How to Solve the Magic Cube

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The magic cube, also known in mathematical circles as the magic square, is a complicated math puzzle requiring you to input the correct numbers so that every row adds up to the same number. You can build magic squares with a multiple of boxes, but learning to work them is easiest if you start small, and work a three-by-three cube.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Map out a three-by-three square with three rows of three slots. In total, you will have nine blank squares to work with. Place a number "1" in the middle of the top row.

    Go up one and right one space. Since there is nothing above the top row, this will take you to the lower right-hand corner space. Write the number "2" in this space.

  • Go up one space and to the right. Since your number 2 is in the right-most column, your number moves over to the left middle space. Write a number "3" in this space.

    Repeat the same sequence, but since the space is already occupied, roll down to the lowest left column. Write the number "4" in this space.

  • Repeat the sequence, up one and right one space. Write the number "5" in the middle space.

    Go up one and to the right one, write the number "6" in the uppermost right hand corner.

  • Drop down to the box just below the number 6 and write in number "7."

    Go up one space, and to the right. Since there is no column to the right, the next number falls into the uppermost left-hand slot. Write the number "8" into this box.

  • Move up on, and to the right. There is no space above the box, so it falls into the middle box on the lowest row. Write the number "9" into the remaining box.

    Add the numbers vertically and horizontally across each box to get the number 15.

  • Use this same strategy, up one, right one to solve larger magic squares. Magic square puzzle books often come with numbers strategically placed in the boxes, and it is up to you to figure out the sequence of the empty boxes. If you have a 4 in the lowest middle box, begin working your way up from the bottom by moving up one space, and right one space, adding the number 5. Repeat this process until the puzzle is solved. To check your numbers, add all the numbers in each column both vertically and horizontally to ensure you get the same answer all the way around the puzzle.

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