How do you beat a Rubik's Cube?

Matthew Colvin
2 June 2009

The Ways of the Cube Have you ever attempted to solve a Rubik's Cube? Are they one of the Seven

Wonders of the World? I don't think so but not many people can solve them. Although

these may be some of the most aggravating mechanisms you will ever face, there are

methods to solving these, and once you learn some of them, it will become very easy.

There are bad ideas you would want to avoid, basic solving, and speedcubing. These

will give you the basic ideas on what a Rubik's Cube is and some helpful tips on how to

solve them. To start off, here are some bad ideas that you would like to avoid, and some

solutions if you run into them. Number one, take off all the stickers and replace them.

Number two, buy a new cube in replace of the scrambled one. These are the solutions

to those problems if you really don't learn, don't have time to learn, or if just don't

want to do it at all. Solution to number one: twist the top or bottom layer half way to

pull out an edge piece; disassemble the cube and put it back together in the correct

solution. This leaves no stickers torn or messed up if you are careful. Solution to

number two: this way is better and more efficient on money; DO NOT buy a new one,

just disassemble it (stated above), and reassemble it in the correct solution. (If you

need help, there are tutorials on many websites). Second, the steps to solve a Rubik's Cube are actually quite simple and mostly

take common sense. All you need to do is focus on which pieces you are putting where

and how to get them there without messing up the other pieces you put into place.

The process in which you do that is by performing multiple and different algorithms. An

algorithm is a sequence of moves to solve the problem you have. There are many

algorithms; many of them you can learn by yourself although there are many more you

can find on a website to solve a certain parity you are stuck at. Parity is where pieces

are turned around or flipped from where they need to be. Although there are about 43

quintillion combinations for the Rubik's Cube, any way you mix it up beyond 18 moves

or so, the combinations change very slightly, and it's no more difficult to solve than the

last time. Eventually when you get really good at solving Rubik's Cubes and you want to

take it to the next level, there is Speedcubing. If you want to speedcube then, you

have to learn a method and get very accustomed to it meaning that you should be able

to think a couple moves ahead of time and flow very smoothly. Speedcubing is quite

simple; besides for finding the quickest algorithms to solve the cube you can use your

own that you know really good. When you are solving the cube, you need to learn

finger tricks that allow you to do your algorithms without stopping at all or using your

whole hand to move a side. Say you have your right thumb on the right side of the

bottom corner facing you, and your other fingers on the top of the cube; rotate the

right side up, use your thumb to twist the top to the right, and without stopping at all,

turn the right side up again. If you can do that without stopping and within half a

second, then you have the potential to learn other good finger tricks to be able to

speedcube. By now you should have a better idea of what not to do, what the Rubik's cube

is, what it is capable of, and lastly what and how to speedcube. Give it a shot and if

you fail, don't give up, keep working on it, and if you follow through all the steps you

will have it mastered in no time. If you can't figure out one method, try another; there

are many.