Ladies and gentlemen, meet the bastard stepchild of the Rubik’s Cube.
The Missing Link arrived on the scene in 1981, following in the footsteps of its much more popular cousin. Invented by Steven P. Hanson and Jeffrey D. Breslow, it was very similar to the old sliding-tile puzzles, except it was in the shape of a squared-off cylinder (there must be a long-word math term for that) with red, green, yellow, and white tiles made to look like links of a chain. (Hence, the name of the thing.)
In all, there were almost 110 billion different tile combinations, which made it infinitely easier to solve that that frustrating 3x3x3 cube we all know and love (and yes, we DO love it!).
All you had to do was slide the tiles around and get all the colors lined up. But wait! Hold up sec– the middle two rows are fused together. What’s that all about?
It may never have come close to matching the popularity of Mr. Rubik’s beloved cube, but that doesn’t mean we love it any less. It was just another thing to distract us when we were sitting around bored on a sunny day in 1982. Plus, it drove our teachers crazy.
We ♥ the Missing Link puzzle.