28 seconds

My first sub-30 solve: 28.28 seconds!  Pretty Lights’ “Finally Moving” played in the background.

Clearly, this is well outside of my ~40 second average. Even with the benefit of the 28-second solve, the session average was over 40 seconds. Everything just came together easily: I visualized the cross perfectly and performed it in six moves; my four F2L insertions went off without a hitch and with minimal hunting; and I knew the OLL (#23).

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I got lucky with a PLL skip, which probably saved me 4 seconds. But, even if you throw in a 2-look PLL, I should have been below my previous personal best of 34 seconds (with best-recorded of 39 seconds).

I guess my recent F2L work is paying off!

39 seconds (on camera)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve posted a series of personal bests — culminating in last week’s 34 second solve.  But none of those PBs were evidenced by anything other than a screen capture.  So, it was nice just now to record (on my hastily set up iPad) this 39-second solve before diving into my work day.

This was on my re-stickered Dayan Zhanchi, with my custom (homemade) G‑sticker.  This nicely showcases my slow but steady evolution — with no remnants of the Beginner’s Method. Advanced cross, F2L, Antisune (OLL 26), and the just-learned Ub Perm for the PLL edge cycle.

34 seconds

Another personal best: 34.0 seconds! Brad Mehldau’s angular take on “My Favorite Things” played in the background. Proof that jazz is good for the soul.

In my excitement at shaving a full 4.8 seconds off my last best time, I neglected to get a screen grab with that big ‘ol 34.0 in the middle. (Of course, nothing proves that I’ve actually solving anything in the times of which I boast — with requisite humility, mind you. Meaningless in terms of evidence, but still meaningful to me.)

So, I thought I’d post this chart of my last 11 days of sessions (since switching to gqTimer) instead. Nevermind the slight improvement of my averages. I’m struck by the consistency — right around session averages of 50-seconds. Freak personal bests pop up, but 50 seconds is inarguably where I am at this point.

42 seconds

New personal best.  42 seconds.  w00t!

Bill Evans’ “Five” played in the background.

P.S.  I really dig the gqTimer (Graphy qqTimer) I’ve been using lately.  It stores your times (using your Google login) and logs them into graphs.  Great timer — and now my go-to instead of Cube Timer.

46 seconds

Just got a new 3×3 personal best (non-lucky) solve:  46 seconds.

OLL #22

(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.