S-Slice: F2L Edge Flip

F2L 38
S-Slice Variant

R’ U S’ U’ (R B’ R’) S R B

For a while now, I’ve had a decent alg for flipping a placed but misoriented F2L edge: r (R U R’ U’) r’ U2 (R U R U’ R2). As I wrote earlier, this is a “purer” alternative — in that it does not affect the orientation of the U corners — to the standard algs of R’ U S’ U’ (R B’ R’) S R B and (R U R’ U’) (U’ R U2 R’) d (R’U’R). It’s regripless and fairly fast, but still a bit a clunky.

While learning an S-slice alternative to another F2L case (coming soon), it occurred to me that S may open up possibilities here, too. I reached out to TellerWest, king of tricked out algs, and we identified this as possibility:

R’ U S’ U’ (R B’ R’) S R B

As shown in this video, it works quite well:

S moves are not that easy nor natural for a lot of folks. Continue reading

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1-Second Sidewinder (OLL #25)

OLL #25
(Sidewinder)

(R’ F) (R B’) (R’ F’) (R B)

setup: L F R’ F’ L’ F R F’

I’m fairly meticulous when it comes to learning new algorithms, especially OLLs. My first stop is usually the speedsolving wiki OLL page. But beware: Rarely is the first algorithm for each case the best. The most common or most obvious, perhaps. But rarely the best.

Such was definitely the case with the Sidewinder (OLL 25). The first algorithm listed required a four-move setup, two Sexy Moves, and then a closing three-move trigger. The second one is equally clunky. But then the third is short and sweet. It starts with a y2, but that’s not really any different than just treating a different orientation as “home” for the case. After a few minutes of experimenting, it became obvious that the third option was the most efficient, lending itself to easy finger tricks. Continue reading

L-Shape OLLs (##47-50, 53-54)

My last tutorial focussed on the Frying Pan OLLs, which I described as the two L-shape patterns with a bar on the side. A youtube commenter quickly pointed out that there were, in fact, four L-shape OLLs with a bar on the side– the two Frying Pan ones (##53-54) and the two Squeezy ones (##49-50). I promised to do a new tutorial that added the Squeezies. Then I realized that there are a total of only six L-shape cases. So, why not add the Breaknecks (##47-48), too, and make it a comprehensive L-shape OLL tutorial?

The video below does just that. While the algorithms are not necessarily hard to execute — for the Squeezies, it’s just about finding the right finger-tricks and flow — the six cases are easy to confuse. Below the video are the algs and some simple rules to help distinguish and orient the cases.

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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Frying Pan OLLs (##53-54)

Here’s a quick follow-up to my C-Shape OLL tutorial, this one focussed on the “Frying Pan” OLLs (##53-54). Why “Frying Pan”? I have no idea. Leave a comment if you know.

I filmed this at the same time as the C-Shape one, trying to squeeze in as much production before my wrist surgery. It follows the same multi-cam approach:

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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C-Shape OLLs (##34, 46)

UPDATE: I now use a totally different alg for #34: (R U R’ U’) y’ (r’ U’ R U M’)

My Two-Look OLL post inspired me to keep pushing along with learning more OLLs. I had started learning the C-shapes (##34 and 46), but got distracted when I couldn’t find a decent flow for the latter. Now, I finally found an alternate algorithm for it.

OLL #34
(City)

(R U R’ U’) y’ (r’ U’ R U M’)

(R U R’ U’) x D’ (R’ U R) E’ z’
setup: B’ (F R’ F’ R) B U (R U’ R’)

OLL #46
(Seein’ Headlights)

R’ U’ (R’ F R F’) U R

setup: R’ U’ F R’ F’ R U R
conventional:
Lw F (R U’ R’ U) x U R’
[Lw F (R U’ R’ U) F’ Lw’]

Here’s a video tutorial, followed by further explanation:

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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Void Cube – Walk-Through, Re-Stickering

void-cubeIn my last post, I wrote about new custom stickers from Olivér Nagy. Besides some great new custom logo stickers, he and I worked on a sticker template for Rubik’s-brand Void Cubes. The OEM Void stickers have a ridiculous pattern of concentric circles and the color scheme is a bit funky — with white replaced by red and red replaced by a magenta-purple. Re‑stickering to a familiar color scheme made it a lot easier to solve!

As long as I had the camera rolling, I decided to do a quick walk-through video. A lot of folks think the Void Cube is some alien beast when it comes to solves. In reality, with one key parity exception, it solves just like a 3×3. The video walks through that parity issue, which is more fully explained after the jump.

(puzzle: Ruibk’s brand Void Cube w/ custom bright stickers from Olivér Nagy; music: “Ice Flow,” Kevin MacLeod, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0)

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Two-Look OLL Guide

I’ve wanted to make this Two-Look OLL tutorial for a while, and finally found the time. Although the video embedded below is comprehensive (read: long) and should stand alone, this post’s further background and table of algorithms should help with learning/practice.

What is OLL?

The third-step in 3×3 solving under the CFOP/Fridrich Method is OLL (Orient Last Layer). By the OLL stage, with the Cross and F2L complete, the bottom face and first two layers will be solved. The goal of OLL is to orient the up face stickers (generally yellow for white-on-bottom solvers so that all are facing up and none are facing “out.”

There are 57 possible cases/states at the OLL stage, too many for most cubers to learn/remember all solutions. (Two years in, and I know only about 30 of them….) Two-Look OLL is designed to lighten the burden by breaking OLL into two steps. The first step (or “look”) of Two-Look OLL is to orient the four edges, forming a yellow cross or plus-sign (ignoring the edges). The second “look” orients the four corners so that yellow faces up, completing the top face. The center cubie is, of course, fixed and can never be “un-oriented.” As the Speedsolving Wiki summarizes:

[Y]ou do not need to know all 57 OLLs to use 2-look OLL, rather the system is divided up. By first orienting the edges (3 cases), then orienting the corners (7 cases), orientation of all pieces on the last layer is completed.

I think we all can agree that 10 cases is better than 57!?! Here’s a video teaching and contextualizing them:

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