Since it’s the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, why not have fun with a variation – a tactile version you can literally solve with your eyes closed?
First off, a disclaimer – when I originally came up with this idea I thought there were competitions for solving Rubik’s cubes blind, and thought this would be a do-it-yourself alternative. In fact, actual competitions involve memorizing the cube for a period of time, and then solving it blindfolded, which in all fairness should be called solving the Rubik’s Cube from memory. But I digress…
I wanted a cube that could be touched and immediately give you an idea of the color/face in use. Some versions found online use different materials for each face (like cork, sandpaper, etc). And while that would be effective, I went for a simpler solution – plastic ‘gems’ that I grouped on each face according to color. The actual gems were small stickered pieces for birthstones, which gave me a good variety of colors (although to be fair, for a true ‘blind’ cube color shouldn’t matter).
To do it, you’ll place one dot on each of the nine squares on one color’s face, two on the next, and so on. Two things to keep in mind:
- You leave one face without dots, so you’ll go from zero dots to five dots per square per face.
- Opposite sides would add up to the same total, that is the side with zero should be opposite the side with five each, the side with two per square opposite the side with three, and one opposite four. While not strictly necessary, it’s a nice bit of symmetry.
To build it, you’ll need a total of 135 dots:
|Side zero||no dots|
|Side one||1 dot for 9 squares = 9|
|Side two||2 dots for 9 squares = 18|
|Side three||3 dots for 9 squares = 27|
|Side four||4 dots for 9 squares = 36|
|Side five||5 dots for 9 squares = 45|
As a new way to stretch your brain, give it a try – and then tell everyone you can solve the Rubik’s Cube with your eyes closed!