You have a very large number of generic plastic building blocks, each in the shape of a cube.

Think about how many cubes you would need in order to construct a giant cube with 16 small cubes along each edge.

If you were to then remove the outside layer, how many small cubes would you have removed?

Puzzle Copyright © Kevin Stone

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Hint

Think about one face at a time.

Answer

1,352 small cubes.

The original large cube with 16 small cubes along each edge would require 16 x 16 x 16 = 4,096 small cubes.

Removing the outside layer would leave a large cube now with 14 small cubes along each edge (which requires 14 x 14 x 14 = 2,744 small cubes).

It isn't 15 small cubes because you're removing both ends of an edge.

Therefore you have removed 4,096 - 2,744 = 1,352 small cubes.