This SOMA puzzle site has 360 MegaByte, over 15000 figures, over 142 Newsletters,
original Danish and Parker Bros. booklets, history,
Scans of original newsletters, theories, proofs, an advanced SOMA puzzle solving program, ... and a lot more.
Most Browsers keep a 'cache memory' of old pages instead of actually loading new versions.
Press the (Update button ↻ ) - Or the Ctrl-F5 to reload the page.
Pause on my actions. . . . Please read this.
I have always cherished the many mails that SOMA players around the planet has seendt me.
Unfortunately a large increase in work pressure and other activities, force me to inform you that.
Though I still answer shortly on individual mails from new SOMA players.
Then to those faithfull SOMA friends, who have sendt me material, and who is now waiting for
either a proper response, or for me to publish their material.
I regret to inform that I have to put a brake on this web page for some time.
I will be back though.
And all material that I have received is carefully saved, and will be used as we have agreed.
But until I can again find time to update these pages - I wish you a lot of fun puzzling with SOMA.
Very friendly wishes - Thorleif
It was 2023-01-22 when Ortwin wrote a very special question to me Is it possible to take away the uneven 'V' piece, and then create two figures that are the mirror image of each other.
Having done that, then insert the 'V' piece in one of the two, and then fold both into the SOMA cube ?
As in many cases of life, the answer lies in the detail of the pieces. But ...
is it so difficult?
Now, I did find this to be a difficult problem. But it must have been equally difficult to detect my ÿ.
It's me again! Quite happy that I found the solution I was looking for so fast:
The figure build from three pieces, its mirror from the other three pieces and the "V" is unused
Then the "v" is positioned in its place and the right figure rotated by 90 degrees anticlockwise.
Finally the right figure is flipped and joined with the left one to form the cube.
All the best, Ortwin.
In honor af the James Webb Space Telescope.
Today 2022.01.24, The James Webb Space Telescope arrived safely to the Lagrange point,
It has now entered the orbit around L2 that will secure its position, ready to observe the universe.
So, - why not try to build a crude model of this intricate instrument. Just for yourself.
Remember that "Buzz Lightyear" is showing that he can go anywhere in space.
When he says, "To infinity and beyond"
Yes of course, I have prepared a solution - just for you.
One solution to the SOMA Webb Telescope.
In memory of John Horton Conway.
Today 2021.04.07, I became aware of the sad realities of the world pandemic that still roam in all countries of our our planet.
John Horton Conway passed away 2020-04-11 (almost 1 year ago) at the age of 82, he died of complications from COVID-19.
Let us remember John for his work on our SOMA Puzzles, his fantastic creation of the Automata LIFE.
Not to mention his numerous contribution to the mathematical aspect of games and puzzles.
Particularly how the Soma cube was analyzed in detail by John Horton Conway in the September 1958 Mathematical Games column
in Scientific American, and how the book Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays also contains his detailed
analysis of the Soma cube problem.
Today 2021.02.17, it is a rainy gray day here in Denmark. The snow is slowly melting and my friend Tim Fielding just sent me this.
Together with a quiet reference to Led Zeppelin - "Stairway to Heaven Live" youtu.be/xbhCPt6PZIU
"And she's buying a stairway to heaven"
And maybe, in these days of Covid19 virus lockdown - These lines will inspire hope for all.
"And it's whispered that soon, if we all call the tune - Then the piper will lead us to reason
"And a new day will dawn for those who stand long - And the forests will echo with laughter"
All right, you need the answer, so here are Tim's steps.
/Stairway to Heaven
7 SOMA pieces in a 64 cube box ?
Well. today 2020.10.04, my friend Volker Latussek showed me a new puzzle.
During time Volker has defined many fine questions for SOMA players.
Like the "Dice SOMA" here on the front page. And the Newsletter 2017.10.07 B&W Anti-Slide But he has also made a range of SOMA puzzles on the theme of "Packing the pieces into a box through one or two holes."
Today he told me about a NEW puzzle. The Shrinking SOMA.
Available at ...
