Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex (corner) and
allowing it to hang freely. Now imagine you are lowering it into
water until it is exactly half submerged. What shape does the
surface of the water make around the cube?
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube
using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many
different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
In the game of Noughts and Crosses there are 8 distinct winning
lines. How many distinct winning lines are there in a game played
on a 3 by 3 by 3 board, with 27 cells?
We have received a very elegant strategy for
solving this problem from Tom and Adam, of Alcester Grammar School
We have found a solution to this puzzle. Our solution works,
because we selected all the nine colours for the bottom face. Their
position did not matter as long as there was one of each on the
For each colour, we then moved up one level, right one space (if
they were on the far right already, they moved to the left row),
and forward once (if they were at the back already, they moved to
the front row).
We repeated the same procedure to fill the top level.
This ensured that there was one of each colour in each row,
column, and on each level. Because of this, each of the faces could
only contain one of each colour, as when we consider a whole face,
all of the colours will just shift one place, inwards, and move off
the row and level that they were on before. Also, as every colour
was on the initial face, there would have to be every single colour
on all the other faces too.
Thank you Tom and Adam for such a neat solution.
Anybody who would like to check that the procedure works can
return to the problem page and try the strategy out for