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Play with a virtual Rubik's Cube on Google

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic puzzle, Google is hosting an interactive virtual version on its homepage.

Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

It's hard to believe, but the Rubik's Cube -- that source of such absorption and frustration -- is now officially 40 years old. It didn't leave its home country of Hungary until May of 1980, but it was actually created in 1974 by inventor and architect Ernő Rubik.

This is probably why Google is paying homage to the toy now, with an interactive model right on its home page. It plays pretty much like you would expect: you click and drag outside the cube to rotate it, and click and drag inside the cube to twist.

It's probably not quite as time-consuming as the Pac-Man or Doctor Who games Google has created in the past, since it seems like there's only one cube configuration to be solved. (The Pac-Man game was accused of wasting 4,819,352 hours.)

The Doodle is currently live on the Google Australia home page, and will be live around the rest of the world as the clock ticks over to 19 May. After that, you should be able to find it in the Google Doodle archive.

And, as always, you can click on the little search icon for a list of results about the Rubik's Cube.