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Descriptive Essay Wikihow Rubiks Cube



Updated by Gavin Phillips on 05/23/2017

The Rubik’s cube is one of those puzzles that are endlessly fascinating to people of all age groups10 Jaw-Dropping Lego Mindstorms Projects10 Jaw-Dropping Lego Mindstorms ProjectsThe Mindstorms range is becoming an increasingly popular tool for makers of all skill levels and interests. These 10 astonishing Lego Mindstorms projects will show you just what I mean.Read More. But, trying to solve it for the first time can be an exercise in frustrationCan You Solve 5 of the Internet's Hardest Logic Puzzles?Can You Solve 5 of the Internet's Hardest Logic Puzzles?Try these five brain-teasing sites and some of the hardest logic puzzles that are loved by anyone who likes solving stuff.Read More. If only there was an easy way to learn how.

Well, as it happens, there is. I’m a first-time cuber myself, if you ignore my previous attempts to solve the puzzle by idly twisting the cube this way and that, without applying an ounce of thought or logic.

Driven by the desire to learn to solve the Rubik’s cube, I decided to start afresh, this time with more focus and practice. As expected, the Web provided endless interesting content on the topic, as well countless more puzzles to keep you occupied5 Puzzle Places for Brain Twisters and Logic Riddles5 Puzzle Places for Brain Twisters and Logic RiddlesIf you seek a challenge for your brain, then you're in for a treat. From free printable puzzles to one of the most fiendish video games ever made, we've got it all in store for...Read More — for days.

Where I Began My Quest

I started my search for information with Saikat’s article on websites to solve the Rubik’s cube7 Websites For Those Who Want To Solve The Rubik's Cube With A Bit Of Online Help7 Websites For Those Who Want To Solve The Rubik's Cube With A Bit Of Online HelpRead More. Things just snowballed from there and I ended up with page after page of tricks and algorithms.

Finally, I narrowed down a few simple methods recommended for beginners and put them to the test. As I found out, there is indeed a method that stands out for its simplicity and ease of memorization. Using this method, I was not only able to solve the cube, but also repeat the process several times over with surprising ease.

The Easiest Method

Here is a detailed look at that simple method to solve the Rubik’s cube, as explained by Vince Rocca in his YouTube video. Of course, you can always learn by watching the video. But for those who prefer the written word and appreciate the inputs of a fellow newbie, the following description can help. Pair it with the video and maybe you can even grasp the solution faster and better.

The Basics You Need To Know

Familiarizing yourself with the pieces of the cube and the standard notations used in various Rubik’s cube algorithms, including the one I’m describing here, is important and quite easy.

The six faces of the cube are referred to as Front (F), Back (B), Up (U), Down (D), Left (L), and Right (R). Moving any face in the clockwise direction is denoted by the letter corresponding to that face. An anti-clockwise move is denoted by appending an apostrophe (called a prime) to the face letter. For example, if you’re moving the front face in the clockwise direction and then moving the right face in the anti-clockwise direction, these two moves would be referred to as FR’.

This Wikihow article visually explains what you need to know about Rubik’s cube notations.

No matter in which direction you turn the cube, the pieces that form the edges of the middle layer are called edge pieces. Those at the corners of all faces are called corner pieces.

As Rocca explains in his video, edge pieces can replace only edge pieces and corner pieces can replace only corner ones. Also note that the center/middle piece, which is the piece left on each face after excluding the edge and corner pieces, cannot be swapped or twisted.

Phase 1 – Solving The Upper Face Cross

To solve the cube using Rocca’s method, you need to create a cross of a single color on one the faces. Pick a center piece, say the orange-colored one, and turn the cube so that this piece is on the upper face. Notice the colors of the middle pieces on the front, back, left, and right faces. In this case, they will be blue, green, white, and yellow.

Let’s solve for the white center piece. To do that, you have to find one of the two pieces that have orange on one side and white on another, and move that piece in such a way that it fits between the orange and white center pieces. Obviously, the orientation should be such that the orange portion of this piece is adjacent to the orange piece of the upper face and the white is above the white center piece of the side face. This completes one edge of the cross we’re aiming for.

Solve for the remaining center pieces (green, blue, and yellow) using the same method, to complete the orange cross on the upper face. At the end of this phase, the solved pieces will appear like the ones shown below.

It helps to remember that the piece you want to insert to form the cross must appear on or be moved to the middle layer i.e. the layer below the upper face.

Phase 2 – Solving The Upper Face

Our next goal is to slide the orange corner pieces into place on the upper face. To do that, we will use a method similar to the one we used to finish the orange cross. Only this time, we’ll be finding pieces with colors corresponding to three center pieces at a time, one of the colors being orange, of course.

