Three posts for all of 2015. That was it. Three. That wasn’t some fancy Rule of Three dramatic device. Not at all. Just. Plain. Busy. There were months at a time that I didn’t even pick up a cube, let alone post. But never fear: In the infamous* words of John Hartford, I’m still here.
* by which I mean neither the Three Amigos’ “more than famous” nor the literal “well known for some bad quality or deed,” but rather “not really famous at all.”
This one relates to OLL 56, one of the bar or I-shaped OLLs. As I learn the full set of bar OLLs this emerged as one where the standard alg — (r U r') U (R U' R') U (R U' R') (r U' r') — could be improved by an M-slice. Yes, I’m a self-proclaimed M- and S-slice evangelist. And, yes, I’ll admit that sometimes using the middle slices is more neat and clever than ultimately useful. (The S-slice alg for F2L edge flip probably should be Exhibit 1.) But OLL 56 really does get easier with an M slice dropped in. Here’s a video showing the execution at full-speed and in slomo:
The key with this one is the z rotation, which converts into more manageable U and D moves what would otherwise be alternating R and L moves. I don’t execute the z as a full rotation, but just enough that my right hand can execute the “coverted” moves.
Another slo-mo PLL iPhone video? Maybe this will become a series, after all….
H was the very first one-look PLL I learned. It forced me to learn M slice flicks for the four M2′ combos, each of which I executed as two single M’ flicks. Soon thereafter I learned double-M’ flicks (pulling back to front across the bottom with my ring then middle finger), allowing much faster execution. Although I also learned double-U flicks, I couldn’t get my right hand fingers into position for those doubles while holding the cube in a way that allowed for the double-M’s. So, I would do double M’s and paired single Us. I eventually learned the M-based U Perms which relied on a mix of U and U’ as shown in this slomo video. Last week, a lot of folks commented that my Ub push/pull finger trick on the U layer was innovative.
What if I used that same trick for the H Perm, like so:
My left hand index finger executes the U’ by pulling left to right across the front. That puts the index finger in a position to push right to left for the U2, and in a position to do the second U’ like the first. The only challenge was that muscle memory kept telling my left hand to move the M layer as though I was doing a Ub perm. A couple days in, the synapses have adapted and separated the two. My execution is good, but there’s speed to be gained.
I’ve received tons of requests to put together a video showcasing my puzzle collection. I’ve resisted for a while, since I frankly don’t find it that interesting to watch someone talk — and for thirty minutes at that!?! — about their puzzles. But, as one subscriber noted, I do have a few unique cubes in the collection. So, why not? Here’s a video of my puzzle collection as of June 2014:
Just a quick post about the first and only unbxoing on my Youtube channel, showcasing three Moyu cubes: a black Aolong, black Yulong, and colored translucent Yulong:
It’s been a long while since I ordered new 3x3s. Although a lot of new cubes have been released lately, and the few I’ve tried have no doubt impressed me, none have displaced the Zhanchi as king of all things 3×3 (for me). The two that have come close are Cyoubx’ Maru CX-3 and the Moyu Weilong, the older sibling of the Aolong. Both are interesting, but have their flaws. The Weilong is smooth but locky. The CX-3 performs well, but is hard to tension properly and is really square, with almost no beveling on the outer edges. A picky criticism, perhaps, but it does have an odd “hand-feel” because of it. Continue reading →
The two “Fung” OLLs — the large “square” lighting bolts — each have an occurrence probability of 1/54, and together 1/27 (3.7%). They seem to appear more often for me; I would have guessed more like 1/15. Whatever the frequency, it was time to learn these.
OLL #39 (Fung)
f’ L F L’ U’ L’ U L S
setup: L U F’ U’ L’ U L F L’
OLL #40 (Anti-Fung)
f R’ F’ R U R U’ R’ S’
setup: (R’ U’) F U (R U’ R’) F’ R
The standard algs for these didn’t flow very well for me. Digging a bit deeper, I found the alternate ones with the S moves to be easy and regrip-less. Here’s a video tutorial: