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Ever since the 3-D combination puzzle known as Rubik’s Cube came to my notice, I have been trying (and failing miserably) to successfully arrange the colours in the correct order. An avid solver of puzzles and brain teasers since childhood, I first welcomed the Cube into my life somewhere in the early 80’s and slowly, over the years, I learned to hate it passionately.

I’ve tried every single algorithm available on the internet, and I’ve managed to transform one layer, or on a good day maybe two layers, into the desired order, but as soon as I start on the third layer, I completely destroy my careful construction. I am afraid the only route open to me is to pull the colour tags off and glue them into the correct order.

Every now and then I resolve to get rid of my current Cube (I’ve had many over the years), but like Jan Wilson’s proverbial cat, it resurfaces in my desk drawer a few days later. Then the torment starts again: I try for hours on end to solve the puzzle and at night my subconscious mind dreams up weird and wonderful solutions … which disappears with a soft ‘poof’ when I wake up. This leaves me bleary-eyed and in a state of despair, which forces me either to seek chemical oblivion or to compose my mind into a serene state which will permit undisturbed sleep.

The World Cube Association (yes, there is such a body), holds competitions where the Cube must be solved in different ways, for example, blindfolded, using a single hand only, using one’s feet, etc.

What brought on this latest lament? I just read the report of the Tunisia Spring Open 2016 speed cubing competition, published by of the African Cubing Association. The overall winner solved the Cube within an average of 13.93 seconds. I just can’t get my head around that information. I feel so inadequate.

Kry julle ook hierdie drome wat net nie wil einde kry nie? Ek raak aan die slaap en droom dat ek ‘n probleem moet oplos (byvoorbeeld die Rubik’s Cube) en in my slaap sê ek vir myself: “Dis net ‘n droom”. Dan draai ek om op my ander sy … en gaan net weer aan met die droom waar ek opgehou het. Ek het selfs sover gegaan om op te staan en ‘n glas water te gaan drink, net om behoorlik wakker te word, maar sodra my kop die kussing slaan, droom ek net weer rustig voort.

Boonop praat ek in my slaap. Ek baklei dat dit bars met die probleem waarmee ek worstel en my man sê hy kan die hele verloop van sake volg deur net na my te luister. Dis seker ook maar goed ek kry nie hierdie serial dreams oor my buurman nie.

Die laaste twee jaar of so het ek die gewoonte aangeleer om my ipod saam te vat bed toe sodat ek na oudioboeke kan luister deur die nag. Natuurlik vier my onderbewussyn fees en leef hom / haar behoorlik in die storie in. Vanoggend sê my man toe vir my ek moet asseblief nuwe boeke aflaai, want hy is nou regtig moeg vir Harry Potter.


Image credit: By This image was created by me, Booyabazooka – Based on Image:Rubiks cube.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4771790

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