1-Second Sidewinder (OLL #25)

OLL #25

(R’ F) (R B’) (R’ F’) (R B)

setup: L F R’ F’ L’ F R F’

I’m fairly meticulous when it comes to learning new algorithms, especially OLLs. My first stop is usually the speedsolving wiki OLL page. But beware: Rarely is the first algorithm for each case the best. The most common or most obvious, perhaps. But rarely the best.

Such was definitely the case with the Sidewinder (OLL 25). The first algorithm listed required a four-move setup, two Sexy Moves, and then a closing three-move trigger. The second one is equally clunky. But then the third is short and sweet. It starts with a y2, but that’s not really any different than just treating a different orientation as “home” for the case. After a few minutes of experimenting, it became obvious that the third option was the most efficient, lending itself to easy finger tricks. Continue reading


Two-Look OLL Guide

I’ve wanted to make this Two-Look OLL tutorial for a while, and finally found the time. Although the video embedded below is comprehensive (read: long) and should stand alone, this post’s further background and table of algorithms should help with learning/practice.

What is OLL?

The third-step in 3×3 solving under the CFOP/Fridrich Method is OLL (Orient Last Layer). By the OLL stage, with the Cross and F2L complete, the bottom face and first two layers will be solved. The goal of OLL is to orient the up face stickers (generally yellow for white-on-bottom solvers so that all are facing up and none are facing “out.”

There are 57 possible cases/states at the OLL stage, too many for most cubers to learn/remember all solutions. (Two years in, and I know only about 30 of them….) Two-Look OLL is designed to lighten the burden by breaking OLL into two steps. The first step (or “look”) of Two-Look OLL is to orient the four edges, forming a yellow cross or plus-sign (ignoring the edges). The second “look” orients the four corners so that yellow faces up, completing the top face. The center cubie is, of course, fixed and can never be “un-oriented.” As the Speedsolving Wiki summarizes:

[Y]ou do not need to know all 57 OLLs to use 2-look OLL, rather the system is divided up. By first orienting the edges (3 cases), then orienting the corners (7 cases), orientation of all pieces on the last layer is completed.

I think we all can agree that 10 cases is better than 57!?! Here’s a video teaching and contextualizing them:

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OLL 6 (Sidewinder / Tetris)

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).

OLL #6
(Sidewinder / Tetris )

(R’ F) (R B’) (R’ F’) (R B)

Continue reading