Molecube (nine colour cube)

The molecube (also known as the nine colour cube, e.g. as on Jaap’s website) is a Rubiks cube variant. Here is a picture in its scrambled state (so no spoilers are given).
molecube

To solve the puzzle you must reach a state where there there are no two pieces of the same colour on any of the six faces. In terms of turning, it is exactly like a normal Rubiks cube.

It is not too difficult to come up with a valid solution, and even possible to come up with all solutions by hand (though I leave this as an exercise to the reader). I also leave as an exercise to the reader how to construct a mathematically equivalent puzzle with SET cards.

Since the puzzle turns exactly like the cube, if you can solve the cube, and can find a valid configuration (easy), this puzzle is unlikely to present a challenge.

I bought this puzzle while transiting at Changi airport. Changi has a program where you can receive a 20SGD shopping voucher when transiting on Singapore Airlines. The rules of this program are constantly being tweaked and it always has an expiry date, but the promotion has continually existed in some form for at least the past five years.