Alan Porter's minimal net presence

Solving the Rubik's Cube

This approach involves solving the cube in layers. A picture, please:

                         ____________
                        /__ /__ /__ /|
                      /__ /_U /__ /| |  <-- 3RD
                    /   /   /   /| |/|
                   +---+---+---+ |/| |  <-- 2ND
SOLVE THIS 3RD --> |   |   |   |/|R|/|
                   +---+---+---+ |/| |  <-- 1ST
SOLVE THIS 2ND --> |   | F |   |/| |/
                   +---+---+---+ |/
SOLVE THIS 1ST --> |   |   |   |/
                   +---+---+---+

The moves are recorded by face turns: Left, Right, Up, Down, Front, Back. F means turn the front face 90 degrees clockwise. F- means 90 degrees counterclockwise. F2 means a 180 degree turn. Be careful, moves on the Down face and the Back face may seem backwards!

TO COMPLETE THE BOTTOM LAYER

I have not formalized this section into moves. Instead, I just use, as one e-mail response called it, the "common sense" approach. Pick a side. Solve it. Move the corners and edges so they match the center blocks. Position the cube so the solved face is on the bottom AND LEAVE IT THAT WAY.

Beginners should note that the center blocks are always stationary, and the corners and edges move around them. It helps if you take a cube apart to see how it works, before you try to solve it.

TO COMPLETE THE MIDDLE LAYER

There are only two moves needed. You will be trying to move "edge" blocks from the top layer to the middle layer (obviously, there are no corner pieces on the middle layer). In these moves, you rotate the entire cube so the space you want to fill is in the FRONT-LEFT position (keeping the solved face on the bottom).

FRONT-TOP to FRONT-LEFT (if color on TOP of block matches FRONT face)
F U2 R U- R- U2 F- RIGHT-TOP to FRONT-LEFT (if color on TOP of block matches LEFT face)
F U2 R U R- U2 F-

The top level is the hardest. This is because you have less room for error. Before, when you were solving the bottom layer, you did not care what other parts you messed up. Now, you must be very careful to move the top layer pieces around without screwing up what you have already done.

TO POSITION THE TOP LEVEL CORNERS (LOOKING DOWN)

+---+---+---+
| 1-|---|-3 |
+-|-+---/---+
| | | / |   |
+-|-/---+---+
| 7 |   |   |
+---+---+---+
  TOP-LEFT to TOP-RIGHT to BOTTOM-LEFT (clockwise)
1 > 3 > 7 : L- U R U- L U R- U
TOP-LEFT to BOTTOM-LEFT to TOP-RIGHT (counterclockwise)
1 > 7 > 3 : U R U- L- U R- U- L
+---+---+---+
|   |   | 3 |
+---+---/---+
|   | / |   |
+---/---+---+
| 7 |   |   |
+---+---+---+
  BOTTOM-LEFT to TOP-RIGHT swap
7 < > 3 : U F U R U- R- F-
+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |
+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |
+---+---+---+
| 7-|---|-9 |
+---+---+---+
  BOTTOM-LEFT to BOTTOM-RIGHT swap
7 < > 9 : U- L- U R U- L U R- U-
(note: this move is the same as the clockwise rotation shown above)

TO POSITION THE TOP LEVEL EDGES (LOOKING DOWN)

+---+---+---+
|   | 2 |   |
+---/-|-+---+
| 4 | | |   |
+---\-|-+---+
|   | 8 |   |
+---+---+---+
  LEFT to TOP to BOTTOM (clockwise)
4 > 2 > 8 : L2 U F- B L2 F B- U L2
LEFT to BOTTOM to TOP (counterclockwise)
4 > 8 > 2 : L2 U- F- B L2 F B- U- L2
+---+---+---+
|   | 2 |   |
+---+-|-+---+
| 4-|-+-|-6 |
+---+-|-+---+
|   | 8 |   |
+---+---+---+
  TOP to BOTTOM swap, LEFT to RIGHT swap
2 < > 8 , 4 < > 6 : L2 R2 D L2 R2 U2 L2 R2 D L2 R2
+---+---+---+
|   | 2 |   |
+---/---+---+
| 4 |   | 6 |
+---+---/---+
|   | 8 |   |
+---+---+---+
  TOP to LEFT swap, BOTTOM to RIGHT swap
2 < > 4 , 8 < > 6 : F2 B2 U- L2 R2 D L R- U2 D2 L R-
(note: this move is equivalent to two "3-cycles" shown above)

THE ROTATION OF CORNER PIECES

CLOCKWISE rotation of the FRONT-RIGHT corner
R- D R F D F-
immediately move the second piece to the FRONT-RIGHT corner
F D- F- R- D- R

THE FLIPPING OF EDGE PIECES

flipping the TOP-FRONT piece
F U D- L2 U2 D2 R
immediately move the second piece to TOP-RIGHT
R- U2 D2 L2 U- D F


YOU SHOULD BE DONE BY NOW. :-)




SUPER-EFFICIENT FLIPPING/ROTATING MOVES

This section was submitted by Michael Keller <wgreview@aol.com>. If you want to keep memorization to a minimum, your method does a good job of solving with reasonable efficiency. If you want a little more efficiency at the cost of learning some extra sequences, you can learn some sequences which do multiple corner rotations and/or edge flips at the end.
Flipping opposite corners
The most useful of these are (+ indicates a corner which needs to be rotated clockwise, - counterclockwise, + also indicates an edge to be flipped) :
+---+---+---+
| - |   |   |
+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |
+---+---+---+
|   |   | + |
+---+---+---+
Twist front-right corner clockwise and back-left corner counterclockwise on top (Up) layer U2 F L- D2 L F- U2 F L- D2 L F-
Flipping opposite edges
This routine was discovered by Erno Rubik himself -- note that the first six turns are simply repeated to complete the sequence. If the corner which needs to be twisted counterclockwise is the front-left corner, do an L before (to put it at the back-left position) and an L- afterwards; if it's the back-right corner, do a B before and a B- after.
+---+---+---+
|   | + |   |
+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |
+---+---+---+
|   | + |   |
+---+---+---+
Flip front and back edges on top (Up) layer L- R B L- R D L- R F2 L R- D L R- B L R- U2
Rubik's slice moves
Another of Rubik's own routines. It's easier to remember if you think of it in terms of slice moves : L* U L* U L* U2 R* U R* U R* U2; where L* is a move of the middle slice between L and R, in the same direction as an L move (towards you); R* moves the same slice in the opposite direction. If the two edges to be flipped are adjacent, hold them at the front and left, do L B- to put the left one at the back, so the same routine as above, and do B L- to finish.
Benson's twisterflipper
+---+---+---+
|   |   | + |  'Benson's
+---+---+---+   twisterflipper'
|   |   | + |
+---+---+---+
| + | + | + |
+---+---+---+
Twist three corners clockwise and flip two edges R- U- R2 B- R- B2 U- B- U2 Or twist the same three counterclockwise: U2 B U B2 R B R2 U R -- the same sequence in reverse
Another multi-flipper
A powerful routine which fixes five pieces simultaneously. It can be set up with the pieces to be fixed in different positions, e.g. :
+---+---+---+
| + | + | + |
+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |
+---+---+---+
| + | + |   |
+---+---+---+
(B- R-) R- U- R2 B- R- B2 U- B- U2 (R B)
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