How to Solve a Wooden Cube Puzzle

By Lisa Parris
The Classic Cube

The object is simple. You take the 12 pieces of the puzzle apart and put them back together again, forming a cube. It sounds so effortless... until you try it. Although it's not quite as challenging as the Rubik's Cube, neither can you peel the stickers off when you get stuck. If you find your block puzzle is trying your patience, do not despair. You can chuck the whole mess into the nearest trash can, or you can memorize the steps below and have the pieces reassembled into a tidy cube in no time.

If you have not already done this, take the cube apart. There should be two of each style of puzzle piece: two large, four medium and four small. Additionally there are two small pieces that have no match.

Set the large pieces on a flat surface with the prongs pointing up. Take a small bar that looks like a flattened U and place it, prongs side up, into the groove of a large piece. Then take two of the medium-sized pieces and place them back to back on top of this, with their cutouts over the prong of the small piece. This combination of blocks will form an H.

Set the second large piece on a flat surface with the prongs pointing up. Take the second small bar that looks like a flattened U and place it, prongs side up, into the groove of a large piece. Turn these two pieces over and place them on top of the H, aligning the small, flattened U-shaped pieces.

Look at the cube from the side. There should be a hole in the center. Take the two small pieces that have a prong protruding from their center. Slide them into the center of the puzzle, one on the left, one on the right, with their flat sides out.

Form two T shapes with the four remaining pieces. The Ts will be put in separately, one from the top and one from the bottom.

Being careful to keep the center pieces together, turn the puzzle 90 degrees. Look inside the puzzle. You should see two holes. The T section with a gap will be placed first. Push the pieces in the cube aside to make room and insert the T, putting the medium-sized piece first. When the new pieces are in place, push all the pieces back into the cube.

Turn the cube over and repeat step six with the remaining puzzle T piece.

Tip

Pay close attention when you take the puzzle apart the first time.

Practice putting it back together until you can do it easily without the guide.

About the Author

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.