2x2s Revisited

I haven’t spent much time at all on 2x2s. I actually think they’re fun puzzles, but just never really got that into them. I basically got a V-Cube 2×2 a month after getting into cubing, landed a 27-second on-video solve on my first try, got a 16-second solve a few days later, and then shelved it.


When Crazybadcuber posted his excellent 2×2 tutorial (embedded below) the other day, I decided to order a better 2×2 (a WitTwo Type C v1) and try again. The last time I played with a 2×2, I treated it as a 3×3 with no edges. Which, of course, is right. But applying 3×3 algorithms is not very efficient. For example, I used to treat this 2×2 case like this 3×3 case . Of course, the 3×3 algorithm will work. But it takes 12 QTM moves with a couple D layer moves (which I find hard on a 2×2). By contrast, the 2×2-specific an alternate 3×3 algorithm takes only 6 QTM moves — and is crazy easy: an F turn to setup, a Sexy Move, and a F’ to finish. EDIT: The key is that these three are equivalent: . Once you ignore edges, there are multiple 3×3 OLL cases to choose from for each 2×2 OLL case. Continue reading

first timed 2×2 (27 seconds)

Having spent the last couple months consumed by 3×3 cubes, I just grabbed a 2×2 to break up the monotony. As expected, it didn’t take long to become comfortable with it. After all, a 2×2 cube is simply a 3×3 cube without the edges. After about 20 minutes for practice, I recorded this 27-second solve:

Pure Beginner’s Method adapted to a 2×2. The OLL was a little clunky, and I’m sure there are some more efficient algorithms. The PLL was a snap.

The music is Umphrey’s McGee playing, appropriately, “2×2” (from their December 30, 2010 concert). The full show can be downloaded here.

The cube is a V-Cube 2. It seems to lock up a bunch, especially when compared to the better 3×3’s I own. But it’s certainly smooth enough to serve as a fun distraction.