As I earlier posted, I’ve been learning OLLs and PLLs at a moderate pace, trying to move past the inefficiencies of the Beginner’s Method. About half-way through learning A Perm, a light bulb went off: It corner cycles the same way as the penultimate Beginner’s Method algorithm of R’ F R’ B2 R F’ R’ B2 R2 — with Aa as the far less re-grippy surrogate, and Ab (its mirror) more efficient than serial application of the Beginner’s Method algorithm. (Slowly, it’s all coming together….)
I find the A Perm one of the easier cases to recognize, with its characteristic 2x2x1 block in a top-layer corner, the block having matching colors on either side. I set up by AUF‘ing the 2x2x1 block into the front-left corner, with the 2×2 block matching the middle and bottom layers (as in the diagram to the right). If the headlights (green-xx-green in the below diagrams) are in the back, you do the Aa Perm; if the headlights are to the right, you do the Ab Perm.
Another Adventures in Cubing disciple conquers the cube. A week ago, “Rhino” couldn’t solve a cube. We chatted, he spent some time with my Beginner’s Method tutorial, and he ordered a speedcube. Eight days later, he’s got a 2:21 1:27 on-camera solve (cheat-sheet free!) under his belt:
The good student you are, you’ve now studied the Cross, First Two Layers, and OLL Beginner’s Method tutorials. If you followed them closely, your cube should like this. The bottom face should be all white, the top face should be all yellow, and the first two layers should be solved. The last layer, indicated in gray, is likely to be a bit jumbled. (There is a 1/16 chance that the previous OLL step actually solved the cube completely.)
The goal in this last step is to orient (“permute,” in cube-speak) the last layer pieces into the correct positions without disturbing the top face, bottom face, or first two layers. Continue reading →
So, you’ve pored over my Cross and First Two Layer tutorials, and have successfully made your cube look like this? Well done! Believe it or not, you’ve done the hardest parts. The next steps of completing the top face (OLL) and then correctly permuting the pieces to complete the top layer (PLL) are significantly easier. They require a bit more memorization. But don’t be intimidated. I had thought that I’d never memorize these algorithms. Now, just three months later, they are so much a part of my muscle memory that it was actually hard for me to slow down to transcribe them.
With the bottom face all white and next two layers solved, we know all of the pieces in the top layer will have yellow on them. In this step, Continue reading →