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When I was in my teens in 1980s Britain a puzzle was created that came with a prize of 1 million pounds sterling (USD$ 1.6m) for the person who submitted the solution.

It consisted of a pyramid with a triangular base and onto each of the 4 sides it was possible to attach 9 tiles. Each of the 36 tiles contained a red and white pattern and the patterns of adjacent tiles had to match both within a face as well as wrapping around across edges of the pyramid.

I worked for many days to solve the puzzle before giving up and writing a program that ran on a mainframe to generate the solution (I was a computer science undergrad). I posted off my solution only to realise several days later that there was more than one.

What is the name of the puzzle, the name of the company that launched the reward in the UK and the name of the person that won the prize?

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The Great Pyramid by Eliot Inventions Ltd

I do not know whether the competition was won. The prize was not a million pounds - you may be confusing this with the Eternity puzzle that had such a prize attached to it. For every puzzle sold, one pound would go into the prize fund. The size of the prize fund, and the results of the competition, were to be published the first Monday of every month in the personal columns section of the Times.

Edit: Someone kindly looked up the result in a newspaper archive. The notice printed in the Times on 6 December 1982 stated that 21,480 pounds was paid to the winner. The interest of 1,731 pounds went to charity.

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  • $\begingroup$ I mentioned the Eternity puzzle, which is from 1999. An even earlier puzzle with a million pound prize was the Diamond Dilemma, from 1990. $\endgroup$ – Jaap Scherphuis Jul 29 '16 at 15:30

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