Did you know the Rubiks Cube is 40 years old?

rubik's cub

It was 40 years ago when Erno Rubik, a architecture professor in Budapest, Hungary, put a name to the object he had created – a solid cube that could twist and turn, but didn’t fall apart. The object was not supposed to be possible – and it took him over a month to work out a solution to the puzzle. But As a teacher, he looked at the creation of the Rubik’s Cube as primarily an “object of art, a mobile sculpture symbolizing stark contrasts of the human condition: bewildering problems and triumphant intelligence; simplicity and complexity; stability and dynamism; order and chaos.”

Little did he know it would become the best selling puzzle in the world. And now it has become a national event! The 2014 Rubik’s Cube  US National Championships are underway and continue through August 3rd. 

Competition categories include Speedsolve, Blindfolded, One Handed, and With Feet. Click here to see the results as they come in.

Over the last 40 years, the Rubik’s Cube has evolved into several different styles and functions. At Puzzle Warehouse, we love to see new, interesting and unique versions of this popular brain teasing puzzle. Here are some of our favorites:

Rubik’s Void Puzzle

 

Similar to the Rubik’s Cube, the Void Cube Puzzle has one notable difference – the center cubes are missing! The addictive 3x3x3 mechanical puzzle is a multi-dimensional challange that facinates puzzle fans around the world. With “43 Quintillion” possible moves and only “1″ solution, even the Rubik’s fan will find new challenge as you try and solve it!

Snake King 4x4x4:

The 4x4x4 King Snake has 64 blocks that make up a 4x4x4 cube when complete. The degree of difficulty climbs through the roof! Oh so tough! If you solve this in under 3 hours without the instructions, we will be quite impressed. (The fastest time to solve we know of is two hours). This King pattern with the checkerboard blocks is very tough even though there are 2 possible solutions, as the cube colors give very little hints as to the correct solution path.

The Perfect Summer Picnic Baskets

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The Blessing, 500 XL pieces, SunsOut. Browse our picnic jigsaw puzzles for inspiration this summer!

It’s summertime, and that means it’s picnic time. Take the family out into the sunshine and nature and pack a yummy, healthy, on-the-go meal! There’s a lot of information out there on what makes the perfect picnic, like safety tips on eating food before bacteria can grow, whether it’s pre-cooked or packed in the cooler to stay fresh. Then there’s the checklist of what essential items you need to bring, and recipes upon recipes of what food you can prepare and bring.

We’ve done you the favor or sifting and sorting through all the information so you can have the perfect picnic!

First, you need to decide what kind of picnic you’re having. Is it on-the-go, where you’ll skip the cooler and the hot foods, or is it part of a larger outdoor potluck or day out?

Whatever it is, you’ll need some essentials:

Pre-Picnic Packing

  • Plates, eating and serving utensils, and cups for eating and drinking
  • Cutting board, cutting knife, corkscrew for on-site prep
  • Napkins for hands, moist toilettes for sticky fingers and faces, napkins for cleaning out dishes before re-packing
  • Large and light blanket for easy travelling and to comfortably hold all picnickers and food
  • Backpack for stowing all food for easier traveling (it’s easier to carry than a basket)

Cupcake Picnic. 1000 pieces. Layfayette Puzzle Factory.

Next you’ll need to keep in mind how to keep your food safe.

Health and Safety Tips

  • Take what you think you will eat to avoid waste
  • 2 hour rule: don’t leave perishable foods out longer than 2 hours
  • Keep food covered to keep away from bugs carrying germs
  • Keep warm/hot foods out of the cooler
  • Warm/hot foods should stay at 140 degrees or warmer to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Only prepare these foods if you plan on eating them as soon as you get to your location (within 1 hour), or if you plan to keep them warm on a grill
  • Cold food should stay at 40 degrees or cooler–make sure you put cold foods in cold. For instance, don’t buy a brand new jar of mayonnaise and expect it to cool down to the proper temperature in the cooler. Tip: Pre-frozen items will help keep other items cooler
  • Fill cooler with ice packs, ice, frozen water bottles just before you leave the house and no sooner
  • Transport the cooler in the back seat rather than the trunk, which is the hottest part of the car
  • Keep raw and cooked food separate, both in containers in the cooler and on prep plates
  • Once you’ve eaten, put the food away as soon as possible instead of leaving it out while you go swimming or do another outdoor activity to ensure everything stays fresh

