Still More Tough F2L (##15-18)

This is the third installment in the tough/hard/weird/non-intuitive F2L series, with the first and second posts among the most popular on this site and my Youtube channel. These cases (#15-18) require splitting top-layer pairs before re-combining them — what the F2L wiki refers to as “splitting pairs by going over.” As with the cases in the other tutorials, having now spent some time with alternate algorithms, these seem less “tough” than just non-intuitive.

Following the format of the previous installments, here’s a video tutorial, followed by table contrasting my old (intuitive) approaches against the improved ones:

(music: Bassnectar, “Timestretch (West Coast Lo Fi Remix)”; cube: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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1500 Subscribers + Christmas = Backlit Cube Give-Away!

1500b_300pxWith repeated thanks to CrazyBadCuber, I’ve hit 1,500 Youtube subscribers. (At the same time, my blog subscriptions have increased, but certainly not as dramatically.)

1500 is a big milestone that coincides nicely with the holidays. Time for a give-away!


One of the most popular posts on this blog and videos on my Youtube channel surrounds a LED-backlit Ghosthand Crystal Cube that I “hacked” for constant-on, blink-free illumination. As showcased in the how-to video below, I’ve hacked another one, and I’m giving it away through this contest.

The contest opens immediately, and there are three ways to enter: Continue reading

More Tough F2L

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:

(music: New Mastersounds, “You Mess Me Up”; cube: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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“Weird” F2L Improved (##11-12, 23-24)

There are limits to intuitive F2L (so-called). There, I said it. Again. Yes, the concept of pairing edges and corners in the top layer before insertion is elementary, and, in many instances, you can intuit just how to do that — splitting pairs, using empty slots, etc. But the solution to certain cases is far from intuitive. Which is to say that purely intuitive approaches might work, but inefficiently (too many moves, unnecessary cube rotations, etc.).

Cases 23 and 24 are prime examples; their cousins, 11 and 12, are close seconds. Having spent a few days on these four cases (watching videos, looking on the speedsolving wiki, etc.), I found much better solutions than my “intuitive” ones. (With the exception of #23, which I had learned from Andy Klise’s excellent F2L Cheat Sheet.)

The improved cases are demonstrated in the video below and summarized in the chart that follows it. The cube is an F2L Practice Cube, basically a Maru Cx3 with only the bottom two layers stickered. Anyone learning F2L should un-sticker the top layer of a cube to prevent distraction and increase F2L focus.

(music: Budos Band, “Nature’s Wrath”; cube: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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Maru CX3 / 60-Second PLL Time Attack

It’s been a little while since my last post — that monster parity article that still has my head hurting.  I’ve got a couple things in the works, but I put them aside when I got a Maru CX3 the other day.  I’m really impressed with the cube, and I found my turn style and speed improving with it.  On a whim, I thought I’d give a sub-60 PLL Time Attack another go with the CX3.  I came awfully close, at 60.65 seconds.  Here’s the video (with apologies for some of the out-of-frameness):

(music: Lettuce, “Outta Here”; cube: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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