Manipulate the cube until the orange portion of a piece is facing a side i.e. not facing down. Then bring that piece to the corner directly below the one where it needs to go.

There can be two possibilities at this point. If the orange section is facing you, D’R’DR will put the corner piece in the right place. If the unsolved orange section is facing right, R’D’R will solve the corner.

Keep using this technique until all the corner pieces of the top layer are in place. The upper face should appear as shown below. The center pieces of the middle layer will automatically be in place, while the edge pieces may or may not be placed correctly.

Phase 3 – Solving The Middle Layer

Now, from the bottom layer, select an edge piece that does not match the color of the center piece of the bottom face on any side. In this example, skip bottom layer pieces that contain the color red, and pick a piece formed by any of the following colors: blue, green, yellow, white.

Twist the bottom layer such that the front-facing section of this piece lines up with its matching color in the middle and top layers to form a T-shaped element. For example, the piece I have chosen has white on the front face and green on the bottom face. I have moved the bottom layer to make the piece line up to form the white T shown in the figure below.

Now, the white face of this piece has to fit in the edge position to its left, since the green face on the bottom has to line up with the green pieces on the left face. Here, holding the cube with the T facing you and using the moves DLDL’D’F’D’F solves the puzzle for the white and green piece (see image below). If the white face had to appear at the edge position on its right, I would have used the moves D’R’D’RDFDF’ instead.

Beginning with a new T-shaped section every time, repeat this procedure until all the edge pieces of the middle layer are in place and the cube looks like this:

Phase 4 – Solving The Bottom (Down) Face Cross

Turn the cube upside down, so that the bottom face is toward you. Going by this example, turn the cube until you’re looking down at the red center piece.

This is where things become a little tricky and you have to proceed intuitively. Repeat the moves FURU’R’F’ over and over again until you create a red cross on the top. The goal is to leave the red cross and only one red corner piece facing upward at the bottom left corner as shown in the figure below.

If there are more of those red corner pieces facing upward, move the cube so that one of the red pieces on the side face is toward you and use the moves RUR’URUUR’. Repeat this sequence until the upper face has been solved for red.

Phase 5 – Solving The Final Layer

At this point, the bottom layer (now the top layer since you have turned the cube upside down) will have at least one set of corner pieces matching each other, like the yellow ones shown in the image above.

If there are no such matching pieces, perform the moves R’FR’BBRF’R’BBRR till they appear at least on one face. Then turn the cube till those matching corner pieces are on the back face, and go through the same sequence again till there are matching corner pieces on every face. One of the faces might even appear to be solved at this point. Now perform the moves FFULR’FFRL’UFF repeatedly till the cube is solved.

The Takeaway

If you solve the cube once by taking an easy and logical approach such as this one, you know you can solve it any number of times. As I have found out, you stop being afraid of twisting the cube lest you can’t get back a solved piece of the puzzle.

You get the confidence to experiment with new algorithms and apps6 Android Apps for Rubik's Cube Fans, Whether Novice or Seasoned Speedcubing Pros6 Android Apps for Rubik's Cube Fans, Whether Novice or Seasoned Speedcubing ProsIf you go online and start searching for solutions, you will quickly find there is a world of knowledge about the so-called Magic Cube... and it's available for Android, too.Read More, give speedcubing a shot, and maybe even try to come up with an algorithm of your own. Suddenly, a whole new world opens up to you.

But be warned. Once you solve the Rubik’s cube, your brain will constantly crave such things that spark your creativityThe Top 5 Websites To Spark Your CreativityThe Top 5 Websites To Spark Your CreativityRead More.

Have you solved the Rubik’s cube? Which method do you think is the easiest?

Image Credits: LaPetra

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How to Solve a Rubik's Cube, Guide for Beginners

How to Solve a Rubik's Cube | Introduction

The Rubik's cube (sometimes misspelled rubix cube) is a mechanical 3D puzzle, invented more than 30 years ago and still considered as the best-selling toy of all times! Yet, solving the Rubik's Cube is considered a nearly-impossible task, which requires an IQ of 160... Is that really so hard? Definitely not!! Just follow this simple step by step solving guide and you'll shortly find out that you can solve the Rubik's cube as well… Let's get to work!
Watch my 7.63s Rubik's Cube solution >>

The mechanism of the Rubik's Cube

The Rubik's cube is actually a 26 pieces puzzle. There are three types of pieces: (see image)

Corner piece: has three different color stickers on it (there are 8 corner pieces in the cube)
Edge piece: has two different color stickers on it (there are 12 edge pieces in the cube)
Center piece: has one color sticker on it (6 center pieces, all are attached to the core)

The core is the inside of the Rubik's Cube, which holds all the pieces together and is attached to the center pieces with rotatable axes.

