[A massive Sudoku grid, created to promote a Sudoku gameshow in England in 2005.]
There’s just something about puzzles on a grand scale. From the Great Urban Race’s citywide scavenger hunts to the Internet-spanning curiosity that is Cicada 3301, puzzly ambition makes for some truly mindblowing experiences.
But those are puzzles of staggering complexity and scope, not actual physical size. When it comes to sheer dimensions, you have to go building-size.
There is, of course, the solvable crossword from Lviv, Ukraine, where the grid takes up the entire side of an apartment building, with clues hidden all over the city. It’s a brilliant tourism move and a terrific challenge (especially if you don’t read Cyrillic).
There was also the classic MIT hack from 2012 where ambitious miscreants transformed one side of the Green Building into a multicolored, playable Tetris game. (I recently learned that students from Brown University in Rhode Island accomplished a single-color version of the same feat back in 2000. You can find video of both hacks here.)
But Javier Lloret has upped the ante with Puzzle Facade, an art installation which transforms the Ars Electronica building in Linz, Austria into a solvable Rubik’s Cube.
Using a small handheld cube as an interface, a solver can manipulate the cube and watch the same changes carried out across two entire sides of the building in full color.
As you might expect, having only two sides of the cube available makes for a greater solving challenge, but who cares when you’re lighting up a building with every twist and turn!
It’s a fantastic meeting of puzzly fun and electronic wizardry, and the latest in a grand tradition of massive-scale creativity. I cannot wait to see what intrepid puzzlers come up with next.
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