"Well" it appear that my link to a sale of the 'Scrinking SOMA' has vanished.
But luckily Mr. Bob Nungester found that it had been moved from the page of available puzzles
to the Gallery of older puzzles that are no longer available for purchase. Anyway, here it is.
Visible at https://www.pelikanpuzzles.eu/detail/shrinking-soma/
The "simple" Quest is to have a box with the internal size of 4 x 4 x 4 cubes. And a SOMA cube with the size 3 x 3 x 3 cubes.
Then take the 7 SOMA pieces, put them into the box, so that NO piece will move. (This is called an "Anti-slide Puzzle")
Even when you shake the box or flip it upside down. Plus - the SOMA pieces cover the entire front of the box.
Ps. You are of course allowed to cover the box opening while shaking.
I am absolutely sure that this Quest WILL keep you sleepless for a long time.
Can it really be done - Well, hrmm . . . Yes, It actually can be done. But how . .
. that is the real question.
That was a nice try. And yes the puzzle can really be made, but the solution is a closely guarded secret.
All right, well done. You found it. So you are allowed to see Volker's own solution to the Quest.
This time it was hidden carefully, to ensure that only the very needy puzzlers would find it.
We assemble it "top down"
and then lower the box onto
is as simple at it get. And "ONLY 1" has found the solution. ... ?
Maybe he revealed it somewhere?
Actually Yes. Paul Habere discovered 4 other solutions on 2021-01-21. and he wrote.
"I have two solutions, each with a minor variation for a total of four solutions."
So let us see the ONLY 5 known solutions to this Enigmatic puzzle.
A Christmas 2019 Quest
It is now 2019-12-22. and Paul Habere mailed me a question:
We know from https://www.fam-bundgaard.dk/SOMA/NEWS/N010919.HTM
That it is NOT possible to colour the outside of a cube in black, undo the cube, and then
reassemble the cube pieces so that all the faces coloured in black are inside, that is, so that there are no faces coloured in black at all?
However - A similar question is asked. If we have a cube made of all white pieces, and then paint it black on two opposing sides,
can it then be taken apart, and reassembled into a completely white cube ??
Please send any proof of "Why it can not" to me.
OR - If it IS possible :-) Then mail a description of how the cube was assembled before, and after.
Well, I thought that this was a problem that would stand for long, but already 2 days later ...
Bob Nungester sendt me a mail. Very thoroughly describing the thoughts going into explaining this one.
Mathematicians use the sign ' ⊂ ' meaning that a 'set' is a 'subset of' another 'set'. So this is a subset of SOMA ;-)
I read the question about painting two opposite sides of a SOMA cube and then hiding the painted
squares in another cube solution. At first there seemed to be too many possibilities to try,
but after some analysis it became much simpler and resulted in three painted solutions that
can be hidden. In SOMATYPE notation these are U0h, U3d, and U7d.
They can all be hidden in any of the 37 members of the "A" family of solutions, or else in their reflection.
Possible Solutions - Top/Bottom surface are painted
U0h U3d U7d
2 2 2 6 2 2 4 2 2
1 5 2 6 5 2 4 5 2
1 4 4 1 1 2 1 1 2
7 6 6 6 6 7 7 6 6
1 5 5 4 5 5 4 5 5
4 4 5 4 1 5 4 1 5
7 7 6 4 7 7 7 7 6
7 3 6 4 3 7 7 3 6
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
The first of 37 Solutions - use the one that hide the piece 2 black squares
2 2 2 2 2 2
5 6 2 2 5 6
5 6 6 5 5 6
4 4 7 7 4 4
1 7 7 7 7 1
5 5 6 5 6 6
1 4 4 4 4 1
1 3 7 7 3 1
3 3 3 3 3 3
Here's the methodology used to find these:
This analysis uses the concepts of Central and Deficient from the SOMAP, as described and illustrated
in the Winning Ways newsletter. Figure 3 of that newsletter shows all possible positions for each piece.
These positions can have the cube rotated and reflected in any of 48 ways, but the same faces are always exposed.
