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THE BIG READ | Hungarian inventor Ernö Rubik on what led him to create his iconic cube

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Ernö Rubik’s invention of his iconic cube in 1974 brought him fame and attention beyond his wildest dreams. (Photo: Gallo Images/Alamy)
Ernö Rubik’s invention of his iconic cube in 1974 brought him fame and attention beyond his wildest dreams. (Photo: Gallo Images/Alamy)

It probably goes without saying that the Cube has attracted more attention than I could have imagined. It is a curious fact – one that surprises me as much as anyone – that for so many decades, during a time of an unprecedented technological revolution, fascination with such a simple, “low-tech” object has survived.

And, in fact, this fascination has evolved. The Cube has been a toy for children, an intensely competitive sport and a vehicle for high-tech explorations and discoveries in artificial intelligence and bewildering mathematics. Blame has been cast on the Cube for divorces (and marriages), and for ailments known as “the cubist’s thumb” and “Rubik’s wrist”.

With all this attention has come . . . questions. Journalists, fans of the Cube or casual acquaintances around the world often ask me the same questions, as if I could easily provide answers that would reveal all the mysteries of my puzzle. They have hardly changed over the years, so let’s dispense with them at the outset.

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