Category: Rubik’s Cube

Learn how to solve the Rubik’s Cube

The Checkerboard, Snake-eyes, and the Fish

Checkerboard and Snake-eyes and the Fish

Note: For our purposes, we will call the White side the top and the Yellow the bottom. I will refer to the horizontal planes from top to bottom as the Top, Horizontal Middle, and Bottom. The vertical layers will be called the Right-hand, Left-hand, and the Vertical Middle.

Pre-requisite: A solved Rubik’s cube. (For help solving, see past posts under Rubik’s Cube.)

The Checkerboard pattern is very simple.

  1. Turn the left-hand and right-hand side 180 degrees.
  2. Turn the top and bottom side 180 degrees.
  3. Turn the front and back side 180 degrees.
  4. Undoing the move is the same thing. You can do steps 1-3 in any order. It doesn’t matter, as long as you do Parallel 180’s in every direction.

Snake-eyes is also an easy pattern.

  1. Start with a solved cube.
  2. Turn the Vertical Middle up 1 turn.
  3. Rotate the rotate the entire cube to the right.
  4. Turn the Vertical Middle up 1 turn on that side.
  5. Rotate the entire cube to the right again and turn the Vertical Middle up 1 turn.
  6. Repeat step f 5 two more times. (for a total of 4 “Vertical Middle up 1 turns”).
  7. Undo the move by using the same pattern, rotating the cube to the left.

Challenge: Try solving the cube into one of these patterns from the beginning. (Don’t start with a solved cube, rather solve the cube into one of the patterns above.)

 

Fish Pattern Challenge

This is the hardest Pattern to solve the cube into. Good luck.

Fish Pattern

Anyone up for the 2 by 2 or 4 by 4 cube? Or maybe even the 5 by 5?

Happy Solving!

-M.M.

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The Rocket Ship Move

The Rocket Ship Move

Note: For our purposes, we will call the White side the top and the Yellow the bottom. I will refer to the horizontal planes from top to bottom as the Top, Horizontal Middle, and Bottom. The vertical layers will be called the Right-hand, Left-hand, and the Vertical Middle.

Pre-requisite: Solve the cube so that top, bottom, and one side side are solved. You have probably used The J Move to get this far. (For help, see past posts under Rubik’s Cube.)

  1. Turn the cube up-side down (yellow side up). Put the solved side face in the back. This is a story move, so hang on for the ride.
  2. To start, build the rocket ship. Turn the front 180 degrees. Turn the top either right 1 turn, or left 1 turn, which ever choice creates a rocket ship on the front of the cube.
  3. Blast off. Turn both the left-hand and right-hand sides 1 turn down.
  4. Something goes wrong. Turn the front 180 degrees.
  5. The rocket ship lands again. Turn both the right-hand and left-hand sides 1 turn up.
  6. Solve the cube. Turn the top 1 turn right or left, whichever solves the front of the cube. Turn the front 180 degrees. The cube is done! Congrats!
  7. Go show off to some gullible person who will believe you are a genius.
  8. Remember: Upside down. Build the rocket ship, blast off, something goes wrong, the rocket ship lands, solve the cube.

Challenge: Solve the whole cube in 5 minutes or less. Go for under 2 if you can. My personal record is one minute and 5 seconds.

Next I am going to teach you how to make some cool designs on the cube to further impress the innocent masses.

Questions? Comments? Has anyone actually been learning the cube, or am I just recording my knowledge so I can remember?

-M.M

The J Move

The J Move

Note: For our purposes, we will call the White side the top and the Yellow the bottom. I will refer to the horizontal planes from top to bottom as the Top, Horizontal Middle, and Bottom. The vertical layers will be called the Right-hand, Left-hand, and the Vertical Middle.

Pre-requisite: Solve the cube so that all that remains to be fixed are the bottom middles. (For help, see past posts under Rubik’s Cube.)

Good news: It is possible to completely solve the cube once you know the J Move. Unfortunately, you may be in a position where you need the final move to solve the cube.

