"Drive Ya Nuts" Puzzle Does Just That
The Rubik's Cube quickly spun beyond being merely a puzzle. It was a huge fad, a phenomenon, and has since grown to become an icon symbolizing the entire 80s. Not too bad for a frustrating little plastic puzzle. Of course other purveyors of plastic puzzles of the time weren't going to be caught twiddling their cubes. In addition to cheap knockoffs of the cube itself, there was a sudden market for other mind benders, and lots of companies vied for a piece of the puzzle.
Parker Brother's Drive Ya Nuts puzzle is what enthusiasts call an "edge matching" challenge. You can see that each of the large plastic "nuts" has numbers on it, and the goal is to match these up with neighboring pieces. There's only one solution, and it is terribly frustrating. I dislike puzzles where there's no rational way to build to an answer. All you can do with Drive Ya Nuts is keep trying to find the fit. There's no logical solve to find. I even consulted a mathematician. A child has about as much of a chance solving this time-waster as does an adult.
Here's a photo of the puzzle in its solved form (ignore the bright orange mathematician marks). It was less of a brain challenge, and more of a test of patience. I can't say I feel any better seeing it solved than not solved. Here's a link where you can print out your own version and see if it brings you more joy than it did me. There were other Rubik's Cube era puzzles that managed to delight (which we'll examine in future posts), but Drive Ya Nuts still leaves me just scratching my head.
puzzler conquers "Drive Ya Nuts" with charts n' graphs