Rubik's Mini Magic
Rubik's Mini Magic is a 2×2 version of the Rubik's Magic. Various
versions have been produced, mostly for advertising purposes (for Kelloggs
for example). The ones pictured above were made by Matchbox in 1987, and
they can be combined to form a 4 by 4 larger picture of a big cheese with
mice climbing all over it. With most versions of the Mini Magic, the front
and back designs are solved at the same time.
The only transforms one can do the mini magic are the star shift transform
and the loop shift transform. The rectangle transform
trivially reduces to a quarter turn of the whole puzzle, and the other transforms need
too many tiles.
The image on the right shows all possible positions of the Mini Magic. The lines marked L
or S show how the positions are related by loop or star transforms.
The easiest way to solve the Mini Magic, is as follows:
- Hold the puzzle so that at least one tile is in its correct place, though it may need to be twisted.
- Check whether the adjacent tiles lie in their correct positions, ignoring their orientations also. If they need to be swapped, then do the loop shift transform.
- Repeatedly do the star shift transform until the puzzle is solved. Note that you should never undo the previous transform -- the first fold of one transform is perpendicular to the last fold of the previous.