A sticker mod is where a puzzle's stickers are altered. This can simply be to change the colours (for instance, to fluorescent or glow-in-the-dark), or it can be to make the puzzle more attractive, or easier, or harder, or even a different puzzle altogether.


How a 3x3x3 cube might be stickered so as to highlight corners or edges

Sticker mods have been around since the earliest days of cubing. One early proposal, by Douglas Hofstader in the July 1982 Scientific American, was to highlight the corners or edges instead of the faces; how such a pair of cubes might have looked is shown on the right. Another notable early sticker mod is the Shepherd’s Cube, invented by Alistair Shepherd; instead of colours, it has black arrows on white backgrounds, arranged such that the L arrows point to F, the F arrows to U, the U arrows to L, and the arrows on the opposite sides in the other direction (R to B to D to R). There are thus two corners where the arrows point around the corner in a clockwise direction, and one or both of these need to be used as the key to placing and orienting the other pieces. One thing which could make the Shepherd’s Cube difficult is parity of corner positioning, since there are two identical corners.

Other mods have included card suits (plus Ace and King), various flags, the countries of the world (an atlas; this one is usually combined with a spherical shape mod), and picture cubes (often commemorative, or having the issuing company's logo on one or more sides).

One early mod (sold as a set of stickers to modify an existing cube) was the "Magic Square Cube"; six sets of 3x3 magic squares in black with gold backgrounds, to be applied to the cube in a specified way. This makes the cube more difficult, as there are no colours to act as a guide, only the orientations of the digits and the fact that every line must add up to 15. This mod is of course the forerunner of the Sudokubes, although it was published several years before the Sudoku craze started.

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