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A talk at Jodrell Bank *September 24, 2008*

*Posted by Alexandre Borovik in Uncategorized.*

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Yesterday I gave a talk “Social life of Infinity: from mathematics to Kitsch” at “Arts meet Science” event held at Jodrell Bank. I mentioned in the talk that kisch is virtually unknown in mathematics and was presented with a counterexample: one of the speakers, sci-fi writer David McIntee, gave me a Sudocube bought in the Visitor Centre shop. I proudly display a photo.

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[…] Tipped off to its existence by Alexandre Borovik. […]

I don’t get it… On the same line it has 12 number positions (4 sides, 3 on each), but only 9 distinct numbers. That makes solving Sudocube impossible.

A “proper” Sudocube is really two separate ‘rows’ of three faces. On this photo, the left and top are two of three, with the unseen rear-right as the third in that row. You solve that set of three just like a row in regular Sudoku. (You’ll notice that the numbers are “upright” in comparison to each other on those two sides.)

The face shown at right, which is rotated 90 degrees compared to the others, is the left-most face in the second three-face row that includes the bottom and the rear-left. You solve this row the same as a conventional row in Sudoku.

You just don’t have any “columns” of faces, only “rows”. And the two separate rows are solved independently of each other, with the obvious caveat that they are linked by the nature of the cube. But the Sudoku-aspect of it has two independent puzzles on one cube.