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Solution to Rubik's Magic

October 11, 1986|ELIZABETH MEHREN | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Memo to weekend puzzle-solvers: The Solution is near.

Oh, all right, admit that you love spending entire lifetimes struggling with tiny pieces of plastic. Confess that for you, frustration is fun--and vice versa. Come forth with the information that the Rubik's Cube nearly broke up your marriage. You were more interested in it than in your spouse.

The new Rubik's Magic puzzle attracted the attention of Ashwin Belur and Blair Whitaker. Now graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania, the partners in puzzledom somehow got their quick little fingers on an early copy of Rubik's Magic.

For 50 virtually nonstop hours, Belur and Whitaker attacked the plastic panels. They took mountains of notes, undertook countless false starts and finally, days ago, approached Dell with The Solution.

Dell's excitement was sufficient to prompt the quickest book in the publishing firm's history. A "crash production schedule," as Dell has termed the eight-day effort, might be an understatement for an initial print run of half-a-million books.

"We're very excited about this book because it's a great publishing opportunity," Dell managing editor Chuck Adams said. "It's also fun from the editorial point of view and thrilling to do something this quickly."

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