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How to Crack the Cube

An insight into how some of the fastest can solve the classic puzzle in merely seconds, and how you can learn too!

The Rubik's Cube is a cult classic puzzle released by Erno Rubik, and is culturally accepted as being theoretically impossible to solve. With a staggering number of 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 combinations possible, people began competing to see who was the fastest. And currently, that number stands at 4.22 seconds by Feliks Zemdegs

Here is Feliks' staggering record which stands as of October 2018.

You Can Do the Cube Too

The Rubik's Cube is actually a much easier puzzle than people imagine, all it takes is some muscle memory and a few hours of your time to initially practice and learn that muscle memory completely. This article will not physically show you the steps necessary, but link to useful videos on each step. However, you must remember that there are several methods to solve the cube, and even I use a different method to the one that will be described in this tutorial. However, I deem this a good place to start in perfecting how to solve the cube for the first time.

What You First Need to Know

A very important part of speedcubing is the idea of cube notation. This is how we read moves in a sequence to scramble them and learn algorithms. Algorithms are sequences of moves that intend to alter the cube in a particular way. An example of an algorithm is as follows.

                                     R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R' U' R U R' F' 

At first, this looks like a sequence of random numbers, letters and symbols but let's break it down. An algorithm is made of 2 main parts: the face you're turning and how much you turn it. Let's first start with the faces and what that means.


There are 9 faces you need to know about: 6 basic and 3 advanced:

R: Right                                   M: Middle

U: Up                                       E: Equator

F: Front                                   S: Slice

L: Left

D: Down

B: Back

The leftmost moves are the essentials. Keep in mind that this is not the direction you are moving a face but which face itself. If you hold a solved cube with the white face on the top and the green facing you: the faces would be as follows.

Red: R

White: U

Green: F

Orange: L

Yellow: D

Blue: B

Turn Amount/Direction

This part follows the face you are moving and tells you how you need to turn that face. And this time there are 3 different values:

Nothing: Clockwise

'(Pronounced Prime): Counter-Clockwise

2: 180 Degrees or a half-turn

How to Solve the Cube Itself: A Video Tutorial

This tutorial by Noah Richardson shows how you can use cube notation to solve the cube. If you are unsure about notation still, you can watch the section on notation in the video.

How to Improve

Soon, I shall release a second article on tips with how to solve the cube faster, with a slight improvement to the method which can make your solve times much faster.

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