Many people came back with correct answers to the puzzle, though I was disappointed that only adults attempted it, I wish that some of you had shared this with your children! Congratulations again to Ruchir Godura in being the first one to solve it – he sent the answer to me almost immediately after I sent the puzzle, I need to think of better ones for him 🙂
The answer to the puzzle is that the carpenter will need a minimum of six cuts. When I first tried the puzzle, I tried pretty hard to do this in five cuts, and to my dismay, there would always be one or two larger blocks left that needed a cut.
The logic, like all good puzzles, is very simple. If you think about the 27 smaller cubes, there is a cube at the center. This smaller cube has 6 faces – each of which requires a cut and is either parallel or perpendicular to each other, and hence requires a separate cut through the buzz saw. Therefore a minimum of 6 cuts are required.
Hope you enjoyed the puzzle!