How to Solve the 3rd Row of a Rubix Cube

Written by marilla mulwane
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How to Solve the 3rd Row of a Rubix Cube
It is possible to solve the last row of a Rubik's Cube. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Some people can solve a Rubik's Cube in seconds, while others never achieve that goal. When you solve a Rubik's Cube up to the last row, the task becomes more challenging. You don't want to mess up all that hard work and have to start over. It takes several steps to solve the last row of a Rubik's Cube, but it can be done.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Rubik's Cube

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Learn the correct terminology for this article: The colums of the cube are called the "left column," "right column" and "center column." The rows are designated as "top row," "middle row" and "bottom row." The faces of the Rubik's cube are designated as "front" for the one facing you, "left" for the face to the left of the front face, "right" for the face to the right of the front face, "top" for the face above, "bottom" for the face below and "back" for the face farthest from you (that is, opposite the front face). Columns rotate "up" or "down," rows rotate "left" or "right" and faces rotate "clockwise" or "counterclockwise." Each individual square is called a "cubie" and each individual coloured sticker is called a "facelet."

  2. 2

    Turn the entire cube so that the row you are trying to solve sits at the top. Look at the corner cubies. All four corners need to have the correct three colours. The facelets do not need to be in the correct space. Turn the top face to see if any corner cubies land in the correct space. Most of the time, two correct corners will be side by side but need to be switched. Turn the entire cube so that the face with those two correct corner cubies is facing you. This is now your front face. Follow this pattern to switch the corner cubies: Rotate the left column up, top row right, left column down, front face clockwise, top row left, front face counterclockwise, left column up, top row left, left column down, top row right and top row right again. Repeat to switch the other two corners, if necessary.

  3. 3

    Finish the corners so that the facelets are in the correct space. Turn the entire cube, not just the top face, until you see a certain pattern made by the top colour. For example, if the top face will be green, look for a pattern with the green facelets. The top face colour will be the colour of the centre cubie. Look at the top face for a correct colour facelet diagonal to the centre facelet. Rotate the entire cube to the left or right until that corner cubie, with the correct facelet, is facing you. This is your new front face. With the cube in this position, follow this pattern: Rotate the left column up, top row right, left column down, top row right, left column up, top row right, top row right again, left column down, top row right and top row right again. Repeat this entire step until all corner cubies are correctly placed.

  4. 4

    Rotate the entire cube left or right until you find a centre top row cubie that is in the correct spot. The facelets do not need to be in the correct spot. With this cubie facing you, as your new front face, follow this pattern: Rotate the centre colum up, top row right, centre column down, top row right, top row right again, centre column up, top row right and centre colum down. You should now have all but two correct cubies. If not, repeat this step until you do.

  5. 5

    Finish the entire cube. Your cube will be in one of two possible patterns. One pattern is when the last two cubies are opposite each other with one cubie on the right face and one of the left face. The other pattern is when one of the last two cubies are diagonal each other with one cubie on the front face and one on the right face. If the cubies are opposite, follow this pattern: Rotate the right column down, middle row left, right column down, right column down again, middle row left, middle row left again, right column down, top row right, top row right again, right column up, middle row right, middle row right again, right column down, right column down again, middle row right, right column up, top row right and top row right again.

    If the last cubies are diagonal, with one cubie on the front face and one on the right face, follow this pattern: Rotate the front face counterclockwise, left column up, right column down, middle row left, right column down, right column down again, middle row left, middle row left again, right column down, rop row right, top row right again, right column up, middle row right, middle row right again, right column down, right column down again, middle row right, right column up, top row right, top row right, left column down and front face clockwise.

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