  1. Put the side you want to stay the same on your right-hand side. This side is “safe”.
  2. Turn the right-hand side up 1 turn.
  3. Turn the front side 1 turn to the right (clockwise).
  4. Turn the left-hand side up 1 turn.
  5. Turn the front face back to starting position 1 turn to the left (counter-clockwise). This is where the move gets its name. See the “J”?
  6. Turn the right-hand side to starting position 1 turn down.  Do the same with the left-hand side, 1 turn down.
  7. Solve for Y’t (detailed in steps 8-11).
  8. Turn the bottom side of the cube 1 turn to the right.
  9. Turn the left-hand side 1 turn down.
  10. “Load” the white corner by turning the bottom back 1 turn to the left.
  11. Turn the left-hand side back 1 turn up.
  12. Repeat the move until the cube is solved, or nearly solved. By nearly solved I mean that the top, bottom, and 1 side are all solved. From this point you can use the final solving move to complete the cube.
  13. To remember, think: Right Up, Front across, Left up, Front back,(see the “J”?) Right down, Left down, solve for Y’t.

Hint: If two adjacent side sides become solved, put one on your right hand side and make sure the other is in the back. This will set you up for the final solving move.

Challenge: Solve the Rubik’s Cube! (It may take several tries because The J Move doesn’t always solve the cube. More often than not, it requires the final move. But hey, a little practice never hurt anyone, eh?

Questions? Shoot me a comment.

-M.M.

The Triple Rotate Move

Note: For our purposes, we will call the White side the top and the Yellow the bottom. I will refer to the horizontal planes from top to bottom as the Top, Horizontal Middle, and Bottom. The vertical layers will be called the Right-hand, Left-hand, and the Vertical Middle.

Pre-requisite: Solve the cube through the Ferris Wheel Move. (For help, see past posts under Rubik’s Cube.)

Once all the corners are in their proper addresses, you need to orient them. That is the purpose of the triple rotate. You may realize that the triple rotate is very similar to the move to Solve 2/3. (See step 4.)

  1. Choose a corner that you do not want to rotate. Turn the cube so that that corner is on your left-hand side facing you.
  2. Turn the Right-hand side 1 turn down. Turn the Bottom 1 turn away to the left. Turn the Right-hand side 1 turn up. Turn the Bottom 1 turn away to the left again. Turn the Right-hand side 1 turn down. Turn the Bottom away to the left 2 turns (180 degrees). Turn the Right-hand side up 1 turn.
  3. Repeat the move until 2 or 4 of the corner are correctly oriented. If 2 corners are not properly oriented you will need the move in the next post.
  4. To remember the Triple Rotate think: Down, Away, Up, Away, Down, Away-Away, Up.

Notice that doing this move 3 times in the same place returns the corners to their position before you began the move.

Challenge: Say “Unique New York” five times as fast as you can.

Questions? The comment section welcomes you.

-M.M.

The Ferris Wheel Move

Note: For our purposes, we will call the White side the top and the Yellow the bottom. I will refer to the horizontal planes from top to bottom as the Top, Horizontal Middle, and Bottom. The vertical layers will be called the Right-hand, Left-hand, and the Vertical Middle.

Pre-requisite: Solve the first 2/3 of the Cube. (For help, see past posts on Solving the Cube.)

The Ferris Wheel Move is used to move the corner pieces on the bottom to the correct address. However, it does not orient the corners.

In essence, this move swaps two adjacent corners. Thus, you should never have to do it more than 3 times to get all four corners on the bottom to the correct address.

