Tag Archives: TellerWest

F2L #36 – S Slice Variant

F2L 36

R U S’ (R’ U R) S R’
[setup: (R U’ R) U2 (F R’ F’ R) U2]

Four months! It’s been four full months since my last video/post. Totally unlike me. Busy is an understatement. It’s finally time to come for air momentarily with a tutorial I’ve planned for a long time.

This one relates to F2L 36, a case that I’ve never liked. The standard alg — U2 (R' F R F') U2 (R U R') — isn’t terribly slow. Nor is it very smooth or fluid. (My older video on that version.) I’ve come to prefer a “tricked out” variant that comes by way of Teller West — and, no surprise, it’s based around the S slice.

Here’s an in-depth tutorial comparing the standard alg to the S slice variant, showing my finger-tricks (very different than Teller’s), and vindicating the standard alg for certain cases:

(cube: Maru CX-3, partially un-stickered))

Like most S-based algs, this one succeeds or fails on finding a fluid, effortless way to finger-trick the slice. I couldn’t manage it the way Teller does. But once I “made it my own” — my recurring advice to cubers of all levels — the alg came together quickly. I push the S’ right-to-left across the top using my index finger, which is naturally on the right side of that edge after the R U; I pull the S left-to-right across the top after the R’ U R lands my index finger to the left of the edge. Mechanically, it all makes sense. But timing is everything.

I’m fascinated by how this algorithm can be deconstructed into component parts to help explain it’s mechanics:

   R U
             S’
                   R’ U R
             S
   R’

The first “level” in blue is a standard corner insert. Sandwiched between is a series of self-reversing S slices at the next “level” in red, and between those a series of self-reversing R moves (with the critical U smack in the middle). Huh? Basically, it’s a corner insert. But, just before the final R’, the S’ knocks out an edge, the R’ U R brings around the replacement (previously stuck F2L edge). The S flips that edge while pairing it with the corner. When the corner finally inserts, it brings the edge with it. Pretty neat.

Once understood as an expansion of the simple R U R’ insert, it becomes obvious why the S version works only when the flipped edge is in its own slot. If the flipped edge is in another slot, you need to use another alg — as emphasized at the end of the video.

It was fun to spend time on this one. Busy I remain, but hopefully it won’t take another four months to pump out the next post.

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Tricked-Out OLL 35 Slo-Mo (iPhone 240fps)

OLL 35 (fish salad)

L U2′ r2′ F r U’ r U2 L’
[setup: R U2 (R’ F R’ F’) R2 U2 R’]

I’ve been busy lately. Crazy busy! Family. Kids. Work. Travel. Life. Time to take a break and to emerge from the shadows with another quickie slomo video.

This one relates to OLL 35, an OLL I’ve always hated. It’s the “other” big fish OLL — the harder one, with only a center on each of the “tail” sides (rather than center/corner pairs). The standard alg (R U2 R2' F R F' R U2 R') is ok, but I never got a great flow with it.** This “tricked out” version comes by way of Teller West, my co-conspirator in S-slice evangelism (although this iteration altogether ignores S).

Here’s a video showing the execution at full-speed and in slomo:

(music: String Cheese Incident, Coltrane’s “Afro Blue” (8.2.03); cube: Dayan Zhanchi w/ Cube Specialists fitted bright stickers)

The toughest part is the U2′, pushed left to right with my right index finger. On locky cubes, that sticks. But if you can get the timing and execution right on the opening L U2′, the rest flows smoothly and effortlessly.

** Actually, the standard alg is really good, and flows quite nicely. I must have focussed on a different alg when I first sat down to learn it.

S-Slice: F2L Edge Flip

For a while now, I’ve had a decent alg for flipping a placed but misoriented F2L edge: r (R U R’ U’) r’ U2 (R U R U’ R2). As I wrote earlier, this is a “purer” alternative — in that it does not affect the orientation of the U corners — to the standard algs of (R U’ R’) d (R’ U2 R) U2′ (R’ U R) and (R U R’ U’) (U’ R U2 R’) d (R’U’R). It’s regripless and fairly fast, but still a bit a clunky.

While learning an S-slice alternative to another F2L case (coming soon), it occurred to me that S may open up possibilities here, too. I reached out to TellerWest, king of tricked out algs, and we identified this as possibility:

R’ U S’ U’ (R B’ R’) S R B

As shown in this video, it works quite well:

S moves are not that easy nor natural for a lot of folks. Continue reading

Tricked-Out F2L Edge Inserts (Hello, S Moves!)

It’s been a few weeks now since I posted my PLL attack video. It’s not that I’ve been cubing less, but just that I haven’t had a lot of time for documenting things. A particularly busy month at work and family stuff — including a couple great birthday celebrations for my boys — evaporated my free time.

As of my last post, I had learned all PLLs minus the Gs. Since then, I’ve learned Ga well and Gb poorly. The two being inverses, I’m now able to practice them more fluidly.

I also stumbled onto and subscribed to TellerWest’s Youtube channel, featuring some really great “tricked out” algorithms that are far faster and more efficient (for the more advanced and dexterous of cubers). This particular F2L video caught my eye, since F2L edge inserts have been especially slow for me. (Edge inserts are when a corner is properly placed, but the edge is in the top layer.) After watching a few times, I realized that they weren’t the longest or hardest algorithms. So I gave them a try — and, in so doing, encountered my first S slice.

Continue reading