How to Solve the Rubik's Cube
Magic Cube Puzzle image by joephoto from Fotolia.com
Perhaps the world's most famous puzzle was invented by Erno Rubik in 1974. Since then, solutions have abounded. It is still easier for a beginner to start with a solved Rubik's cube, since there are several methods for solving it (the Petrus method and the Roux method).
The entire exercise, after all, is one of impressive algorithms.
The best speed cubers can solve a Rubik's Cube in about 15 seconds, but by the time that speed is achieved, many other solution options have been uncovered and learnt. With thanks to Denny Dedmore, the Rubik's Cube can be mastered by all.
Learn the terminology. The squares of the cube are called "Cubies." The coloured sides on the fronts of all the Cubies are called "Facelets." There are three types of Cubies: corners, edges and centre. All moves are made from viewing the cube at a diagonal, with the left visible surface called the "front." Like a tic-tac-toe diagram, there are three rows and three columns per face, or surface of the cube. The use of diagrammatic icons was developed by Denny Dedmore in 1997, as the easiest solution to learn and master.
- Perhaps the world's most famous puzzle was invented by Erno Rubik in 1974.
- It is still easier for a beginner to start with a solved Rubik's cube, since there are several methods for solving it (the Petrus method and the Roux method).
Prime the cube. Prepare it for solving. Turn the cube until the upper-right-hand corner cubie on the front of the cube has a colour. Then, turn the rest of the cube around until the top colour of the selected first corner cubie matches the centre. For instance, if the top colour is blue, the centre top colour cubie must also be blue. This priming solves two of the top row cubies.
Solve the other three top corner cubies. Turn the entire cube 90 degrees left. The top-most right cubie must be blue, with red on the facing side and yellow on the adjacent side to the right. Choose one of five sequences/algorithms to line the corners properly with a complete blue "X" on top and corner matching on facelets.
- Turn the cube until the upper-right-hand corner cubie on the front of the cube has a colour.
- Then, turn the rest of the cube around until the top colour of the selected first corner cubie matches the centre.
Place the edges while finishing the top layer. The moves that make the top "X" are repeated to complete the top layer. Employ one of five sequences/algorithms to get all blue cubies on the top of the cube.
Form the horizontal half "T." Turn the middle layer to match up with the top layer colour. Turn the bottom row clockwise or counter clockwise to create to faces with large "T"s.Two algorithms will achieve the moves necessary to result in the capital Ts on the sides.
Arrange the last layer corners. Turn the cube over, placing the blue layer on the bottom. On the red front, green must be in the top upper corners. The objective is to move the correct corners into place, enabling finishing by flipping the corners following two 11-step algorithms.
- Place the edges while finishing the top layer.
- Form the horizontal half "T." Turn the middle layer to match up with the top layer colour.
Complete all last layer corners. This is a process of flipping corners into their final positions. Green should be the last layer colour. Once one of three green arrangements are achieved, perform a 10-step algorithm several times.
Completely finish two edges. At least one edge should be in its final position. Place that side in the front position, and perform an 8-step algorithm to move the remaining facelets into their proper final places.
- Complete all last layer corners.
- At least one edge should be in its final position.
Solve the Rubik's Cube. This will involve only one unfinished layer, where two opposite or adjacent edges are completed. The unfinished edges will either be opposite the centre on the top or in the centre of the front and adjacent sides. Then employ the Denny Dedmore "H Pattern" or "Fish Pattern" to complete the Rubik's Cube.
- Become familiar with the direction in which the pieces move, and the nature of how they rotate their orientation. Mastering this equips the player with the knowledge of which move sequence to use at a particular time.
- Two columns or rows must be moved in order to move a middle row or column, because the middle rows or columns won't move independently. The non-middle row or column must be turned back to its previous position.
Dan Ravens began writing professionally in 1991, when he produced brochures and public relations for his high school's Advanced Placement program. He has combined his artistic skills and writing ability to produce corporate newsletters for most of the major consumer electronics and computer retailers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in art from University of California-Berkeley.