Uwe Mèffert (born 28 November 1939) has manufactured and sold mechanical puzzles in the style of Rubik's Cube since the original Cube craze. His first design was the Pyraminx and others include the Megaminx, Skewb and Skewb Diamond. More recently he has licensed and re-released designs from other manufacturers, such as Dogic.
In the 1970s Mèffert created some puzzles for his own amusement using pieces of balsa wood attached to a center ball by rubber bands. He did not think anyone else would be interested in them, and put them away and forgot about them until Ernő Rubik's Rubik's Cube became a worldwide sensation in the 1980s. In 1981 Mèffert took his puzzles to a Japanese toymaker who agreed to market them. One of them, Pyraminx, sold more than 10 million pieces that year, and 90 million within three years. Since that time, Mèffert and his associates have created more than 100 3-D rotating mechanical puzzles.
Mèffert also created his own version of sudoku, the popular nine-number print puzzle. His puzzle consists of nine 3×3 grids, “representing total logic.” One has to place the numerals 1 to 9 in each horizontal and vertical row, each 3×3 box and the two major diagonals without repeating numbers. A “Chinese Magic Square”, consisting of the numbers 1–9, is hidden in a 3×3 grid somewhere in each puzzle. Adding any three numbers together in any direction always adds up to 15, providing additional challenge. Mèffert calls his version of the puzzle KOKONOTSU, a Japanese word meaning simply nine.
Mèffert was born in Wernigerode in the Harz Mountains of Germany on the 28 November 1939. Mèffert is the son of Otto Oscar Wilhelm Rudolph Mèffert and Emmy Johanna Frieda Von-Vorkauf. He was educated in Heidelberg, Germany, Geelong, Australia, and Bern, Switzerland. He has lived in Asia since the 1970s and currently resides in Hong Kong. He is married to Jing Mèffert; they have three children: Michelle, Andrew and Ulrich and two grandchildren, Mikaela and Zachary.
- Douglas Hofstadter, Metamagical Themas
- Martin Gardner. "Introduction to Uwe Meffert". Retrieved 2009-09-24.
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