Over the past month, my F2L speed has increased considerably — now averaging about 20-22 seconds…and dropping. My cross can get faster, but it’s not terrible at 6-ish seconds.
That leaves the last layer as the big x-factor. I know a handful of OLLs and PLLs. Still, I’m two-looking the orientation stage and then two-(and-sometimes-even-three-)looking the permutation stage.
I haven’t tried to pick up new algorithms for a while, mostly because I feel like I’ve already picked the low hanging fruit. (A glutton for punishment, I did recently learn Na Perm but then stalled at the tougher Nb.)
OK. So, maybe I’m not the archivist I claim to be. This whole notion of cataloging everything sort of died on the vine — as I became more focused on my knowledge and understanding of the cube, rather than my times solving it or collection of hardware. On balance, I prefer what came of this blog. Either way, this post is somewhat stale now.
I’m an archivist by nature. I like collecting things, sorting them, tracking them, seeing them change and grow. I believe in elaborate backup systems and in preserving all the digital information I can (photos, videos, emails, college and even high school papers, etc.). A six terabyte NAS at home, mirrored to one at my office, stands as proof.
I enjoy sifting through data. I should have been a scientist or analyst or the like. Anything but a lawyer.
I also have a strange affection for Google. They seem to get it right more often than other companies. Google is to the internet what Apple is to hardware.
So, when I started cubing six months ago, I missed no opportunity to record, track, and preserve as much info as I could. That is, in a nutshell, this blog’s raison d’être. From the beginning, I kept two Google spreadsheets for myself — one tracking my personal best solve times and the other tracking my feverishly expanding cube/puzzle collection. I added a third when I started to learn more OLLs and PLLs. Last week while running (when I seem to do my best thinking), it suddenly occurred to me that I should publish those spreadsheets and embed them here in this blog. Why not?
You’ll notice in the sidebar to the right a new “personal stats” section that is in dire need of rebranding. It links to pages embedding the aforementioned spreadsheets. (Nav sprites, in case you’re wondering.) Continue reading
Slowly, I’ve been chipping away at new algorithms and permutations. Last week I learned a faster edge cycle technique (both directions), and I’ll post about that soon. This weekend, I learned more OLLs — the three with the corners correct but edges flipped. I’m not great at memorizing, but these are starting to come fairly easily. More muscle memory than memorization, I suppose. Here’s a quick video with the three:
And here are the algorithms I use: Continue reading
Just got a new 3×3 personal best (non-lucky) solve: 46 seconds.
(R U2′) (R2′ U’) (R2 U’) (R2′ U2′ R)
Only a half-second better than my last best time, but it definitely felt smooth and easy. I’m starting to believe the much-preached truth that consistent, slower turning is better than rushed turns punctuated by long delays of hunting for pieces. I was excited to encounter and easily apply a newly-learned OLL (#22) during the solve.
This was with my black Dayan Zhanchi (favorite cube, by far), restickered with a Cubesmith bright-set. The very excellent new Big Gigantic album played in the background.
I know I haven’t posted for a few weeks. It’s not for want of cubing (I’m cubing plenty); it’s for want of time. Rather than doing full timed solves, I’ve been ticking off the OLLs (Sune, Anti-Sune, Sidewinder, etc.) and a couple PLL perms (H and Z). These are quickly becoming second nature.
Taking a break from the technical, I wanted to post this very cool pic onto which I stumbled during some Google image searching:
I feel like I’m starting to hit a new groove. After mastering the Beginner’s Method a couple months ago, I’ve slowly embraced more complicated techniques (read: time-savers). First, it was the advanced cross technique, which I learned quickly but at which I’m still slower than I ought to be. Then it was a month of intuitive F2L. I’ve got that mostly down, with a couple non-intuitive cases still a challenge. Lately, I’ve been jazzed to learn a few more OLL/PLL algorithms. Each expands the toolbox and introduces more efficiency. Last week, it was H and Z PLL perms. This week, it’s OLL 6 (aka, The Sidewinder).
(Sidewinder / Tetris )
(R’ F) (R B’) (R’ F’) (R B)
NOTICE: WORK IN PROGRESS. THIS POST AND OTHER PARTS OF THE TUTORIAL ARE STILL BEING CONCEIVED, WRITTEN, AND SPRUCED UP. YOUR PATIENCE WHILE THE HAMSTERS REST IS APPRECIATED.
Table of Contents
STEP 3: Orienting the Last Layer (OLL)
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