Wednesday, June 22, 2011

So you want to solve a Rubik's Cube, kid? Weeeelll, whoop-de-doo!

Well, well well... That dang Rubik's Cube still laying unsolved on your dresser? Still can't figure it out? Well, I got TWO WORDS for you, kid! ALGORITHMS!

What you may, or may not, know but there's a trick to solving this thing. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out, either. Here's a few things to get you started:


1. Fi U Li Ui

2. Ri Di R D

3. U R Ui Ri Ui Fi U F

4. Ui Li U L U F Ui Fi

5. F R U Ri Ui Fi

6. R U Ri U R U U Ri

7. U R Ui Li U Ri Ui L

8. Ri Di R D


Here's some useful nomenclature for dat ass:

Hold the cube to where there's a side facing you, a side in your right hand, and a side in your left hand. That forward side is the front, or "F". Right side is "R", left side is "L", top side is "U", and the down side "D."

The turning notation is like so - when it says "F" turn the front clockwise. When it's "Fi" turn it counterclockwise. When it says "R" turn the side in your right hand away from you. When it says "Ri" turn it towards you. When it says "D" turn the bottom side to the right. When it says "Di" turn the bottom side to the left. When it says "L" turn the left side toward you. When it says "Li" turn the left side away from you. When it says "U" turn the upside away from you. When it says "Ui" turn the upside towards you. Are we good? Good...

Now here comes the fun part: Solving the Cube!

You can start on any side, but I suggest the green to start you off. Green is a very offensive color to the eyes, so it sticks out(no, really!). Hold it to where the middle green square is on top.

Ignore the corner pieces for a moment, 'cause all you're going to want to do is get a green cross on top. You know, like the kind Jesus was crucified on. The kind that looks like a plus sign. BUT! You're going to want to get the squares to correspond to the right color scheme! So you'll be looking for green squares with white, yellow, orange, and red on the other side of them. So, hold that Cube to where the green middle square is on top, and start figuring out that cross!

Occasionally, you'll run into a problem where you turn the cube to get the green square on top, but, damn! The colors are inverted! Green is where yellow should be, and yellow is where green should be! Don't fret, because the first algorithm can help you with that. Hold it to where the side with the inverted square is facing you. Read the turning notation to make sure you're turning it the right way; the first couple of times you do it, you're bound to screw it up, but you'll get used to it quick - trust me.

Once you've got that cross notated correctly, you'll now want to focus on the corner squares of the green portion. With the green still on top, find the corner squares that correspond to the right color scheme, even if they don't match. Say you find the green, red and yellow square. Move that square to where it's in the bottom right corner of the front face, and also being directly under where it needs to be. Use algorithm number 2 to get that square where it needs to be. You'll probably have to keep doing it a few times to finally get it placed correctly, but that's cool. Do the same thing for all the corner pieces for green, until you got that part solved.

Well congrats! You've solved 1/3 of the cube! Feel awesome yet? Good. 'Cause from here, it gets tricky.

Now you're going to want to flip the cube to where the green parts on the bottom, and the blue parts on top. Find a top, middle(a square that would be part of the cross) square that doesn't have blue in it, and move it to where it corresponds to the side it belongs to. For instance, if you have a white and red square, with the white facing you and the red on top, flip the top around to make it correspond to the white side. And make sure you hold it to where the white side is now facing you.

What you're going to want to do at this point is solve the middle portion of the cube, and to do this, you'll need to first do what I described in the last paragraph. Then, based upon how the square is positioned, use algorithm three or four to get the middle portion solved. -- Let's go back to the red/white example, for a second. The white portion of the square is facing you(corresponding the white side, if you positioned it correctly), and the red is on top. The red side is to the right of the white side, so you'll want to use algorithm number 3 to get it into the correct position. Conversely, if you have a square that is white facing you, and orange on top, you'll want to use the fourth algorithm. --

If you're ever in a position to where there's nothing but squares with blue on top, find a piece in the middle portion that that doesn't correspond correctly. Say you turn it to the yellow side, and there's a yellow and orange piece where there should be a yellow and red piece. Do algorithm number 4, and you'll find that the piece is now on the the top side, opposite of you.

Frustrating, eh? If you've persevered, followed my directions, and done this correctly, then you've solved the middle. That's 2/3 the way done! You're almost at the top of the mountain!

Now you're going to be solving the top layer - the blue portion. What you're going to want to do is look for an backwards L shape, that should be in the top left corner. If you don't see one - don't fret! Just do algorithm number five until you see either a blue cross, a blue line, or that backwards L shape. Once you've gotten the blue cross, you're ready for the next step - corresponding the colors of the cross correctly. If you have two sides beside each other that match hold it to there one side is opposite of you and the other is to your right. Use algorithm number 6, with one last U to get the cross in it's correct position. This is a step you might have to play with a bit. There's different combinations of blue that you'll have after having solved the middle, and each time it will be different. Don't get discouraged.

Now you're ready for semi-final step. This one is probably the trickiest of them all... well, to me, at least...

You're gonna want to look for corner pieces that are in the correct position, but don't match the color scheme. Say you have a yellow blue and orange piece with the yellow on top, but orange on the yellow side, and the blue on the orange side. Use algorithm number 7, with the that piece in the upper right corner of the front face. You shouldn't have to use the algorithm more than twice to get all of the corner pieces where they need to be, but still not necessarily in the correct positions. Like in my last example, but not just with one corner, but all of them. At this point, you're ready for final step.

One last note on the semi-final step - this step is an enigma to me. Sometimes, I've been able to solve the cube in this step, without using the last step, and sometimes I can't even get the corners where the need to be with the algorithm. Sometime I get two pieces aligned absolutely correctly, with two pieces still mismatched, but on the correct side. It'll probably be the same for you, but if you play around with it long enough, eventually you'll either solve it, or get it into a position where you can solve it.

The final step is easy. Basically, after you've gotten the pieces where they need to be, use the last algorithm repeatedly, starting on whatever side(with the square on the front side, top right), until you've solved for that square. Then move the up portion of the cube to where the next scrambled square is in the position the solved one was in, then do the same until it is solved. Do this for all of the squares, and once you've done this the cube should be solved.


WHEW! Lawdy, I hope it takes you a shorter amount of time to solve the cube than it took for me to write and proof read all of that! My apologies if I was unclear or erroneous at any point. I intend on revising this how-to in the near future. Comments and criticisms are certainly appreciated.


  1. I've tried this numerous times before. Never works! Good article though.

  2. I can get it to work about 75% of the time, honestly. Like I said, you gotta play with it.

  3. so, much, reading... i know aq kid who can do it in seconds... mfw -_-

  4. Oh, boy, I only wish I could. -___-;

  5. hahaha, there's 7 different ways :)

  6. A friend of mine did something like this for a demonstration in our speech class. He could solve them in less than 30 seconds. We all were floored!