The Cubing Spy

Well, Mr. Snowden just can’t stay out of the headlines — and probably doesn’t care to — what with his (not-so-)clandestine flight to Moscow, his newfound alliance with Wikileaks, etc. Dude’s in a mess of trouble.

I couldn’t help but snicker when I read the opening lines in this NY Times article last week:

WASHINGTON — The source had instructed his media contacts to come to Hong Kong, visit a particular out-of-the-way corner of a certain hotel, and ask — loudly — for directions to another part of the hotel. If all seemed well, the source would walk past holding a Rubik’s Cube. They followed the directions. A man with a Rubik’s Cube appeared. It was Edward J. Snowden....

cuber-vs-cuber

(image composited by Adventures in Cubing)

Just one issue: Seems like this self-proclaimed hero du jour didn’t realize that no one over 16 has played with a Rubik’s cube in public since about 1982. (Even our esteemed cubing competitions take place behind closed doors — or, with World in Vegas this year, at least away from anyone who would notice or care.)

Like Manning before him, Snowden seems better at stealing secrets than counter-intelligence. Even our bad spies are no good!?!

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The Most Spectacular, Stupendous, Sweeping, Slick, Straightforward Rubik’s Cube Tutorial the Web Has Ever Known (and Likely Ever Will Know) – Part 4 (Completing the Cube)

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Beginner’s Guide
Table of Contents

STEP 4: Permuting the Last Layer (PLL)

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

The Most Spectacular, Stupendous, Sweeping, Slick, Straightforward Rubik’s Cube Tutorial the Web Has Ever Known (and Likely Ever Will Know) – Part 3 (Complete Top Face)

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Beginner’s Guide
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

The Most Spectacular, Stupendous, Sweeping, Slick, Straightforward Rubik’s Cube Tutorial the Web Has Ever Known (and Likely Ever Will Know) – Part 2 (F2L)

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Beginner’s Guide
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construction

The Most Spectacular, Stupendous, Sweeping, Slick, Straightforward Rubik’s Cube Tutorial the Web Has Ever Known (and Likely Ever Will Know) – Part 1 (White Cross)

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.
Beginner’s Guide
Table of Contents

STEP 1: THE CROSS

The very first step in solving a 3×3 cube is to build a cross in the bottom layer. For purposes of this tutorial, we’ll treat the bottom layer as white (making the top layer yellow). Remember, the face color is defined by the center cubie. We’ll build the cross in two stages: first, building a daisy in the top layer with the four white edges surrounding the yellow center; second, transferring those white edges into the bottom face to create the white cross.

STEP 3a: Build a Daisy in Top Face

The goal here is to create a daisy in the top face, as shown to the right — with a yellow center cubie (capitulum) and four edges with white facing up (petals). Continue reading