Beat the Elf, Polycube Puzzle

Beat the Elf, Polycube Puzzle

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1975
House of Games Ltd.
place made
Canada: Ontarian, Bramalea
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 8 cm x 9 cm x 9 cm; 3 5/32 in x 3 17/32 in x 3 17/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Judy Green
Mathematical Recreations
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object