# Understanding the Puzzle and Solving it Too

I ﬁrst learned in the early 1980s by reading books by David Singmaster, James G. Nourse, and Don Frederick. After awhile I lost interest and eventually forgot how to solve the cube. I could get two layers, but not the last layer. What I needed was a method which I could understand, instead of blindly memorizing sequences of moves. Early in 2007 my interest in the Rubik’s Cube® was rekindled when I watched the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, in which Will Smith, as Chris Gardner, solves a Rubik’s Cube®. It has now become an obsession, fueled by online tutorials written by: Mark Jeay, Adam Cheyer, Ryan Heise, Lars Petrus, Joël van Noort, Jasmine Lee, Philip Marshall (at Georges Helm’s site), Victor Ortega and Josef Jelinek, Shotaro "Macky" Makisumi, Chris Hardwick, Gilles Roux, Jaap Scherphuis, Jessica Fridrich, Dave Baum, Dan Knights, Dan Harris, and, uh, have I forgotten anyone? Don’t forget Cubesmith and omega. url.tw and PuzzleProz.com and cubefans.com too which are some of the online places to get specialty items like stickers, DIY kits, Eastsheen cubes, Square-1 cubes, the Megaminx, and the new Diansheng brand cube. Then there are the forums: twistypuzzles.com, masterthecube.com, and speedsolving.com to name a few. There are many methods for solving the cube. I give you two of them. The second is my implementation of the Corners First Method. The ﬁrst method that is presented here is my compilation of methods and techniques gleaned from some of the above. My goal is to present a method that, once learned and practiced, will not be easily forgotten. If you learn all the skills for both methods you can combine them to make your own hybrid solutions. I prefer solving the cube from the bottom up with white on the bottom and yellow on the top, so that is how I describe the solution. Here is the strategy given in the ﬁrst half of the book.

• Solve the white edges • Solve the white corners and middle edges • Solve 3 of the white corners • Solve the 3 middle edges that live above these corners • Solve the ﬁnal white corner and middle edge pair as a unit • Solve the yellow edges • Get the yellow edges all yellow side up • Put the yellow edges in place re by pleasu g • Solve the yellow corners cubin r your n fo tat • If none are solved, put one home Writte Leng BUD • Cycle 3 into place, preferably home • Twist the corners if necessary

Definitions & Notations

Center: There are 6 center pieces. The center pieces are the ones with only one color on them. The centers determine the sides. In a layers method it is important to align everything with the centers from the beginning; with a corners ﬁrst method it is not important until later. Corner: There are 8 corner pieces. They each have three colors on them. Edge: There are 12 edge pieces. The edges have 2 colors on them. Opposite Colors: Rubik’s Cubes® now come with white and yellow on opposite sides of the cube, red and orange opposite each other, and green and blue opposite each other. DIY kit stickers can be conﬁgured to your taste. Orient: Orienting pieces means ﬂipping or twisting them so the colors line up correctly with the centers. Permute: Permuting pieces means putting them into their proper places. Face: There are 6 faces: U refers to the top (U for Upper); R is the right; L the left; F the front; B the back; D the bottom (Down). Face Moves: F means turn the Front layer a quarter turn clockwise. Ri (R inverse) means turn the Right layer a quarter turn counterclockwise. Clockwise and counterclockwise are based on facing the side. Bi from the front moves the same direction as F. Di moves like U. Li moves like R. Whole Cube Moves: C(Ui), for example, means to turn the whole cube in the direction of Ui. Others have different notations for this, but I never can remember what is what, so I made up a system that is easy to remember. Side: One of the vertical faces, R, L, F, or B. Slice: M is the slice between L and R. E, or the middle layer, is the layer between U and D. The slice between F and B is commonly referred to as S, but I never talk about it. Layer: The 6 faces and the 3 slices make up the 9 layers of the cube. Two Layers: When talking about sequences of moves, d is the bottom two layers as a unit, r is the right two layers, l (el) is the left two layers, u is the upper two layers. I don’t use any of these in the Layers Method, but use d in the Corners First Method. Slice Moves: M moves the slice between L and R in such a way that UB goes to UF. Mi moves UF to UB. E moves FL to FR. Ei moves FR to FL. F2L means the First 2 Layers, which means the bottom two layers, which means the white layer and the middle layer. Home: Every piece is home when the cube is solved. Putting a piece home is putting it where it belongs when the cube is solved. Owner: A piece you are taking home. Visitor: A piece that is in the home spot of a piece you are taking home. Neighbor: An edge’s neighbors are the two corners it is home between. A corner’s neighbors are the three edges that live next door. For example UFR’s neighbors are UR, UF, and FR. UF’s neighbors are UFR and UFL. Intersection: UR is the edge piece on U and R. In other words on the top right. UR is on the intersection of the U layer and the R layer. UL is the edge piece on U and L. UL is on the intersection of U and L. RHE3C & LHE3C: Right-handed Edge 3Cycle. R U Ri U R U2 Ri. Left-handed Edge 3Cycle. Li Ui L Ui Li U2 L. Some corners are also affected. Up-Replace-Down: Move a visitor Up—turn U to Replace the visitor with the owner—move the owner Down into its home. Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle: Up Replace Down Replace Up Replace Down Replace can be used to cycle 3 corners or 3 edges or 3 corner-edge pairs. Also Replace Up Replace Down Replace Up Replace Down works in some situations. After the 8 moves, all other pieces are back where they started before the 8 moves. Only the 3 pieces (or pairs) are affected. See page 6.

