I recently composed a list of 30 things to do before 30, you know the kind of bucket lists people make that are half goals, half dreams and a whole lot of resolutions we don’t really mean to keep. So I made that list, but I am not putting it up just yet, I have shared enough of my life’s details on this blog!
Anyway, solving the Rubik’s cube is one of them. I can now happily cross it off my list, it’s conquered. In fact, I have just solved one that I’m walking around with, right now, as I blog this.
I have always been fascinated by the cube but never really took the chance to learn to solve it, till recently when Google made a interactive doodle in honour of the inventor, Professor Rubik. I tried solving it, gave up, but still tweeted about it and someone offered to teach me, I quickly learned and I am now willing to share that knowledge!
So there are 3 ways (in my view) of solving the cube:
1. Take the cube apart. Arrange the pieces then reassemble them. Least challenging way, there’s no point then, in bothering to “solve” the puzzle!
2. Be a genius with visualization. Look long and hard at the cube, turn it around, solve it in your head, then just move the pieces into place. I don’t know how the guys who set records such as 5.5 seconds do it! It’s amazing watching their hands move faster than your brain can think! Of course they use high quality, low friction cubes to minimize efforts in movement, but still, the way they optimize their moves to solve the cube in the shortest time possible? It’s impressive. They are the speed cubers.
3. Learn the steps. Over the years, a number of people have experimented and written down a series of steps/movements (algorithms) that if you follow, you will end up with the solved cube. The algorithms are designed so that as you progressively solve the cube, you don’t spoil the faces you have already solved. So the movements end up being repetitive at some point, but if you muster them, then you can solve the cube in a very short time, such as under 1 minute, and you can pretend to be a genius! It’s a good feeling.
There are several algorithms out there, you can search them and try them out once you have a cube. However, I wrote down the simple one I learned from my teacher, so to speak.
Before you try out the algorithms, you must first learn the terminology: top face, front face, middle row etc.. but it should all make sense as the terms are descriptive. Here’s the link to the simple algorithm, so if you wish to learn, try it out and holla if you’re stuck!