Any cube solution can be rotated to the normalized position, with pice 3 at the front bottom with its fourth
cubelet also on the bottom. The file SomapNormalized.txt shows all 240 solutions in this configuration.
First, note that only the top and bottom faces can be painted to possibly lead to a hidden solution.
As noted by Courtney McFarren and Bob Allen, the ends of piece 3 can never be hidden so the left and right
sides of any cube cannot be painted. Similarly, the back side of piece 3 cannot be hidden so the front and
back side of any cube connot be painted. This leaves only the top and bottom faces to be analyzed.
Pieces 5 and 6 can have one, two or three squares painted based on their position in the top and bottom faces.
It's best to minimize their painted squares, so having only one or two painted squares will make a painted
solution more likely to support hiding these squares. This isn't a necessary requirement, but we only need to
find one solution to prove it's possible. A good position that usually results in one painted square on piece 5 or 6
is the Central and Deficient position. These configurations in SOMATYPE notation are the "R" and "U" families
of solutions, so start with only these. Now eliminate any solution where the other 5 or 6 piece has three
In addition, any solution with piece 2 or 4 spanning from the top to bottom of the cube can be eliminated,
because these two ends are always visible in any cube solution. With piece 5 or 6 Central and Deficient
all other pieces must be in the Normal position. The Normal position of piece 2 always has its 3-square
back spine visible, so any painted solution with this back spine painted can be eliminated as well.
With all these rules it can be seen that all "R" family solutions are eliminated and only the three "U" family
members listed above are left. Now on to the possible hidden solutions.
Piece 7, like all the others, is in the Normal position in all the painted solutions, so one of the faces with
three squares is painted. The only way to hide these is the only other possible placement of Central and Deficient.
This placement is the "A" family of solutions, so only these (or their reflection) can result in a hidden solution.
Similar to the pained solutions, all pieces except 7 are in the Normal position.
Piece 1 can have any one of three faces painted, but it can be placed either of two ways in any given position.
One or the other of these placements will always hide the painted face, so any of the "A" family of solutions
hides this piece. Piece 2 can only have one of its sides painted since the other faces were eliminated in
possible painted solutions. This face will be hidden in any solution or in its reflection.
Piece 3 always has its painted face hidden by simply flipping it over.
Piece 4 has two painted squares in each of the three "U" family solutions being tested, and that face can be
hidden in any cube with it in the Normal position by rotating it to one of its two possible orientations.
Pieces 5 and 6 have one or two painted squares and those faces can also be hidden by rotating the piece
to one of its two orientations. Piece 7 has its three painted squares hidden in all "A" family solutions.
This means that any of the 37 "A" family solutions, or their reflection, can hide all three of the "U" family
The restriction of having piece 5 or 6 Central and Deficient wasn't proven to be a necessary condition,
so there could be other possible painted solutions that can be hidden.
Navigating ALL the SOMA charts
Today is 2019-07-09. And from now it is possible to walk through all the figure maps,
using the [Left] & [Right] arrow keys
or a set of buttons placed under the figure sheet.
[ < | ☰ | > ]
Press [F1] or click [☰] to toggle a quick menu for jumping.
Mouse click to select, or use [Up] & [Down] keys to
highlight, then [Enter] to select or [Esc] to abort. Thank you to my son Mikkel for making this navigator module. He is the best. :-)
A DICE SOMA - is it possible ?
In a Newsletter you may read about a spotted SOMA, and our complex search for the solution.
But today (2018.04.11), my friend Volker Latussek asked a similar question - that I will pass on to you all.
I am sure it will keep you sleepless for many weeks to come.
Imagine a SOMA set of 7 pieces. 3 pieces are colored blue, 4 are white. "Your task - should you choose to accept it"
Is to assemble a DICE-cube where each of the 6 sides have 9 "eye" fields.
One side has 1 blue field, another 2 blue, then 3, 4, 5, and 6 blue fields.
And of course, just like a playing dice, the sum of blue fields on opposing sides is 7.