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**Solve the White Edges — The White Cross
**

Getting the white cross on the bottom. Some prefer solving the ﬁrst set of edges on the top or one of the vertical sides, but many prefer the bottom, as it gives them a better view of the pieces that are not in place yet. Solving the white cross is the ﬁrst step in many published strategies for solving the cube. Solving the white cross means getting the 4 white edges home. That is, not only getting the white edges next to the white center, but also aligning each of the edges’ non-white sides with their proper centers as well. Give it a whirl. If you can’t ﬁgure it out, work through the steps below. First ﬁnd the white center. The side that contains the white center is the white side, as all the other white pieces will be brought into place around the white center. The white side is made up of the white center and the four edges and four corners that are around the white center. When you turn the white side these four edges and corners will all move together in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. If one of the edges on the white side has white next to the white center, turn the white side so the edge’s non-white color aligns with its center. the non-white side of the edge so that the white edge goes home. But if it is not, turn the side that the non-white of the edge is on to align the white of the edge with the yellow center. Turn the yellow layer so the non-white of the edge is aligned with its center. Turn the side back down if a solved white came up. Regarding the edge you are solving, turn the non-white side 180˚ so the edge goes home. If there is a white edge in the top (yellow) layer, but the white part is not aligned with the yellow center, turn the top and the cube so the edge is above its home and facing you. Turn the top so the edge goes to the right. Turn the top of the right side toward you. Turn the front so the edge goes home. Turn the right side back up to ﬁx the white that was already solved on the right layer. In other words, Ri F R. If there is a white edge in the bottom (white) layer, but the white is not aligned with the white center, turn that side 90˚ if it will align the non-white part of the edge with its center, or 180˚ otherwise. Then you have one of the scenarios covered above. With enough practice and study you may ﬁnd yourself discovering shortcuts or more efﬁcient ways to get the white edges home. That is part of the joy of cubing. Not only is this the case in getting the white edges, but also in every stage of the solution.

If there are any white edges next to the yellow center and the white part is aligned with the yellow center, turn the yellow side so the white edge’s non-white color aligns with its center, then turn that non-white, non-yellow Just For Fun, See if side 180˚ so the white edge is in its you can get the white home. cross in 8 or fewer face turns of 90˚ or If there is a white edge in the 180˚ 7 out of 10 times. middle layer (the layer between the white and yellow layers) check to see if its non-white color is already aligned with its center. If it is, simply turn

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More Fun, Study a scrambled cube then see if you can get the white cross without looking at it.

