12 friends decide to play Tic-Tac-Toe on the surfaces of an opened Rubik's Cube which looks like this:

Net of a Rubik's Cube, opened out

When closed, the orientation of this Rubik's Cube is as follows:

Surface Colour
Up White
Down Yellow
Left Orange
Right Red
Front Green
Back Blue

Six different sets of two friends each play on six different surfaces as shown:

Surface X O
Up Adam Noah
Down Alan Umar
Left Charles Thomas
Right Alex Bob
Front Dan Fred
Back Kevin Ryan

Match 1: Annotated Rubik's Cube net showing Match 1 outcomes

Winning Word = OUTLAW

Match 2: Annotated Rubik's Cube net showing Match 2 outcomes

Winning Word = UNCOWL

Match 3: Annotated Rubik's Cube net showing Match 3 outcomes

Winning Word = GUFFAW

Match 4:

Annotated Rubik's Cube net showing Match 4 outcomes

Winning Word = CORRAL

Match 5:

Annotated Rubik's Cube net showing Match 5 outcomes

Winning Word = ______

Match 6:

Annotated Rubik's Cube net showing Match 6 outcomes

Winning Word = ______

What are the winning words of matches 5 and 6?

  • $\begingroup$ Is this an entry for the September MTC? It involves tic-tac-toe after all... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Sep 2, 2022 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv I didn't know about that. I just created it for fun. $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2022 at 1:50

1 Answer 1


They are literally winning words because..

... they are anagrams of the first letters of 'the winner in each match', 'colour of the board they played' and 'its orientation when the cube is closed'.

We can see that..

in each cube net, there are only two winners. Considering above details, we can get the 6 letters of the winning word.

We can list down them as,

winner|surface colour|orientation
Match 1:
ADAM   |WHITE  |UP    (X)
Match 2:
NOAH   |WHITE  |UP    (O)
Match 3:
ADAM   |WHITE  |UP    (X)
Match 4:

Now using the same logic for remaning two matches we get..

Match 5:

Match 6:

from where we can identify the other two winning words as,


*thanks to @MOehm for finding this word.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well done. (Chamber's word wizard suggests this.) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Sep 2, 2022 at 18:49

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