figure has a missing cube inside)
When drawing the figures the viewing angle is always selected to show any irregularities.

On the other hand – as you state – there might be some great fun in making a figure that “look” identical
So, given that – your solution to the memorial is very interesting.
(If you send me the solution, I will add it to the website)

Regarding the “W” figure 33. YES it has been proven to be impossible (Of course assuming that the shape is smooth)
Again, If you make a “W” that looks right from the normal viewing point, then please send me the solution.

Hmm. Maybe that could be a SOMA-Newsletter about “Impossible figures that seem to be right” ?

22 days later I tried to regain contact - with no luck

Subject: Soma: Do you have solutions?

Hi JaggerG

In Januar 2012 you mailed me about solutions that are “apparently” correct.
You mentioned that you had found such semi-solutions for: The memorial and the “W” figure 33.

Is it possible that you could write down these solutions (or draw them, or photo) ??

And so - the "Trail grew cold".
Now the question of course is - can you find 'this' solution.?
If so, then send me a mail - and I will post it here. :-)

Inspired by JaggerG. <>
Adjusted by Thorleif Bundgaard <>

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