Chips off the old cube

Worldwide sales of the original Rubik's Cube, the six-sided brainteaser invented by ErnÖ Rubik, a Hungarian professor of architecture, have now passed the 10 million mark. Moreover, the perplexing puzzle has spawned a bountiful and profitable array of sequels, spin-offs and solution manuals that is turning into a minor industry.

In Britain, for example, the royal wedding inspired an imitation cube that shows the Union Jack on four sides and the likenesses of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, on the other two. Because of its pictures,...

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