Winning Recipes

Winter Folk Art

Summer seems like the season for folk art, what with farms bursting in bloom and color. But winter makes just as great of a subject for folk artists, including Debbie Mumm and Jane Wooster Scott, who take their talents to the holiday season in these cheerful and fun snow scenes. Check out our selection below:

jane wooster scott winter puzzle

Turning Back the Clock by Ceaco. 750 pieces.

winter jigsaw puzzle

Snowfall in in Goose Creek by Ceaco. 750 pieces.

jane wooster scott jigsaw puzzle

Sweet Shoppe by Ceaco. 750 pieces.

ceaco winter puzzles, snow jigsaw

Yuletide Cheer by Ceaco. 1000 pieces.

Santa’s Workshop by Ceaco. 300 pieces.

santa jigsaw puzzle

Here Comes Santa by Ceaco. 300 pieces.

debbie mumm puzzle

Winter Wonderland by Ceaco. 300 pieces.

Old Montreal by Dowdle Folk Art. 500 pieces.

Meeting the Train by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

 

Holiday Gift Guide: Puzzles for Kids

Kids can be tough to buy gifts for sometimes, because we don’t know what toys and games they already own or things they will like to use for a long time. It can also be hard to find the perfect difficulty level where it is easy enough to use to be fun but challenging enough to keep interest. A puzzle is a fun, interactive gift that can be enjoyed by the child and his or her parents, as they help their child develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and more. We have a great holiday gift guide on our site, with puzzles separated by age group, featuring some of our best-loved puzzles for ages 1 through 12.

AGES 1-2+

christmas kids puzzle, toys for kids, gifts for toddlers

Christmas Tree Chunky Puzzle by Melissa and Doug. 13 pieces. Age 2+

music games, sound puzzles, melissa and doug kids jigsaw puzzles, gifts for toddlers

Sound Puzzle: Musical Instruments by Melissa and Doug. 8 pieces. Ages 2+

farm puzzle, good first birthday gifts

Large Farm Jumbo Knob by Melissa and Doug. 8 pieces. Ages 1+

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AGES 3-4+

thomas the train puzzle, thomas the train games, kids puzzles

Thomas & Friends – Meeting Friends by Ravensburger. 80 pieces. Ages 4+

snow puzzles, horse jigsaw, puzzles for kids

Chestnut and Acorn by Cobble Hill. 35 pieces. Ages 3+

 

Black Lab Puppies (Tray Puzzle) by Cobble Hill. 35 pieces. Ages 3+

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AGES 5-6+

wizard of oz jigsaw

Jouney to Oz by SunsOut. 63 pieces. Ages 5+

Noah and the Ark by SunsOut. 63 pieces. Ages 6+

low piece count puzzles, puzzles for children, wildlife jigsaw

Mini Puzzles: Tiger by Ravensburger. 54 pieces. Ages 5+

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AGES 7-8+

teddy bear puzzles

Teddy Bear Workshop by . 275 pieces. Ages 8+

educational puzzles, space jigsaw, science puzzle

Dino’s Solar System by Dino’s Illustrated World. 500 pieces. Ages 8+

Gingerbread Makers by Cobble Hill. 275 pieces. Ages 8+

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AGES 9-10+

Gingerbread Fun by Springbok. 400 pieces. Ages 10+

Frogs by SunsOut. 200 pieces. Ages 10+

nellie bly, puzzle games

Around the World with Nellie Bly by Pomegranate. 300 pieces. Ages 9+

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AGES 11-12

click photography series

Affectionate Pups by MEGA Puzzles. 1000 pieces. Ages 12+

Anif Castle 3D Puzzle by Hasbro. 769 pieces. Ages 12+

dragon puzzle

Dragon Storm by Melissa and Doug. 500 pieces. Ages 12+

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Only 6 Days Left to get your order by Christmas! Order by Tuesday, Dec 17 to ensure delivery by Dec. 24.