The same issue that saw many a 1970s and 80s youth misspent, many a face screwed into a permanant pained look and people with square eyes. Yep, it’s official. The Rubik’s Cube is back and it needs solving immediately.
I know the most puzzling of cubes is back, because not only has it become the gift de jour at my nieces’ and nephews’ never-ending schedule of birthday parties (with parents breathing a sigh of relief at the modest price tag) but Twitter has told me so - therefore it must be fact.
Celebrities have suddenly started boasting about their skills - including Justin Bieber who definitely wasn’t born the first time around. He can solve it in a minute. Respect.
But as this trend returns I have learned that actually the Rubik’s obsession never really went away for some people. In fact there is an actual world championship in Sao Paulo next month where Rubik’s gurus compete in all sorts of time trials/ formats.
The competitors even have a special name - ‘speedcubers’. They have to solve the puzzle five times with the average fastest time scooping victory. The world, even my fickle self, got bored eventually the first time - this seems dedication beyond comprehension.
I have a lot of practicing to do because the world record for a Single Solve (yep, it’s a thing) is 5.25 seconds, set by American Collin Burns in April this year.
Meanwhile, the inventor of this puzzling plastic cube - Erno Rubik -must be rubbing his hands with joy ( as must his bank manager).
He is still around and thanking his stars for the day 41 years ago he decided to liven up his lessons (he was an architecture professor) by inventing a challenge for his students to solve. That day a legend was created and a zillion frustrating hours wasted.
So if you think I’m giving you any clues - forget it.