Important! The center pieces are part of the core and subsequently cannot move relatively to each other. For that reason they are already "solved". The solving process is actually bringing all corner and edge pieces to the "already solved" center pieces (meaning there are only 20 pieces to solve out of the 26). For example, the blue center piece will always be opposite to the green center piece (on a standard color-scheme cube). It doesn't matter how hard you will try scrambling the cube, it will just stay that way.

Rubiks Cube Move notations

Move notations are made in order to convey a sequence of moves through writing. When describing the solution we'll use the following move notations (traditional move notations).
Here is how it works- every face given a letter:
  • F (front): the front face (facing the solver)
  • B (back): the back face (opposite to the front face)
  • R (right): the right face
  • L (left): the left face (opposite to the right face)
  • U (up): the upper face
  • D (down): the bottom face (opposite to the upper face)
The letter means turning that face 90°, clockwise (single turn). (e.g. R)
A letter followed by ' (apostrophe) means turning that face 90°, counter-clockwise (single turn). (e.g. R')
A letter followed by "2" means turning that face 180° (double turn). (e.g. R2)

For example: executing [ F R' U2 ] in a row looks that way:

A sequence of moves is called an algorithm.

(If you're having difficulty in finding the CW/C-CW direction of a face (like B or D), temporarily twist the cube so that face will become the F face which is the easiest face to determine the cw/ccw direction.)

Don't be worried about it, you'll easily get used to these move notations. Besides, all the algorithms are followed by animations like the one of the last example (only if animations are turned on).

For further explanations and full move notation:Full move notation page.

Now you know everything you need to start and learn how to solve a Rubik's Cube! So, proceed and solve the Rubik's Cube, for good.. Good Luck!

End of Intro.

The Rubik's Cube Solution

Solving the Rubik's cube is made piece by piece, just like any other puzzle. Therefore the solution is divided into steps each of which solves number of pieces without destroying the ones completed on previous steps. Let's start!

Step 1: Solving the edge pieces of the top layer

In this step we have four pieces to solve. First choose a color to begin with. I chose white in this guide. For this time, choose the white as well, so the images along the solution will be relevant to your solving process. In addition, it is best to start with the white/yellow colors as they are the easiest colors for quick recognition which is important for speedsolving.

Since the center pieces cannot be moved relatively to each other it's important to solve the edge pieces correctly in relation to each other. For example, when solving the white in our case- the green center piece is to the left of the red center piece, therefore the green-white edge piece should to be solved to the left of the red-white edge piece (see image).
Remember! Bring the white edge pieces to the white center, and not the white center to the edge pieces.

The following examples cover all possible cases for this step:
(solution is below the image/animation)

Step 2: Solving the corner pieces of the top layer

In this step we'll solve the four corner pieces of the top layer.

Pay attention! The corner piece has to match not only the white color on top, but also the colors to the left and right (see correct/wrong images).

Inserting a corner piece to its solved position is done this way:
First find an unsolved white corner (at the bottom layer), and position it under the place it should be solved into (by doing D moves). Then continue as follows:

The following examples cover all possible cases for this step:

[ R' D2 R D R' D' R ]

Repeat that for the other three corners.

Solving a corner that its white sticker is in opposite to the upper face (the third case above), is done in two steps. The first is orienting the corner so the white sticker will show on one of the side faces (done by- R' D2 R D), then Solving using the second case solution (R' D' R).

If a white corner piece is located on the top layer but in the wrong place (see wrong image above) or incorrectly oriented in its place, just insert a non-white corner there, and by that the white corner piece will go back to the bottom layer. Then solve it correctly.

Step 3: Solving the edge pieces of the middle layer

In this step we'll solve the four edge pieces of the middle layer, and by that we'll actually complete the first two layers (a.k.a F2L).

Flip the cube upside down so the solved layer will be on the bottom. Choose an edge piece to begin with which is currently on the top layer, and locate it above the correct center piece to form an upside-down T shape (see image).

In order to insert the edge piece into its position we'll use one of the following algs:

[ U' L' U L U F U' F' ]

[ U R U' R' U' F' U F ]

(These are mirror algorithms which basically does the same. One is for edge pieces which are to the right of the solving position and the second is for those on the left)

Repeat that for the other three edge pieces.

