SOMA Crystal
SOMA News 05 Aug 2017

SKOR-MOR, One more SOMA producer

There are many producers of the SOMA puzzle. Not all are worth mentioning as they simply make the puzzle as part of a longer range of puzzles.
However in July 2017 Rick Nungester, sendt me some pictures.

The puzzle is simply named "SKOR-MOR's Fascinating Cube"
Manufactured by a compagny called "Executive Enterprises"


The puzzle seem to claim a copyright from 1966, which may be in conflict with the Piet Hein copyrights.
However their trademark Nr: 899,122 dated Sep 22 1970 expired on nov. 4 1992.

United States Patent Office
899,122 Registered Sept. 22, 1970
Ser. No. 321,083, filed Mar. 7, 1969


    Skor-Mor Corporation (California corporation)
    1107 E. Kimberly Ave.
    Anaheim, Calif. 92801

The handwritten solutions belong to either Rick or Bob Nungester - but they don't remember who.

One more story.

Today 2017-11-17 I received an interesting mail from Ray Gardner.
Ray is a, recently retired, programmer from Centennial, CO USA. telling me his story:

"I first saw soma when looking at back issues of Scientific American in the school library probably around 1961 or 1962.
I made a set by nailing together some baby blocks we had around the house, and I still have it somewhere.
I wanted to show it to my four year old grandson today, but could not find it. But my wife has a knockoff set,
I don't know how old but she had it as a kid I think.
Grandson Simon and I were playing with it and one of the pieces came unglued.

I am also thinking of trying to make a set with really solid wood pieces, no glue, each cut from a solid block.
My wife doubts I have the woodworking skill, and she's probably right.
Well, in my opinion, it should be quite do'able, even if you have my skills of handywork - which is is abolutely nonexisting.
- And the puzzle might even become very pretty. /Thorleif/
I wrote a solver in C several decades ago. It was not graphic; it just took a description of a shape in some textual form
and printed solutions in something similar to your notation.
I think I did it mainly as a challenge to myself to see if I could write a suitable backtracking program to solve the shapes.
It was probably not a very sophisticated algorithm but it worked fine.

Your soma pages are amazing! I will have to spend some more time looking around. Thank you.

Ray Gardner"

Now, the knockoff set that Ray's wife Debbie has, is a SKOR-MOR product.
It is a copy of the SOMA puzzle, but the package carries no reference to that fact.


   Create-A -Cubes, the three-dimensional in-   
   terlocking wood puzzle, has been analyz-
   ed by the American Improbability So-
   ciety. They found 240 simple ways to
   arrange the seven blocks of wood into a
   cube. They also found more than a mil-
   lion slightly harder ways to do it, some of
   them involving mirrors, turning pieces
   inside out, etc.

   A few of the other forms possible with
   Create-A-Cubes are shown on the Sides.
   The named shapes use all seven pieces;
   the others use the number of pieces in-
   dicated. See if you can find some new
   shapes. (Just to add chaos, we've thrown
   in an object that is impossible to build.)

   Frankly, we don't expect you'll find all
   the possibilities; but if you can't get the
   cube together, just send a stamped self-
   addressed envelope to:

                 6390 CINDY LANE, CARPINTERIA, CALIF. 93013

   and we'll show you how to do it and also
   send you our complete catalog of adult
   gifts and games.

Debbie's puzzle is in a very fine state. But notice that the text is far from normal, trying to mention things like an "Improbability Society" and strange things like "involving mirrors, turning pieces inside out"
This is of course not serious talk, but probably suitable for their marketing strategy.

Submitted by Rick Nungester <>
Addition by Ray and Debbie Gardner <>
Edited by Thorleif Bundgaard <>

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