  1. Identify 2 corners in the Bottom which need to switch places. Turn the cube so that the side containing both corners is facing you. We will call this front face the Ferris Wheel. Board the Ferris Wheel by turning the Right-hand side 1 turn down and then the Bottom 1 turn to the left. Return the Right-hand side to starting position by turning it up 1 turn.
  2. Ride the Ferris Wheel by turning the front side 1 turn clockwise.
  3. Unload the Ferris Wheel by turning the Bottom 1 turn to the left.
  4. Rewind the Ferris Wheel by turning the side 1 turn counter-clockwise.
  5. Solve for Y’t  (Turn the Right-hand side down 1 turn. Load the White in by turning the Bottom 1 turn to the right. Bring the Right-hand side up 1 turn, thus fixing the top.)
  6. Finish off the move by turning the bottom 2 turns (180 degrees.)
  7. Look to see if all the corners are in the correct place. If not, repeat the move on other corners.
  8. To remember this move think: Down, Board, Ferris, Unload, Ferris back, Solve for Y’t.

Challenge: Do the Ferris Wheel move with your eyes closed.

Questions? Leave a comment.

-M.M.

 

Solving the Second Third

Note: For our purposes, we will call the White side the top and the Yellow the bottom. I will refer to the horizontal planes from top to bottom as the Top, Horizontal Middle, and Bottom. The vertical layers will be called the Right-hand, Left-hand, and the Vertical Middle.

Pre-requisite: Solve the top of the Cube. (For help, see past posts on Solving the Cube.)

If you have solved the white side, you have already solved the first third of the cube. I am going to explain how to solve the middle horizontal layer in this post: the second third.

  1. Locate a middle edge piece that belongs in the middle horizontal layer. (Hint: The middle edge piece will not be Yellow.) If the middle is in the bottom layer continue with this step. If not, continue to step 2. Look at the color that is facing down on the middle edge piece. Rotate the bottom so that the middle is opposite the side that is the same color. For example, if you have a red and green middle piece with the red facing down, rotate the bottom so that the middle piece is opposite the red side. Find the middle piece’s address. Hold the cube with the side containing the address facing you and the color side and the side containing the middle on the left and right.

Turn the color side down 1 turn. Turn the Bottom toward the color side 1 turn. Turn the color side up 1 turn. Turn the Bottom toward the color side again 1 turn. Turn the color side down 1 turn again. Turn the Bottom 2 turns (180 degrees). Now Solve for Y’t to fix the top (in this case White.) To remember this move think: Down, Toward, Up, Toward, Down, Toward-Toward, Up, Solve for Y’t.

  1. To get a middle edge piece out of the middle horizontal layer use the move described in Step 1. Be sure that the piece you want to move is facing you. Note that this piece should be part of the color side when you do the move. Down, Toward, Up, Toward, Down, Toward-Toward, Up, Solve for Y’t.

Now you can sole 2/3 of a Rubik’s Cube! If you have questions or need clarification, comment below.

Bonus Challenge: Solve the top and 2/3 in under 2 minutes on any color!

-M.M.

Solving for Y’t (White)

Note: For our purposes, we will call the White side the top and the Yellow the bottom. I will refer to the horizontal planes from top to bottom as the Top, Horizontal Middle, and Bottom. The vertical layers will be called the Right-hand, Left-hand, and the Vertical Middle. You will be extremely confused if you have not read “An Introduction to the Rubik’s Cube” and “Solving the Plus”. Just saying.

Solving the corners:

  1. If the corner is in the Top, but at the wrong address, use this move. Turn the cube so that the side containing the corner is facing you. Turn the Right-hand or Left-hand plane (whichever contains the corner) down 1 turn (90 degrees). The corner should now be in the Bottom. Next use either step 2 or 3 to solve, depending on your situation.
  2. If the corner piece is in the Bottom with the White side facing down, turn the Bottom so that the corner is directly below its address. Next, turn the side face containing both the corner and address 1 turn down.  Turn the Bottom so that the corner piece is out of the way of the side face you just turned. Return the side face to its original position by turning it up 1 turn (90 degrees).
  3. If the corner piece is in the Bottom with the White side facing out, Solve for Y’t. Turn the Bottom so that the corner is beneath its address. The corner and address should be vertically aligned. Turn the Bottom 1 turn so that the address and corner are diagonally opposite each other. Turn the address’s side plane down 1 turn. Turn the Bottom 1 turn so that you “load” the corner into the address spot. Turn the address side 1 turn back to its starting position. *To remember this move I use the following: “Away Down Load Up.” Note that this is the same pattern used to solve the middles in step 8 of “Solving the Plus”.

