Who Filled The Sorter Cube?

Designer: Dr. Volker Latussek

This puzzle measures: 90 mm x 90 mm x 90 mm

Material: Cherry, Wenge, Am. Walnut, Bubinga, Jatoba, Walnut, Maple

Dr. Volker Latussek wrote about it:

“A few years ago, I wanted to introduce a shape-sorting toy to the puzzle world as a packing problem. The six pieces were to be placed in a certain order in the cube-shaped box. Back then the six pieces had the same square cross-section when viewed from a certain angle. Unfortunately, I have not yet succeeded in formulating a challenging packing problem.

Recently I stumbled across my BASTILLE and decided to reverse the idea of the shape sorting toy. This baby cube (2x2x2) was to be cleverly covered with face-centered openings (1×1) corresponding to the square cross-section of the six pieces. The construction of WHO FILLED THE SORTER CUBE? is once again mathematically pure – I am particularly pleased with that. There are 80,832 possible packings with the pieces sitting in six of the eight corners of the cube. By comparison, BASTILLE has “only” 8,256 symmetry-corrected packings.

Today I am particularly grateful to Pelikan who, on the one hand have made the parts pleasantly chunky and made the square 40 mm x 40 mm cross-section possible, and on the other hand achieved the initial filling I chose. This requires 16 intermediate steps to reach.

If you have followed my path, you will perhaps pass on the sorting cube yourself after 20 steps and thus answer the question WHO FILLED THE SORTER CUBE? with a mischievous smile.”

Kevin Sadler wrote about it:

“This incredible creation almost made my heart stop! There seems to be no end to the amazing manipulation of geometric shapes by Dr Latussek. It consists of the same box (albeit a good bit larger) as the wonderful Bastille puzzle. Packed inside are prisms made from the first 6 simple regular polygons (Circle, Triangle, Square, Pentagon, Hexagon and Octagon). They are made from Wenge, American Walnut, Bubinga, Jatoba, Walnut and Maple and the box made out of American Cherry. It is gorgeous! My first thought when I received this was “thank goodness that this is an unpacking puzzle and not a packing puzzle! It is almost a disentanglement puzzle. I look at this and marvel at how Volker’s mind must work. It is 9cm in each dimension and the holes are all 4cm across in the middle of each face.The holes in the sides are big enough to hook your fingers in and manipulate the pieces but not big enough to allow a decent grip. You must use gravity as well as your fingers to make the pieces roll over each other to make space for the first one to be pulled out through a hole. It looks incredibly tough and I am worried that I will never manage it but it will be a lot of fun trying.”