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By Chris Cameron
Rubik s Cubes were invented in 1974 by Ernõ Rubik. Today there are worldwide competitions where people race to see how fast they can solve this famous cube. While many people believe you have to be a genius to solve them, you can actually do it by being patient and learning just a few series of moves.
What you need:
1. Rubik s Cube 2. Patience!!!
Terms to Know:
Face: A side of the cube containing 9 pieces that on a solved cube would all be the same color. Each
face color is determined by its center piece.
1st Layer: Top nine pieces containing white face on solved cube. 2nd Layer: Middle 8 pieces containing red, green, orange and blue center pieces. Bottom Layer: Bottom 9 pieces containing yellow face on solved cube. Center Piece: Piece found in the center of a face, single color, can t move with respect to each other. Side Piece: Piece found on edge connecting two faces, two colors. Corner Piece: Piece found on corner connecting three faces, three colors. Position: Where a piece is on the cube, correct position would have the corner piece with the red, blue
and yellow colors be touching those three faces, although not necessarily with the colors matching the center piece
Orientation: Which direction a piece is facing, correct orientation would be once a piece has its correct
position, and the colors now match the center piece for each face.
+ Sign: The 4 side pieces on a face that when solved make a + with the colors matching the center
Most people make the mistake of trying to solve a Rubik s cube one face at a time, the actual method is done in order of layers. The major trick is realizing that the center pieces can t be moved in relation to each other. First the + is made on the 1st layer. Then the corners are placed and orientated. Then the second layer is completed by placing and orientating its side pieces. Next the bottom layer is started by positioning the corner pieces, and then orientating them as a separate step. Finally the bottom + is first placed then orientated, again in separate steps.
In the step by step process different moves will be referenced from time to time. Here is a quick guide to what they are. Note that capitalized words reference the side to be moved, while lowercase designates the direction that you move it. Make sure that for the listed moves that you keep the front face constant, unless a cube move is directed.
NOTE: Read each step carefully to ensure that no mistakes are made. Should you make a mistake simply backtrack to find which parts checklist you still satisfy and begin the next step.
Part 1: Create the + on the top side of the cube.
NOTE: This part is actually one of the hardest to explain because there is so much freedom at this point. Step 1: Align a side piece that is half white so that the colored half is touching its corresponding center Step 2: Rotate the colored side so that the white half comes to the top and matches the white center Step 3: Repeat steps 1-2 until all 4 side pieces form the + sign with the colored halves matching the colored centers Checklist: The white face has a + sign with each colored half of its side pieces matching the colored center before moving on.
Part 2: Finish the top layer.
NOTE: Again the relative freedom of this move allows many different ways for it to be completed. This makes this step more difficult. It all gets easier from here though. Step 1: Find a corner piece from the bottom layer Step 2: Determine which corner in the first layer it corresponds to Step 3: Position the corner piece such that it is not on the same face as the intended position
Step 4: Rotate the face, or side, containing the desired position once either clockwise or counterclockwise so that the piece will rotate in Step 5: Rotate bottom face so that the corner piece slides into the correct position Step 6: Bring the side back up to top reforming the + Step 7: Repeat steps 1-6 until the top layer is completed Checklist: The top layer is complete with a solid white face and the sides around the top layer all match the center piece colors before moving on.
Part 3: Construct the second layer.
Step 1: Find a side piece from the bottom layer that fits into the second layer Step 2: Orient the cube so that the position the piece will fit into is on the right side of the front face, with the top being the completed white face Step 3: Move the side piece around the bottom to be along the right face Step 4: If the piece matches the right face center then follow Move 1, if it doesn t follow Move 2 Step 5: If a piece is already in the second layer perform move 1 with it on the right side of the front face to move it to the bottom layer.
Move 1: Bottom right, Front clockwise, Bottom left, Front counterclockwise, Bottom right x2, Right
down, Bottom right x2, Right up.
Move 2: Bottom right x2, Right down, Bottom left, Right up, Bottom right, Front clockwise, Bottom
right, Front counterclockwise. Checklist: Your cube should now have both the first and second layer complete with a solid white face before moving on.
Part 4: Position bottom corners.
Step 1: Rotate the bottom layer so that at least 1 (preferably 2 adjacent) corner is in the correct position Step 2: Determine which two corner pieces you want to swap, progressing towards all 4 being in the correct position Step 3: Align the two corner pieces so that they are on the back face with the top face being the completed white face Step 4: Follow move 5 to swap them Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 until all corner pieces on the bottom layer are in the correct position
Move 3: Right down, Bottom left, Right up, Front clockwise, Bottom left, Front counterclockwise, Right
down, Bottom right, Right up, Bottom right x2. Checklist: Your cube should now have the top 2 layers complete and the bottom 4 corners in the correct position before moving on.
Part 5: Orient the corners.
Step 1: Orient the cube such that the yellow face is the front Step 2: Check if all 4 corners have the yellow side showing, if they are move on Step 3: If not check if there is exactly 1 yellow corner showing, if there is orient cube such that it is in the top left corner Step 4: If not orient the cube so a piece with the yellow side on the top face is in the top left corner Step 5: Perform Move 4 Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 until all 4 corner pieces have yellow showing Step 7: Rotate bottom layer so that the corner pieces again have the correct position (if move 4 was done correctly they have not changed position with respect to each other and this is a simple rotation)
Move 4: Cube down, Right down, Bottom left, Right up, Bottom left, Right down, Bottom right x2, Right
up. Checklist: Your cube should now have the top two layers complete with the bottom (yellow) layer having the corners in the correct position and orientation before moving on.
Part 6: Position Bottom +.
Step 1: Check the yellow + to see if the pieces are in the correct position while the corners are in the correct position Step 2: If all 4 are, move on. Step 3: If there is 1 in the correct position orient the cube so that it is the top while the yellow face is the front, if there are none in the correct position any side may be the top as long as the yellow face is the front Step 4: Perform Move 5 Step 5: Repeat steps 3-4 until all 4 + pieces are in the correct position.
Move 5: Cube down, Middle down, Bottom left, Middle up, Bottom right x2, Middle down, Bottom left,
Middle up. Checklist: Your cube should now have the top two layers complete with the bottom (yellow) layer having the corners in the correct position and orientation, and the + in the correct position before moving on.
Part 7: Orient Bottom +.
NOTE: Move 6 is the most complicated move in solving the cube, read it carefully or you may have to start from scratch Step 1: Check the yellow face to see if the + has the correct orientation Step 2: If not, orient the cube so that the two sides that you wish to flip are in the bottom and left positions while the yellow face is the front Step 3: Perform Move 6 Step 4: Repeat steps 2-3 until the cube is complete
Move 6: Cube down, Middle down, Bottom right, Middle up, Bottom left, Middle down, Bottom left,
Middle up, Bottom left, Middle down, Bottom right x2, Middle up, Cube left, Middle down, Bottom left, Middle up, Bottom right x2, Middle down, Bottom left x2, Middle up, Bottom right x2, Middle down, Bottom left, Middle up.
While these steps may seem long and arduous, your body actually can learn them relatively fast. Most people have absolutely no clue as to how to solve a Rubik s Cube. You have now completed it for the first time and with practice these instructions won t even be necessary. Congratulations on now being among the few who can say that you have solved a Rubik s Cube!
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