My post on “Weird” F2L is the most viewed on this site, and features the most popular video on my Youtube channel — with continuing thanks to CBC! So, I decided to copy the same format to showcase three more tough (at least for me) F2L cases. It turns out that these actually are easy cases. It’s just that the “intuitive” approaches are clunky, and the easy approaches non-intuitive.
Here’s the video tutorial, followed by table contrasting my old (intuitive) approaches against these improved ones:
I had planned on posting a two year cubeiversary video this weekend, it being almost exactly two years from the first time I solved a Rubik’s cube. It was going to show a 30-second solve, before self-deprecatingly mocking myself for not really improving much this year. Yes, my technique is better. Yes, I know more algorithms. Yes, I’m more consistent. But my cross still sucks and my speed just isn’t falling much. Oh well. I never proclaimed to be fast, and even anointed this blog as one for the mediocre.
Well, instead of waking up and editing the video, I found myself laying in bed puzzling over why I had 400 emails (almost all from Youtube). I finally realized that CrazyBadCuber had done one of his Crazy Bad Promo videos featuring my youtube channel! Sweet! Hundreds of new subscribers! Here’s his video:
I’ve always thought that my video production and blog quality both eclipsed my cubing skills. There’s a bias against slower cubers, and I figured I wouldn’t get much attention until I sped up. Continue reading →
Every once in a while, my hobby intersects with my profession. That was the case a year ago when I wrote about the controversy between Dayan and Seven Towns over the latter’s (largely exaggerated, I believe) position that it had a copyright/trade dress claim against any cube maker using the standard yellow-white/red-orange/blue-green color scheme. And it’s the case again now, with my recent project to decorate my new office. I figured that the lawyer who deals with patents by day and speedcubes in his free time might as well have some topical art.
I downloaded a variety of cube related patents, ranging from the very first related patent of which I’m aware (from the 60s), the Japanese magnetic 2×2 patent from the 70s, the Hungarian and US Rubik patents from the early 80s, the (in)famous Verdes V-Cube patents, and the (relatively) recent Dayan ones. In Photoshop, I assembled them into a composite with the abstract pages and key diagrams, had it printed at 24×36 by Kinkos (for $4.50), and framed it (via Aaron Brothers for $35). Voila! Legal-cube-nerd art:
Click on the thumbnail to expand. I’m not convinced there’s a high demand for this sort of thing, but, just in case, here are links for downloading it:
It’s been 14 months since I wrote about more advanced cross techniques, which is only slightly less long than I’ve been at this cubing thing altogether. At the time, I was thrilled just to move on from the beginner’s method of forming a daisy on top. Memorizing the cube’s color scheme seemed like an accomplishment.
A year-plus later, I’m stuck at around 35 seconds. I’ve learned all 21 PLLs, have gotten pretty fast at two-look OLL (with a handful of OLLs one-lookable), and am competent with F2L (fast, but with lots of hunting still). But my crosses are still really clunky. Time to start focusing on the cross.
To set a benchmark, I did 5 Ao12s of just crosses. I spread out the sessions to make sure they were pretty accurate representations. Although there are a few stray bests, the 60-cross average was 6.75: Continue reading →
Go ahead and stream the below as your read this post. It’s my strained attempt to find some topical background music consistent with the post’s forced title. Maybe it’s just the introspection of turning 36, but it’s fun to hear an updated version of a song* that we used to listen to in high school.
So, I received my Shengshou 5×5 yesterday from amazon. I’m not really into higher order cubes, and certainly not into speed-solving them. But I guess that curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to test my theory that a 5×5 actually would be easier than a 4×4 for want of parity issues. I *hate* 4×4 last layer parity — with its long and confusing algorithms. Two 5×5 solves in, my theory seems mostly right.
I’m a big fan of Dayan cubes, and, for 3×3, use them exclusively. For a while, I thought the Zhanchi (Dayan 5) was the bee’s knees — in all incarnations (white, black, stickerless, 42mm, 50mm, 55mm, or 57mm). Recently, I’ve revisited my Guhong v2 — Zhanchi’s older brother, which has a somewhat blockier/thicker/clickier feeling. Cubing forums are riddled with hyperbolic, vitriolic debate on which is better. Personal preference, I’d say. Both are damn good.
There’s long been talk about a Dayan 6 model that would combine the best traits of the Guhong and Zhanchi (and even their older brothers, DaYan’s Lingyun and Lunhui). Based on this speedsolving.com thread, which gathers pics and quotes that DaYan’s designer (Daqing Bao) posted to the MF8 forum, the rumors now appear true. In fact, pre-orders are now being accepted at 51morefun.com.
Here are some pics that circulated a few days ago as part of the original threads:
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 →