You could’ve been an A-student in high school and at the top of your class in college, but even the smartest of people out there may one day find themselves stumped when trying to figure out how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. The toy became very popular in the ‘80s and is essentially a three-dimensional square made up of 27 small cubes laid out on a 3x3x3 grid. The goal of the game sounds relatively simple: Get each face of the cube to align with the same color (one side should be all red, one side should be all blue, one side should be all yellow, etc.). However, the execution of solving a Rubik’s Cube is actually much more complex. In truth, there’s an art to going about it, and one that many people might not know about.
Sure, you could attempt to figure it out on your own by just randomly twisting and turning the various sides of the cube for hours on end. But if you’re someone who’d much rather understand the logistics of how it all works — and impress your friends with your speedy Rubik’s skills — here’s a helpful breakdown of the step-by-step process that goes into a Rubik’s Cube victory.
What is the history of the Rubik’s Cube?
But first, it might be helpful to learn a little bit of history about the iconic game. The toy was invented back in 1974 by Hungarian architecture and design professor Erno Rubik, which explains the origin of the item’s name. Allegedly, it took Rubik a month to solve the thing! So, if you start to feel frustrated with yourself, just keep that in mind. Even the toy’s creator had a difficult time with it — cut yourself some slack and don’t forget to have fun.
Some Must-Know Pointers Before You Begin
There are going to be a lot of terms thrown at you in some of the step-by-step videos, so to help you feel less overwhelmed, here are some basic pointers to keep in mind as you navigate this process:
- The cube has a total of six faces.
- Each face of the cube is marked by its center. So, if the center of one side is white, then that face of the cube will be white. The same goes for the green center, blue center, etc.
- Since you can’t move center pieces, remember that yellow and white are usually opposite each other. Meanwhile, blue is typically opposite of green, and orange is typically opposite of red.
Each side of the Rubik’s Cube has been given a name. Knowing these names will help you understand what parts of the cube to move at any given time.
- R = Right Face (the right side of the cube)
- L = Left Face (the left side of the cube)
- U = Up Face (the top side of the cube)
- D = Down Face (the bottom side of the cube)
- F = Front Face (the front side of the cube)
- B = Back Face (the back side of the cube)
Yeah, but how do you solve a Rubik’s Cube?
OK, now that a lot of terms and concepts have been thrown at you, it’s time to get down to business. Writing the whole thing out would most likely be more confusing than anything, but thanks to some handy videos, you can get a visual of step-by-step methods.
There are actually several different ways to go about solving the Rubik’s Cube, meaning it all really boils down to which method feels right for you. And the more you practice it, the faster you’ll be able to do it.
The Daisy Method
Some methods still include making the daisy, but later on in the process. This particular one has it be the first thing that you do.
The White Cross Method
This process has you creating a white cross image on one face of the cube first instead of the daisy, though, in the end, it all achieves the same results. So, it’s just a matter of what you personally prefer.
The Kid Method
This one doesn’t have you making various symbols — it ingrains in you the different algorithms to remember.
What are some fun facts about the Rubik’s Cube?
Now that you know how to play, what else is there to discover about this perplexing device?
- The Rubik’s Cube was originally called the Magic Cube.
- The world record for solving the cube in the fastest amount of time was achieved by Yusheng Du of China back in 2018, with a time of 3.47 seconds.
- There are several speedcubing competitions that take place each year all around the world. This includes blindfolded solving, solving the cube with a single hand, and solving the cube in as fewest moves possible.
- There are about 43 quintillion configurations in a Rubik’s Cube.
- In 1983, there was a series called Rubik, the Amazing Cube on ABC. It had 13 episodes and the main character, Rubik, was a magical cube that had legs and a face.
- In 1995, Diamond Cutters International created a Rubik’s Cube made from 185 carats of diamonds. It was worth about one million dollars.
- Suppose you turned the Rubik’s Cube once each second; it would take you 1.4 trillion years to go through all of its variations. That’s longer than the universe has existed.
- About 5.8 percent of people can solve the Rubik’s Cube.
- A robot made of LEGOS solved a Rubik’s Cube in 3.253 seconds.
- The biggest Rubik’s Cube is a 17 by 17 by 17 cube. It took Kenneth Brandon more than seven hours to solve it.
- In 1981, a 12-year-old kid named Patrick Bosset wrote a book called You Can Do the Cube. It was a strategy book about methods and game plans people could use to solve Rubik’s cube. The book was originally for Bossert’s buds, but it eventually sold over 750,000 copies and landed on the New York Times bestseller’s list.
So what are you waiting for? On your mark… get set… start cubing!
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