Is it possible. ??? ?? ? .... Yes it is. but for now - I will keep Volker's solution a secret. It will eventually be revealed on this website. π
Ok - I guess you spotted where to touch, to see the solutions.
If you wonder, the π is 3.1415.. and it is here as a "small" hint to the
praetorians icon in the movie "The Net" from 1995.
A new figure collection
In december 2017 Tim Fielding added a collection of over 1000 SOMA puzzles, as well as a
complete set of figure drawings. And then Tim even made this pretty poster.
Try moving your mouse over the poster.
You may jump directly to the first page of these figures Here.
Now it's october 2021 Tim Fielding reached 1500+ figures - This pretty poster is a teaser.
Go directly to the newest set starting at T1001 Here.
In the SOMA Addict Newsletter 1999.01.18
Vol.2 No.1 page.2 Right side column (page 10 in the PDF file) we can read:
"Finally, since some SOMA Addicts may well also be error-counters, we also acknowledge that the first edition
of the Parker Brothers SOMA Booklet contained a counting-sketching error in the SAM'S SITTING DOG figure.
That error IS the only way one can identify that presumably VERY VALUABLE first-edition booklet."
OOH: - An identifiable "First-edition" sound very interesting - but...... Being "valuable" indicates that it must be quite rare.
Checking ALL my versions of the Parker booklets, show that I do NOT have that version.
SO - If anyone has the Parker SOMA Booklet with a counting error in "Sam's sitting dog" - probably on page 19
Then I would very much ask for either a Color scan of the booklet, or permission to borrow it so that I can make the scans.
By 2021-02-19 I was really lucky. A mail from Dennis Rapisardi arrived, telling me that he had that booklet.
The story can be read here:
Newsletter 2016.08.17 (Updated Version)
And Dennis let me even borrow the booklet. So I was able to scan the entire edition.
Of course 99% is the same as in the following issue, BUT page 19, AND also page 18 are different, which is important historically.
So, now a fine scan of the entire booklet, can be read and downloaded.
HELP: In Newsletter 2008.04.27 we work on a special "Spotted SOMA".
We have found possible solutions, but we are missing historic facts.
"IF" You know anything about this spotted version of the SOMA puzzle,
then please contact me on mail. Anything about this version is appreciated.
A series of questions are asked in the following Newsletters. IF you know anything, then please write to me.
Problems worthy of attack, Prove their worth by hitting back. (Piet Hein)
From time to time, man have tried to construct a threedimensional puzzle.
In no circumstances has it, succeeded so well as with the SOMA cube, invented by the Danish Author Piet Hein.
If you recognize this, Then you know the power of SOMA.
If you don't - then read this web site.
Having the seven Soma pieces in hand, first try to form the infamous 3x3x3 cube. There are 240 independent ways of making this cube.
Aside from cubes, there are thousands of geometric shapes that can be created from the seven simple Soma pieces.
Within these Figure pages, there are many figures (ALL that I know actually) which can be built using the SOMA pieces.
Some of the figures will require your imagination to figure out where unseen cubes or holes belong.
When you have succeeded in making figures from these pages, try to develop some of your own.
And if you have any new figures, then please let me know.
For many years the descriptions and drawings were the way
we saw the SOMA puzzle.
Now however, Ronald Deckert and his friends at
have created the most beautifull video of the SOMA puzzle.
So. It's only to say - enjoy the video and the music.
Do notice the 3 new figures - "Lion", "Elephant" and "Airplane" .
This homepage is a place for people with some (short or long) interest in 3D puzzles.
My hit counter show that this SOMA page have around 5 hits per day. So - YOU - who are reading this. Please send an Email to me at email@example.com
Tell me "Who you are", "Where you live" and "how You use SOMA"
Obs: The SOMA users world map is NO longer updated. Message to you all:
Any letter or Email you send to me, will be answered quickly. However I am slow (Very slow... as maple syrup in the winter)
to get anything put on my web pages.
The reason? well - being a college teacher in mathematics, electronics and technology require a huge effort in reading, preparing etc.
so... the SOMA page comes second.
Enjoy your puzzling - with friendly wishes: Thorleif.