Cue Brutes  ...on with the thinking cap!

Did you know that there’s also a 1x1x1 Rubik’s Cube which was actually the predecessor of the original Rubik’s branded cube? The 1x1 puzzle consists of six different coloured uniform faces, and uses a

Published: 05th May 2018 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd May 2018 11:50 PM   |  A+A-

Did you know that there’s also a 1x1x1 Rubik’s Cube which was actually the predecessor of the original Rubik’s branded cube? The 1x1 puzzle consists of six different coloured uniform faces, and uses a unique mechanism that has been described by many as “way beyond its time”. The puzzle is not solved by making turns, but rather rotating the entire puzzle to find the solved state, something that no puzzles since have been able to accomplish. Go figure!

Therefore, you are given two cubes of lead, one of which is a little larger than the other. You have to cut a hole through one of them without destroying the continuity of its four sides so that the other cube can be passed through it. However, on weighing them after that you find that the larger cube is still the heavier of the two. How can this be possible?


(But before everything else here’s something I either receive on a regular basis or never at all. Take your pick. Hey RGK, thanks a lot but how about solving some puzzles too?)
I read your article today. It was very well-written. I really enjoyed reading it. Pl keep up the good work of bringing smiles on people’s faces early in the morning. The entire day tends to go rather well then. Good luck and regards. -- R G Kaimal,

(From the Jurassic park the problem was about a fictional country where boys and girls were born in strictly equal proportions and a King who favoured girls birthing more followed a faulty logic.)
The probability of a boy or a girl to be born is equal -- that is, 1/2. It is in overall population and not alternately. The probability distribution of birth of sons and daughters in the country is even.

The edict has not only prevented another son but also equally probable, a daughter. The couples who get a son after the edict and no further children, will be on par with similar couples before the edict whose only child or the last child was a son. As the edict has prevented equally probable sons and daughters, the probability distribution is not affected. His Majesty needs to open a Royal Statistical organization to advise on such matters. -- Abhay Prakash,

Simple. The first set of births after the King’s edict will be half boys and half girls. But so will every subsequent set. The number of births will diminish steadily, but this won’t affect the ratio of boys to girls. -- Dhruv Narayan,

(The second one was: “HERO and HOST are masculine nouns which turn feminine by adding suffixes like -INE and -ESS. Can any familiar feminine noun be turned masculine by adding a suffix?” People who wrote GROOM after BRIDE don’t count because it’s not really a suffix which almost always have a hyphen before it.)

There is one word that is inherently feminine that can take the suffix “- er” to become masculine: we make the inherently feminine word widow masculine widower. There’s probably no other such word in the English language. -- Ajit Athle,

(Among the first five, etc etc, who: Narayanan P S,; Punyashalila Sahu,; Seshagiri Row Karry,; Nrusingha Behera,; Balagopalan Nair,
(The third problem was about a 7/11 store in the US where this person had bout four items which when added together or multiplied still came up to $7.11.)

This is very tricky. For the record, I started at 8 AM and finished just now interrupted for an hour by a guest! Let the four numbers be ABCD in cents. Then A + B + C + D = 711 and A*B*C*D = 711000000. 711000000 = 2^6 * 3^2 * 5^6 * 79. 79 must divide one number. As this is the largest, I started with etc, etc etc. -- Saishankar Swaminathan,


1. There are 25 termites randomly arranged on a metre long stick. Each faces either left or right. At the word “go” they all begin marching at one centimetre per second. If two of them collide they immediately reverse direction. How long before all termites have left the stick?

2. The weight on one pan of a grocer’s balance is 10% more than the other pan. By what angle will it tilt?w

Sharma is a scriptwriter and former editor of Science Today magazine.(

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