**Three Bottom Corners
**

Getting three bottom corners. Look for a corner in U that has white on one of the two sides. Hold the cube so the corner is in F and so the non-white side of the corner is facing you. If the corner is directly above its home, turn the side that contains the white side of the corner so the visitor comes to the top. Now turn U to replace the visitor with the owner. Now turn the side you turned before so the owner goes home. You brought the visitor Up by turning the side with white on your corner, then turned U to Replace the visitor with the owner, then turned the side the opposite direction to take the owner Down to its home. Visitor Up, Replace Visitor, Owner Down. Up-Replace-Down. You did either R U Ri or Li Ui L. But what if you found a corner in U that had a white on the side, but the corner was not above its home? Look at the color on the other side of this corner. If the corner is in the layer of this non-white color, turn U so that the corner is above its home, and put it home as explained above. If, however, the corner is in one of the other two possible locations, turn the side of the cube that matches the non-white side of the corner so the visitor comes Up. Now turn U to Replace the visitor with the owner. Now turn the side so the owner goes Down to its home. Again you used Up-Replace-Down. Repeat this process until either you don't have any more bottom corners in U with white on the side, or until you have 3 bottom corners solved. Another situation you may run across is when a bottom corner in U has its white side face up rather than on a side. Simple to remedy. Turn U, if necessary, to place this corner over its home. Move the visitor Up. Turn U but Do Not Replace the visitor with the owner. Replace it with another visitor. Move the new visitor Down. Now the corner has white on the side and can be solved in one of the two ways described above. What if a bottom corner is on the bottom but not in its home? If white is on a side, turn that side so the corner comes to U. Turn U. Turn the side back. Now you have a case you know how to deal with. If white was on the bottom do a similar thing, only it doesn't matter which side you use. Again you used Up-Replace-Down.

Middle Edges

Getting the 3 middle layer edges that belong above the solved bottom layer corners. The middle edges are the 4 edge pieces of the middle layer. The middle layer is the layer between the top and bottom layers. Look for a middle layer edge piece that is currently in U—an owner. Notice that it has a side facing up and a side facing a side of the cube. If the side color matches the side it is on, turn U. Now turn layer so that the unsolved corner is under the visitor. Now turn the side of the same color as the side color of the owner so that the visitor comes Up. Turn U to Replace the visitor with the owner. Turn the side Down so the owner goes home. This is another application of Up-Replace-Down. Turn the bottom so the solved pieces are home. Repeat this process until all 3 middle edges are in place, or until no middle edges are in U. If the latter is the case, turn D so the unsolved corner is under one of the middle edges that are not home. Use Up-Replace-Down to replace it with any edge on top, then use Up-Replace-Down to put it home.

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**Corner-Edge Pairs
**

Getting the last corner and edge as a corner-edge pair. Let's say the last bottom corner and the last middle edge are both in U. The goal here is to join the corner and edge so they can be put home as a unit. The corner has a white and two other colors. The edge has those same two other colors. When they are a unit they will be side by side with matching colors on the top and matching colors on the side and white on the end. Paying attention to what is happening to the corner and edge as you work through the following scenarios will help you understand why you are doing what you are doing. Several of the moves described use the basic technique of hiding the corner by moving it to the bottom while bringing the unsolved corner up, then moving the top to position the edge, then bringing the corner back up in the right position relative to the edge so they can be brought together. Separating a mixed up corner-edge pair. If the corner and edge are together but the colors don’t match correctly, the pieces need to be separated. Turn U so the corner is above the unsolved pair. Bring the unsolved pair up in such a way that the mismatched pair is separated. Turn U 180˚. Turn the side down.

Joining a corner-edge pair when white is on the side and the colors on top match. Turn U so the corner is on a side that contains its home, and the corner’s white is on that side, but the corner is not directly above its home. Turn that side so the unsolved corner-edge comes to U. Turn U so the edge and corner will be joined when you turn the side back. Turn the side back. Turn U so the corner of the corner-edge pair is not in the side you’ve been turning. Up-Replace-Down. Joining a corner-edge pair when white is on the side and the colors on top are different. Turn U so the corner is above its home. Hold the cube with the corner in F and the non-white side facing you. If the corresponding edge piece is in B, the pieces are in Ready Position. Ready for what? Ready to put them together and put them home. Simply do Up-ReplaceDown. If they are not in Ready Position you must get them ready. Turn U so the edge comes to F. Turn the side the corner is on so the corner goes down. Turn U so the edge goes back to the side it came from. Turn the side the corner is on to bring the corner back up to the top. Turn U so the corner is above its home. UpReplace-Down.

Joining a corner-edge pair when the bottom corner is NOT in U. Turn U, if necessary, so when you bring the corner Joining a corner-edge pair when white up, the corner and edge are either joined is up. Sometimes the corner has the white or in Ready Position. Bring the corner up. on top. If this is the case, turn U if necesTurn U so neither the corner or the edge sary so that the side of the edge lines up are on the side you just turned up. Turn the with its center. Turn that side so the unside back down. solved corner comes to U. Turn U so Now you have a The Next Step, After you the corner you are solving is directly situation covered get good at getting the above the edge. Turn the side back. previously. First 2 Layers (F2L), work Turn U so the corner of the corner-edge at getting all 4 corners pair is not in the side you’ve been turnand middle edges as ing. Up-Replace-Down. corner-edge pairs.