In a case that an edge piece is in its correct position but incorrectly oriented (see image), insert a wrong edge piece to this position, and as a result the wanted edge piece will go back into the top layer. Then solve it correctly using the suitable algorithm.

Step 4: Orienting the last layer edge pieces

In this step, for the first time we won't completely solve the pieces but only orient them correctly. In other words our step goal is to form a cross shape on the upper face of the cube. The edge pieces do not need to fit the colors on the sides.

There are only four possible orientation states:

In order to complete this step (reaching state 4) we'll use the following algorithm:

This algorithm promotes the cube one state ahead each execution.
Meaning that executing this alg once, on state 1 will promote the cube to state 2, and so on. Therefore, we'll have to apply this alg 1-3 times to complete this step. (Animation note: wait for the algorithm to finish before clicking "play" again, remember to turn the upper face twice yourself (U2) before the last execution).

Pay attention! Executing this alg from the correct angle (angle of the cube in your hands) is crucial. For example, in state 3 it's important to execute this alg when the two correctly oriented edge pieces are facing to the back and left faces, and not to the front\right faces.

Step 5: Permuting the last layer corners

In this step our goal is to permute the four last layer corner pieces.
Pay attention! Our goal is only to position the corners in their correct place; we don't have to orient them correctly. For example, take a look at the image to the right; the yellow-green-red corner piece is well permuted.

In this step there are only 2 different possible unsolved states:
  • When two well permuted corners are adjacent to each other.
  • When two well permuted corners are diagonal to each other.
If you can't find 2 well permuted corners, turn the upper face (U) until they'll show up. They must be there.

In order to complete this step we'll use the following algorithm: (Keep reading before executing)

[ L R' U' R U L' U' R' U R ]

This algorithm rotates 3 corner pieces counter-clockwise, and leaves the fourth corner untouched.

If you have 2 adjacent well permuted corners- turn the upper face once clockwise (U). That move will reposition the corners into a situation which only one well permuted corner will remain while the other three corners needed to be rotated counter-clockwise. Now just execute the algorithm above, and by this single execution you actually completed this step (remember to execute this algorithm from the correct angle – when the well permuted corner is on the back right. see algorithm image above).

If you have 2 diagonal well permuted corners- just execute this algorithm above once (the angle doesn't matter), and by that, your cube state will change into a two adjacent well permuted corners state. Then follow the two adjacent corners instructions above.

Step 6: Orienting the last layer corners

In this step our goal is to orient the four corner pieces of the last layer, the ones we have just permuted.

In order to do so we'll use the following algorithms:

[ L U L' U L U2 L' U2 ]
[ R' U' R U' R' U2 R U2 ]

These algorithms actually do the same thing, just in an opposite direction. The first algorithm orients three corners clockwise, while the second orients three corners counter-clockwise. For that reason you can learn only one of them if you prefer (executing one alg twice equals to executing the second once).

If you have only one well oriented corner (like in the alg images), then you are lucky - just execute the suitable alg once and finish this step.

If you have two well oriented corners or no well oriented corners, execute one of these algs randomly from different angles until you'll get only one oriented corner, then just execute the suitable alg one more time to complete this step.

Step 7 (and last!): Permuting the last layer edge pieces

In this step our goal is to permute the last layer edge pieces into their correct position, and by that to completely solve the Rubik's cube.

For that, we'll use the following algorithms:

[ R U' R U R U R U' R' U' R2 ]
[ R2 U R U R' U' R' U' R' U R' ]

Just like the previous step algs, these algorithms actually do the same thing, just in an opposite direction. The first algorithm rotates three edges counter-clockwise, while the second rotates three edges clockwise. For that reason you'll have to learn only one of them if you prefer.

In this step there are only two possible states:

1 correct edge piece, or no correct edge pieces.
(Of-course also- all edge pieces correctly positioned can occur- and that means the cube is already fully solved..:) Congratulations! )

If you have one solved edge piece, then execute the suitable algorithm above and by that actually complete the whole Rubik's Cube!

If you have no solved edge pieces, then execute once, one of the algs above (the angle doesn't matter), and by doing that, one of the edges will become solved. Then solve using the suitable algorithm.

Congratulations!! You did it! Keep practicing the solution until you'll be able to solve the Rubik's cube without looking at the algorithms (memorize them), I promise you it will happen sooner than you think!

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For those of you who have a bad, stiff cube:
Read my Buying a Rubik's cube Guide- where I review the best speedcubes in the market, and what world champions are using. World-class cube should cost about 10$/cube, and it definitely worth it!

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