Excuses…Excuses — (0:39) Ao5 with a Cast

Here’s a dirty little (not-so-)secret fact: I’m a mediocre cuber. Indeed, mediocrity is, in a sense, the raison d’être of this blog.

me·di·o·cre [mee-dee-oh-ker]
of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate
     synonyms: undistinguished, commonplace, pedestrian, everyday; run-of-the-mill
     antonyms: extraordinary, superior, uncommon, incomparable

More accurately, I’d say that I’m a pretty good cuber, but a very mediocre speedsolver. My technique is decent. I know all PLLs and can execute them efficiently. I understand intuitive F2L very well, and have learned a lot of tricks for more complicated cases. And I’ve got about 60% of the OLLs under my belt. But when it comes to putting them all together into full solves, I’m just not that great. My cross stinks. My look-ahead is non-existent. And, under the pressure of the clock, I tend to confuse F2L cases and forget OLL cases. That’s why I average just under 30 seconds.

And that’s why I very rarely record full solves and, even more rarely, averages. Well, after my surgery and with this damn cast still on my arm (¡au voir mañana!), I thought I could record an average of 5 (Ao5) with a built-in excuse. And so I did. Here’s the video with a 39 second Ao5 (and with BIG apologies for so much of it being out of frame!):

(puzzle: Dayan Zhanchi w/ Cube Specialists fitted bright stickers; music: String Cheese Incident performing “Galactic > So What?” on 7.30.03)

OLL 36

U2 (R’ F R F’) U2 (R U R’)

setup: (R U’ R’) d (R’ U R) d’

There’s lots to say about the solves, although much of it is not news to me. I need to work on my cross technique; fewer cube rotations and more back inserts; don’t let the clock create amnesia for OLLs and F2L cases; etc. etc. More specifically, though, there is great benefit to having the solves on video. I can really see where I get tripped up. For example, F2L #36. I used to know it cold. But I got it wrong both times it came up during these solves, resulting in bad inserts and then a whole bunch of wasted time fixing them. And I mistook a simple Sune for a Sidewinder (just plain rushing) and had to start the OLL over twice. This sort of post-mortem is actually really helpful.

Here are the scrambles. I’ll probably practice with these to try to identify better cross solutions. Send in your cross solutions, if you’ve got ’em.

Average: 39.45
Best: 31.88
Worst: 47.91
Mean: 39.63
Standard Deviation: 7.09

1: 32.11 F U F2 U’ F2 L2 B D’ L’ D2 R2 F L2 F2 U2 L2 B U2 R2 B2
2: (31.88) B U F’ B2 R D2 L2 F’ U R’ B2 U F2 R2 D L2 F2 D2 F2 B2 U
3: 47.69 L F U R’ D’ L2 F U’ B R’ B D2 L2 U2 R’ B2 D2 R’ U2 L
4: (47.91) F2 R2 D’ R2 U’ B2 D U L2 U’ R’ D U’ L’ R’ D’ B F D B2
5: 38.55 R’ L2 U’ F R2 U B’ L U’ B2 D R2 L2 D2 L2 D2 B L2 D2 F

Or maybe it’s just the cast….


One thought on “Excuses…Excuses — (0:39) Ao5 with a Cast

  1. BobFranky November 27, 2014 / 7:12 pm

    Ok, I had all the crosses solved and typed, but the computer glitched, and deleted my comment:/ All of them were optimal, but I especially liked this one.Yellow on top, green front, white cross
    5.DB’L’DRU’F’B2U2L2(Originally it was a double X cross with all of the corners solved, but I cant recreate it)

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