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**Orient Top Edges
**

There are ways to ﬂip edges on the top layer while leaving F2L unchanged. At this point don’t look to see if the yellow edges are in the right places. Just look to see how many yellow edges are yellow-up. The ones that are yellow-up do not need to be ﬂipped. The ones that are not yellow-up need to be ﬂipped. Hold the cube so UF needs to ﬂip. If UB also needs to ﬂip you can use either UL or UR as the intersection (N). Otherwise use as the intersection the spot where the other one that needs to be ﬂipped is. 1) Roll UF to either FL or FR, going to the same side as N. 2) If a yellow-up piece is at the back (UB), turn U to bring it to N. 3) Move the edge at FL or FR to N. 4) Move U so the other edge that needs to be ﬂipped is at N. 5) Move the edge at BL or BR to N. 6) Move U, if necessary, so the non-yellow (middle layer) edge is at (UF). 7) Roll the yellow edge at FL or FR to UF. There is no need to memorize the following sequences of moves, but they are a way of describing what you did, if you used UR as the intersection. F R U Ri Ui Fi ﬂips UF and UB. F U R Ui Ri Fi ﬂips UF and UR. After ﬁnishing F2L, sometimes none of the yellow edges need to be ﬂipped, and sometimes all 4 edges, two at a time. If all 4 need to be ﬂipped do one of the ﬂipping sequences, and then ﬂip the other 2.

**Permute Top Edges
**

There are ways to cycle 3 pieces on the top layer while leaving F2L unchanged. Start by twisting the top, if necessary and if possible, so that exactly one of the top edges is home. Hold the cube so the edge at home is facing you. You will use either UL or UR as an intersection to cycle edge piece X to edge piece Y to edge piece Z. X is the piece in either the Left (L) or the Right (R) layer. Y is in the Back (B) layer. Here are the moves to cycle X to Y to Z. Move X out of the intersection by turning the side it is on so X goes down onto the back. Turn U so Y comes to the intersection. Bring X back into the intersection replacing Y on top. Turn U so Z comes to the intersection. Replace Z with Y. Turn U so there is a complete white This does not always work, so you need to learn to do the steps separately. And column on the front. Put them home. perhaps it would be good if I just point The right-handed edge 3-cycle uses moves of R you in the right direction instead of taking and U to cycle the 3 edges through N if X is at you step by step. When ﬂipping two UR. The left-handed edge 3-cycle uses U and L edges the edges do not stay put. 3 of to cycle the 3 pieces through N at UL. If it was them cycle as you ﬂip them. Notice where not possible to make only one of the pieces they go in each of the 2 situations. If you match, cycle any 3 of them and try again. can orient the top edges both right

Orient and Permute Top Edges in 1 Step

If X is at UR, it plays out like this: R U Ri U R U2 Ri. To see an interesting way to perform this sequence of moves check out lar5.com/cube/ speed.html. Actually he is doing it left-handed in the movie at the bottom of the page, so Li Ui L Ui Li U2 L.

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handed and left, and if you ﬁgure out where the 3 edges get cycled in each of the situations, by holding the cube strategically, and using the correct hand, you can sometimes put the edges home as you ﬂip them.

**Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle
**

Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle is a technique for cycling 3 pieces using a commutator. There are several good places online to learn about commutators in the context of cubing, so if you are interested in studying it further check out what Ryan Heise and Joël van Noort have to say at their websites. They do not exactly use the terminology I use here, but the idea is the same. Use it to cycle 3 corner pieces. Here are some examples of Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycles on a cube. I learned this at www.ryanheise.com/cube/corner_3_cycles.html. Example 1: Say UFR has green on the right and green is the bottom color on the cube. Say UFR needs to go to DFR to be home. It is like moving a white corner into place with Up-Replace-Down only green is down instead of white. The other difference is that when solving the white corners we didn’t care what happened to the top layer because it wasn’t solved yet. Now that most of the cube is solved, we need to extend Up-Replace-Down so that only 3 corners are affected after the 8 move sequence is complete. So to move UFR to DFR we need to cycle it with another corner, say DFL. You always want 1 corner in U and 2 in B. You always want to get the one on top home in 3 turns, like R U Ri. R U Ri Di R Ui Ri D. This solves DFR and either leaves 3 yellow corners that need to be cycled into place, or 3 corners that are in place, and possibly need to be twisted. Example 2: Say UFL has blue on the left and blue is the bottom color of the cube. Say UFL needs to go to DFL to be home. Li Ui L will bring it home, oriented correctly. But it will have side effects on the rest of the cube we need to ﬁx. Say yellow is facing you and all 4 yellow corners are out of place. We have done Up-Replace-Down so far with the Li Ui L. Continue with Di Li U L D, which is -ReplaceUp-Replace-Down-Replace. Both examples point out that all the Ups and Downs take place on the same side, and the Replaces take place in parallel planes, and alternate back and forth. The ﬁrst two examples just solve one piece out of 4 yellow corners that need ﬁxed. The last 3 corners need not, in fact, cannot be solved one at a time. The last 3 corners must be solved all at once, also using the Up-ReplaceDown 3-Cycle. Hold the cube so 1 corner is on top and 2 are on bottom. You want the 1 on top to be solved by going straight down.

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**Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle
**

Starting position

Z X Y Z X Y Z X Y X Z Y X Z Y Y X Z Y X Z Y Z X Y Z X

X Up

Z Replace X

Z Down

Y Replace Z

Y Up

X Replace Y

X Down

Z Replace X

**Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle continued
**

The following examples show how to cycle 3 corners into place in 8 turns. Example 3: Yellow is facing you. UFL has green on the front and green is on the bottom of the cube. Hold the cube so UFL is at UFR, so that green is on the side of UFR. It needs to go to DFR which needs to go to DBR which needs to go to UFR. To do Up-Replace-DownReplace-Up-Replace-Down-Replace do R U Ri Di R Ui Ri D. Either the cube will be solved, or it will have all its pieces in the right places and 2 corners need to twist. Example 4: Yellow is facing you. Blue is on top. UFL is home. UFR has green up, which means it cannot go home with Up-Replace-Down since green and blue are opposites. Turn the cube so yellow is facing you and UFR is home. Now red is on top. UFL has orange up on the red side, which means it cannot go home with Up-Replace-Down. Turn the cube so yellow is facing you and DFL is home. UFR has red on the front and red is now on the bottom of the cube. UFR can go home with Up-Replace-Down. To use the Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle you need 1 corner in U and 2 in D. Look at the bottom of DFR. It is orange, so the side of UFL that is on the orange side needs to be facing down on D. Do L2 to make it so. Now the 3rd corner in the cycle is at DBL. Here are the moves to cycle them all into place. Turn the cube so UFR becomes UFL with the red side of the corner facing left. Li Ui L D2 Li U L D2. Turn the cube so yellow is in front and L2.

Orienting Corners

Twisting top corners two at a time if they are all in the right places, but not oriented correctly. Hold the cube so they are the top left corners. Hold the cube so the color on the top of each of these twisted corners is the same as the color of the side on the left. Do a right-handed edge 3-cycle, followed immediately by a left-handed edge 3-cycle. The righthanded cycle cycles the 3 edges from R to B to L to R. But it also swaps corners UBL with UFR, and UFL with UBR. It also twists 3 of the corners. Now doing the left-handed edge 3cycle moves the edges back where they belong. It also swaps the 2 pair of corners back. The two on the right twist back to the way they were. The two on the left that needed to be twisted get twisted to their proper orientation. If you prefer starting with the left-handed 3cycle, then doing the right-handed 3-cycle, simply start by holding the two twisted corners on the right instead of the left. R U Ri U R U2 Ri Li Ui L Ui Li U2 L twists UFL counterclockwise and UBL clockwise. Sometimes you end up with 3 corners that are in place but not oriented correctly. That is, 3 corners are twisted. Hold the cube so 2 of them are on the top left and do RHE3C LHE3C. This solves one of the corners and leaves 2 to be solved. Hold the cube so they are in place to be solved by another combination of RHE3C LHE3C.

