Beat the Elf, Polycube Puzzle


The thirteen pieces of this plastic polycube consist of twelve small double cubes and a triple cube (three cubes in a row). Eleven pieces have one yellow and one black cube. One piece consists of two black cubes. The final piece has one black and two yellow cubes. The goal of the puzzle is to arrange the pieces into a 3x3x3 cube, with no face of the cube representing a winning game of tic-tac-toe.

The puzzle fits in a transparent plastic box which is shorter than it and has no lid.

The shape and number of the pieces in puzzles 2012.0091.06 and 2012.0091.07 are the same, although the coloring is different.


Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans, The Book of Ingenious and Diabolical Puzzles, New York: Times Books, 1994, pp. 36-37.

Date Made: ca 1975

Maker: House of Games Ltd.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Canada: Ontarian, Bramalea

Subject: MathematicsEducationMathematical Recreations


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Science & Mathematics


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Judy Green

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2012.0091.06Accession Number: 2012.0091Catalog Number: 2012.0091.06

Object Name: puzzle

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)Measurements: overall: 8 cm x 9 cm x 9 cm; 3 5/32 in x 3 17/32 in x 3 17/32 in


Record Id: nmah_1425325

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