Tag Archives: tutorial

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
                   R’ U 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.

M Slice F2L (##15-16)

It was exactly three years ago this weekend that I solved a Rubik’s Cube for the first time. Escaping the craziness that can come with too much family over Thanksgiving weekend, I spent an hour in front of YouTube, scribbled some notes, turned on my webcam, and recorded this six-minute solve. I thought I was awesome.

Fast forward three years, and I’m not longer impressed by being able to solve cubes, even big ones. Speed is impressive (certainly the sub-10 folks blow my mind), but that’s never going to be me. Three years in, I’m still hovering at 30 seconds for a 3×3, and I’m actually ok with that. What impresses and intrigues me even further is deepening my knowledge; I’m always interested in learning new techniques and approaches (in my very limited spare time).

For a little while, now, I’ve been focussed on using the M slice to make easier and reduce rotations in certain “tough” F2L cases. These two — #15 and #16 — boiled to the top:

M U (L F’ L’) U’ M’

executed as: M U (Rw F’ Rw’) U’ M’

M U (L F L’) U’ M’

y’ (R’ U R U’) d’ (R U R’)

U (R’ F R F’) U (R U R’)

M U’ (R’ F R) U M’ setup:
M U’ (R’ F’ R) U M’

y’ (R U’ R’ U) d (R’ U’ R)

I’ve identified 8 other cases that are interesting contenders for M slice F2L. But some would be just as clunky as the conventional approaches. As Cyoubx very clearly articulates in this video, M slice (as part of forced rotationless) F2L taken to its extreme starts to approximate Roux — and bad Roux at that. I’m interested in exploring Roux more. But, for now, I think there are certain key F2L cases that can be converted to M and used in Fridrich/CFOP without veering into bad-Roux-land. While I continue to explore the others, I think these two work quite well.

Fung OLLs (##39-40)

The two “Fung” OLLs — the large “square” lighting bolts — each have an occurrence probability of 1/54, and together 1/27 (3.7%). They seem to appear more often for me; I would have guessed more like 1/15. Whatever the frequency, it was time to learn these.

#39 – FUNG

f’ L F L’ U’ L’ U L S


f R’ F’ R U R U’ R’ S’

The standard algs for these didn’t flow very well for me. Digging a bit deeper, I found the alternate ones with the S moves to be easy and regrip-less. Here’s a video tutorial:

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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1-Second Sidewinder (OLL #25)

View this alternate video if the embedded version below is blocked for you.

A quickie video showing my 1-second execution of OLL #25, The Sidewinder:

(puzzle: Dayan Zhanchi w/ Cube Specialists fitted bright stickers; music: “The Sidewinder” by Lee Morgan)

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L-Shape OLLs (##47-50, 53-54)

My last tutorial focussed on the Frying Pan OLLs, which I described as the two L-shape patterns with a bar on the side. A youtube commenter quickly pointed out that there were, in fact, four L-shape OLLs with a bar on the side– the two Frying Pan ones (##53-54) and the two Squeezy ones (##49-50). I promised to do a new tutorial that added the Squeezies. Then I realized that there are a total of only six L-shape cases. So, why not add the Breaknecks (##47-48), too, and make it a comprehensive L-shape OLL tutorial?

The video below does just that. While the algorithms are not necessarily hard to execute — for the Squeezies, it’s just about finding the right finger-tricks and flow — the six cases are easy to confuse. Below the video are the algs and some simple rules to help distinguish and orient the cases.

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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Frying Pan OLLs (##53-54)

Here’s a quick follow-up to my C-Shape OLL tutorial, this one focussed on the “Frying Pan” OLLs (##53-54). Why “Frying Pan”? I have no idea. Leave a comment if you know.

I filmed this at the same time as the C-Shape one, trying to squeeze in as much production before my wrist surgery. It follows the same multi-cam approach:

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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C-Shape OLLs (##34, 46)

My Two-Look OLL post inspired me to keep pushing along with learning more OLLs. I had started learning the C-shapes (##34 and 46), but got distracted when I couldn’t find a decent flow for the latter. Now, I finally found an alternate algorithm for it. Here’s a video tutorial, followed by further explanation:

(puzzle: Maru CX3 w/ stock stickers)

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