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The Infernal Cube, Tamed.
  [vote for,

In the mid-80's, an evil was unleashed upon the world, the likes of which haven't been seen since the H-bomb.

It wasn't the cold war.
It wasn't Exxon Valdez.
It wasn't worldwide famine.

It was a little plastic cube, made up of little bricks designed to twist this way and that in vain hopes of aligning all of the colors correctly.

It was the spawn of Satan.

Sold by the millions, the demon possessed little cubes would try their best to wreak havoc upon stability and peace. It was great fun for psychotics, prison inmates, and the severely mathematically disturbed. It would tease idle minds with states of seeming near-completion, push fragile psychologies permanently over the precupice of sanity, and cause a horrific spike in the study of algorithmic programming modules years later.

Thankfully, heavenly angels largely contained the threat using the perpetual garage sale method, where the infernal devices are eventually contained in church rummage sales, exorcised, and smashed by five-year-olds. However, a few still lurk.

As penitence for their wicked schemes, we have captured two exorcised cubes and enslaved them to solve themselves every 6 hours and perform a completely trivial duty to mankind.

Each hour, the two cubes reconfigure themselves to show the hourly time, arranging the black bricks into the standard dot arrangements found on a pair of dice. Between 1:00-6:00, one cube remains solved, while the other displays the appropriate number of dots. Between 7:00 and 12:00, the other cube kicks in as well. At the a.m.-p.m. switch, they alternate assignments to conserve battery power.

Inside each cube, a six-output mini-servo motor handles the rotational needs of each face plane. The clock automatically sets itself according to the international atomic clock broadcast frequency, having a built-in radio transceiver and cube positional sensors. The servos are simply friction-fitted to the face centerblocks, should anyone have the outlandish desire to actually pick one up again and play with it. And each cube is color-coded to its stand, should they become inadvertantly switched.

Minutes displayed separately.

RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2003

Rubik's Clock Game http://www.dotsphin.../games/rubik/clock/
Java [thumbwax, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Rubik's Clock Puzzle http://www.rubiks.com/clockmain.html
Flash [thumbwax, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       If they "stood" on their corners, showing three sides each, you could also show minutes and seconds, though some cheating might be necessary.
FarmerJohn, Jan 18 2003

       I wish it'd be that easy; I've been trying to figure out what to do for the minutes. The side colors are likely too dependent upon what's happening on the display side to be of much value.   

       Half of me wanted to encode the time in some sort of oddball way, but then the dice solution was simply too elegant to pass up.
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2003

       So which were you, the psychotic, the prison inmate, or the severely mathematically disturbed? <g>   

       I was never any good at it. The only way I know to solve it in anything less than an hour of stumbling through a long process of leading by the hand involves a hammer.   

       My sister got so annoyed with the thing, she pulled the stickers off and stuck 'em back on at random. You could tell 'cause in a few spots she had put the same color on two sides of one cube.
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2003

       <aside to himself>He's one of us. We can tell him our little secret.
<his other side>No, we can't tell anyone, anyone, you hear!
RayfordSteele, Jan 18 2003

       Due to my superior intellect and my gift for problem-solving I made the wise choice of avoiding those little buggers altogether, having passed any I received on down to nephews and nieces. I secretly marvelled at anyone's ability to solve the thing at all, let alone in mere moments (kudos Unca Bubba), but I never once even hinted that I was remotely interested in that kind of puzzle.   

       Perhaps we could build a two-tiered stand with a pair of regular cubes on the top row to indicate the hours and another pair of cubes, say keychain-sized, in front and below for the minutes. That still doesn't solve the dice-format display problem (draw 12:59PM for me!)
Canuck, Jan 19 2003

       I struggled through the night on a vacation in Hawaii, finally solving it at 3:30AM, but not knowing how. My girlfriend was awakened by victory whoops.
FarmerJohn, Jan 19 2003

       [farmerJohn] have you gone off on a tangent at all?
po, Jan 19 2003

       Tip: Easy to take 'em apart and put 'em back together
thumbwax, Jan 19 2003

       [po]can you put that in yanklish?
FarmerJohn, Jan 19 2003

       I was as tactful as possible :)
po, Jan 19 2003


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