Dino Cube

Dino cube, solved

Dino Cube, one axis slightly turned

The Dino Cube is a vertex-turning cube puzzle, and one of the simplest puzzles going around. I would highly recommend this as a starter puzzle for children who you don’t want to discourage.

One reason why this puzzle is so simple is due to a fact that affects all vertex-turning cube puzzles: the vertex axes are not a generating set for the isometries of the cube, so for any vertex-turning cube puzzle some pieces simply cannot be manipulated into some positions. Specifically, there is only one possible orientation for each piece in each position, so if you put a piece where it belongs then it must be correctly oriented. This completely eliminates any prospect of parity problems, and renders the puzzle easily solved.

If you cut the vertices off a Dino Cube, you get the cuboctahedron-shaped Rainbow Cube. Aside from the minor matter of shell shape, the two correspond exactly.