Klara's Cube and Puzzle Collection

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to play with puzzles. What first sparked my interest was a set of metal disentaglement toys for kids which I got when I was 4 years old. They instantly became my favourite toys, and I kept them as my "treasure" in a small box which I still have:

A year later I got a 15-puzzle, and I still remember spending an "eternity" (probably a week or so) before I could figure out a simple way to rearrange the three last pieces without starting all over again and hoping to get "lucky". The puzzle is pretty worn, and has been repaired with tape several times:

Then my parents bought me a Rubik's cube for my birthday when I was 7 years old. I have always considered this to be the best birthday present of my entire childhood:

By continuing to answer "brain teasers" whenever someone asked me what I wanted for birthdays and Christmas when I grew up, I accumulated a small collection of wooden puzzles - mainly interlocking and disentanglement puzzles, but also some sequential movement and dexterity puzzles. Some of these are shown below:

But it was only after completing my phd in mathematics that I coincidently discovered that there exsits a whole world of Rubik's like puzzles, and that people were making new puzzles by modifying existing ones and even creating new internal mechanisms. From that moment I was hooked, and during the next year and a half I acquired most of the puzzles in this picture:

I am planning to include individual pictures and descriptions of some of my puzzles in the Puzzle Gallery, but progress is rather slow at the moment...

Here are some cube books that I would recommend to anyone interested in learning more about Rubik's cubes as well as their connection to group theory and commutators:

If you are looking for more information about this kind of puzzles on the internet, here are some nice websites to visit:
  • TwistyPuzzles Forum: The best source of up-to-date information about twisty puzzles. The site has a very active forum and a comprehensive puzzle museum.
  • John Rausch Puzzle World: Here you will find interesting information about all kinds of puzzles, and a nice forum for puzzle enthusiasts.
  • Jaap's Puzzle Page: A great website with detailed puzzle solutions and a nice introduction to some of the mathematics that applies to the cube. The website also hosts an online version of the Cubic Circular.
  • Georges Helm's Puzzle Gallery: An amazing online collection of twisty puzzles. There is also an extensive library of cube books and solutions.
  • Hendrik Haak's Puzzle Shop and Museum: A very interesting Puzzle Museum and a nice Puzzle Shop.
  • Frank Tiex's Puzzle Library: An exquisite collection of custom made puzzles and rare production puzzles.
  • Rob's Puzzle Page: A large collection of various kinds of puzzles, with interesting information about each of them.
  • Mr. Twisty's Puzzle Collection: A huge online collection of twisty puzzles.
  • Milan's Puzzle Page: A large collection of puzzles, and many nice pictures from various puzzle meet-ups.
  • Juan Roure's Puzzle Collection: The online collection of one of the largest Spanish puzzle collectors.
  • Mechanical Puzzles: Very nice collection of custom made puzzles, information about mass produced puzzles, and links to some major puzzle collectors and inventors.
  • Pantazis' Puzzle Paradise: A nice collection of puzzles with recommandations on which puzzles are really worth having.
  • Katsmom's Puzzle Room: The diverse collection of one of the craziest female puzzle collectors :-)
  • Tony Fisher's Rubik's Cube Type Puzzles: One of the greatest puzzle builders sharing lots of interesting information about his puzzles.
  • Litwin Puzzles: Dave Litwin is another of my favourite puzzle builders, and a really nice guy. Customized versions of his puzzles are available from his website.

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Last updated by Klara on March 10th, 2010