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**Solving the Cube Corners First
**

There are many ways to solve the cube. Besides solving the cube one layer at a time, you can get all the edges ﬁrst, then cycle all the corners into place. There are also many different block building methods, like Petrus and Roux and Heise. There are also different ways to solve the cube by getting the corners ﬁrst. The one I learned was at Adam Cheyer’s site: www.ai.sri.com/~cheyer/rubiks/rubiks.html My implementation of it is a little different, but not much. One thing I do differently is mix yellows and whites on the ﬁrst two steps and add a third step which separates them. I forget where I got the idea for doing it that way. I read about it somewhere online. With Adam’s method you start by getting a white X, then you get a yellow X, then you proceed to getting all Xs. I also picked up some ideas at http://rubikscube.info/, Joseph Jelinek’s site. He not only gives a beginners method of Corner’s First, but also an advanced method known as Waterman’s Method.

**4 Corners on One Side
**

There are 8 corners. 4 have yellow and 4 have white. Every corner is either a yellow or a white corner. There are 6 sides. Each side has 9 colored squares facing the same direction. Each has 4 corner squares, 4 edge squares, and 1 center square. Or we could simply say that each side has 4 corners, 4 edges, and a center. Glance at each side of the cube looking for the side with the most yellow and white corners. If you ﬁnd a side with all 4 corners yellow and white, hold the cube so this side is on the bottom and go to the next step, 4 Corners on the Opposite Side. If you ﬁnd a side with 3 white and yellow corners, we’ll call the non-yellow or white corner the bad corner. Hold the cube so the side with 3 corners is on the bottom, and so the bad corner is at DFR. Look at the corner directly above the bad corner. If yellow or white is on the right, do R U Ri to replace the bad corner with a good one. If yellow or white is on the front turn the whole cube so it is on the left and do Li Ui L. Either way you brought the bad corner Up, Replaced it with a good corner, and put the good corner Down. Up-ReplaceDown. If the yellow or white is facing up on the corner above the bad corner, turn U so a corner with yellow or white on the side is above the bad color and use Up-Replace-Down to make 4 good corners on the bottom. Proceed to 4 Corners on the Opposite Side. There is another way to deal with the bad corner. Since it is a bad corner, it has a yellow or white on either the front or right. Turn U to line up another yellow or white above the bad one. Then turn them both down to the bottom. Proceed to 4 Corners on the Opposite Side. If you only have 2 yellow and white corners at best, ﬁnd a side you can turn to make either 3 or 4 then work through the above material.

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**4 Corners on the Opposite Side
**

If there are No yellows/whites up hold the cube so two of the yellow/white stickers are facing you on the front of the cube. If you can’t see one on the left or right side on one of the back corners: R2 U2 R If you can see one on the left or right side on one of the back corners: R U R2 Fi R2 U Ri If there are 2 adjacent yellow/whites up hold the cube so they are in front facing up. If you can’t see one on the left or right side on one of the back corners: R U2 R U2 R If you can see one on the left or right side on one of the back corners: R U Ri Ui Fi Ui F If there are 2 diagonal yellow/whites up hold the cube so there is one yellow/white facing you on UFL. Li U L U C(Ui) R Ui Ri. C(Ui) means that you turn the whole Cube the same direction as Ui. If there is 1 yellow/white up and the others need to spin counterclockwise, hold the cube so the yellow/white up is at UBL. Ri Ui R Ui Ri U2 R. If there is 1 yellow/white up and the others need to spin clockwise, hold the cube so the yellow/white up is at UFL. R U Ri U R U2 Ri. Actually it doesn’t matter whether you R or Ri at the end, so if you can see that one is advantageous leading into the next step, do it. Actually, you do not have to learn all of the above scenarios. I know someone who only learned the 1-Up moves and uses it to handle all the cases. You just have to ﬁgure out how to hold the cube so that after you do the 1-Up sequence it gives you 1 Up, so you just have to do it again to have all the corners yellow up. I prefer the sequence R U Ri Ui Fi Ui F, so I have ﬁgured out how to use it to solve all the different cases. If you have None Up, hold the cube so you have a pair of yellows on the right face. Do R U Ri Ui Fi Ui F then you will have one of the next two scenarios. If you have 1 Up hold the cube so it is in the front left corner. Do R U Ri Ui Fi Ui F then turn the cube appropriately and do it again. If you have 2 Up Adjacent hold the cube so the adjacent yellows that are up are on the right. Do R U Ri Ui Fi Ui F then turn the cube and do it again. If you have 2 Up Diagonal, hold the cube so one is at the back left, one is at the front right, and the yellow on the front left is facing you on the front. Do R U Ri Ui Fi Ui F then turn the cube and do it again.

