Answer to Riddle #82: Cutting a 3-inch cube into 27 1-inch cubes

82. A carpenter, working with a buzz saw, wishes to cut a wooden cube, three inches on each side, into 27 one-inch cubes. He can do it easily by making six cuts through the cube, keeping the pieces together in the cube shape. Can he reduce the number of necessary cuts by rearranging the pieces after each cut?

I got this puzzle out of a book, I like it because of it's simplicity, you can spend ages thinking about it, and then, all of a sudden...

3-inch cubeBefore reading the answer can I interest you in a clue?

The answer is no, you can not reduce the number of cuts below 6. But why? Probably the easiest way to think about it is to consider the center cube.

This cube, like all cubes, has six sides. Since no of them are initially exposed, it will require six separate cuts to expose them.

The pieces can be rearranged, but there is no way of reducing the number of cuts below 6.

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