By combining “Solving the Plus” and “Solving for Y’t” you can solve any single side of the Rubik’s cube!

Challenge: Try solving other sides of the cube. See if you can do it under 1 minute!

-M.M.

Solving the Plus

Note: For our purposes, we will call the White side the top and the Yellow the bottom. I will refer to the horizontal layers from top to bottom as the Top, Horizontal Middle, and Bottom layer. The vertical layers will be called the Right-hand, Left-hand, and the Vertical Middle layer. Please read “Introduction to the Rubik’s Cube” before starting on this set of instructions, otherwise it will be very confusing and frustrating.

Place the cube in front of you with the White side up. We are going to be solving for the middle edge pieces on the White face to create a plus-sign (+).

  1. Locate the 4 White middle edge pieces. They will be in one of three places: On the Top, Middle Horizontal, or Bottom Layer.
  2. Once you locate the White middles figure out the address for each piece.
  3. If the middle is already in the Top with the White side facing up, rotate the Top so that the middle is at its proper address.
  4. If the middle is on the Bottom with the White side facing down, rotate the Bottom until the middle is directly beneath its address.  Rotate the side face containing both the middle and the address 2 turns (180 degrees) to get the White middle to the Top.
  5. If the middle is in the Horizontal Middle layer, turn the cube so that the White side of the middle piece is facing you. Relocate the middle’s address and turn the Top so that the address location and the middle are in the same left-hand or right-hand layer. Rotate that left or right layer up 1 turn (90 degrees). Return the Top to its original orientation.
  6.  If the middle is in the Top but the White side is not facing up, rotate the side containing the middle piece 2 turns (180 degrees), so the White piece is in the Bottom. Continue to Step 8 to solve.
  7. If the middle is in the Bottom with the White side facing out, turn the middle so that it is directly beneath its address. The following move is very important, so pay attention. Turn the Bottom 1 turn (90 degrees) either left or right. (You can choose). Turn the Vertical Middle layer down 1 turn (90 degrees). Turn the Bottom back 1 turn (right if you chose left or left if you chose right.) I call this “loading” the middle into its address. Return the Vertical Middle layer to starting position by turning it up 1 turn (90 degrees.) Think “Away Down Load Up” if that helps you.

By employing these 8 steps, you should easily solve the Plus! Good luck!

Challenge: Try to solve the plus on a side other than White!

-M.M.

An Introduction to the Rubik’s Cube

Many people find it absolutely mind-boggling that a normal human being can solve a Rubik’s cube. But here’s the truth: It’s not that hard.

Sure, it takes some practice, but if you take the time, you will be able to astonish almost anyone (except those people who understand that it is really not that hard to master The Cube.) In this post I am going to present some simple Rubik’s cube FUNdamentals. (Yes. It’s a terrible pun. I know that and you know that. Can we move on now?)

  1. There are 6 sides to a cube: White, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green, and Blue. You can tell what color a side is by the center square. The locations of these sides never change.
  2. White is ALWAYS opposite Yellow. Orange is ALWAYS opposite Red. Green is ALWAYS opposite Blue.
  3. Middle edge pieces (middles) will never be corners. Corners will never be middles. Centers, as stated above, are constant.
  4.  Each piece of the cube has a specific “address”. For example, the Blue, White, and Orange corner should end up when the cube is solved where the Blue, White, and Orange sides meet. Likewise, the Red and Green middle will need to end up in the middle position between the Red and Green faces of the cube.

Knowing these four truths makes the cube immensely less confusing.

Questions? Leave a comment.

This is a picture of a Rubik’s cube without the moving pieces. See? The centers are constant! Can you predict the colors of the sides you cannot see in the photograph?

-M.M.