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**Separate Yellows & Whites
**

Using moves from U, D, L2 and R2 get all the whites on the top or bottom and all the yellows on the other. Afterwards, move the yellow and white centers into place. Here are the details for those that don’t want to ﬁgure it out on their own. There may be one yellow on top and one white on bottom (or vice versa), or two adjacent yellows on top and two adjacent yellows on bottom, or two adjacent yellows on top and two diagonal yellows on bottom, or two diagonal yellows on top and bottom. If there are two adjacent pairs on top and bottom, turn U and hold the cube so that when you spin the ones on the bottom to the top you have all four on top. Go to Step 4. If the two yellows on the top are adjacent and the two on bottom diagonal, spin two of the same color to the bottom, and keep going on Step 3. If the two yellows on both top and bottom are diagonal, spin two to the top in such a way that it eliminates the diagonals. Then adjust U and spin a pair to the top that makes all the top corners one color. If you have one yellow on bottom, hold the cube so it is in the back. Turn U so the white on top is also in the back but on the opposite side as the yellow on the bottom. For example, if the yellow corner is at DRB, you want the white corner at ULB. Either R2 or L2 so 2 yellows go to the bottom. Turn U so the 2 yellows that are now on top are not on the side you just turned and turn the side again. In other words, if the 2 yellows on top were on the right, do R2 U R2. If they were on the left, do L2 Ui L2. Turn the centers if necessary so you have a yellow X and a white X.

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**All Corners into Place
**

Now that you have the yellow and white Xs, it is time to get all Xs all at once. Look at two adjacent side faces. There are 4 pairs of colors you are viewing on these sides that are arranged horizontally. Each pair can either be a direct match (like 2 reds), or a pair of opposite colors (like red and orange), or a total mismatch (like red and green). If both of the top (it is the same for bottom) pairs are direct matches, then there are direct matches all the way around the top and you have 4 matches on the top. If only one of the pairs on top is a direct match, it is the only direct match on the top. If both pairs on top are pairs of opposite colors, there are no direct matches on top. If only one pair on top is a pair of opposite colors, then there is one direct match and it is on the opposite side of the cube. Same thing applies for the bottom. Now you add up how many direct matches you have. If you have 0 matches do R2 F2 R2 and you’ll have all matches. Grip the back left 2x2x3 block in your left hand leaving R and F to spin freely in your right. If you have 1 match, hold it on the bottom left side, and do R2 U R2 Ui R2 U R2 Ui R2. If you have 2 matches, hold them both in the front, and do R2 U R2 U2 F2 U F2. If you have 4 matches, do the 2 matches thing, adjust the cube, and do it again. If you have 5 matches, hold the cube so 2 are in front and 4 are on top, and do the 0 match thing followed by the 1 match thing. You now have all the corners. If you want, you can turn U and D or E (the layer between U and D) to line up all the corner colors with their centers. This is unnecessary, but if you do it, you can see what Adam means by getting all the Xs.

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**Three White Edges
**

It doesn’t really matter whether whites are on the top, bottom, left, right, front, or back. The best thing to do is to ﬁnd a spot that you like and use it. Neither does it really matter what color or pair of colors you solve ﬁrst. But to keep things simple I must pick a spot and color. So hold the cube with yellow up. We will begin by inserting 3 white edges. Why not all 4? We’ll need a working edge—a slot that isn’t solved yet—in the next step when we are getting three yellow edges. As you do all of the checking that follows, remember that we are going for 3 white edges. As soon as you get 3 white edges it is time to move on to yellows. Before solving the whites, check to see if any yellow edges are already solved. If they are turn U so they are not on the right. Check to see if any white edges are already home. By home now, I don’t necessarily mean aligned with its non-white center. I simply mean home in relation to its corner neighbors. For example, If the green white edge is between the green white corners with the whites all facing down, it is home in relation to its neighbors whether or not it is aligned with the green center. Aligning the non-white centers is not necessary at this point. Ignore these centers for now. Check to see if any white edges are in the yellow layer with the non-white color face up. If so, turn D so the neighbor corners are on the same side as the edge. Hold the cube so they are on the right side. If there is a white in E, turn E so that it is at FL, with the white facing you. This is not always possible, and is not absolutely necessary. It is just a way to get another piece ready to send home while you send one home. Ri E R. See what happened? See how the white edge was moved from the yellow layer, home? If you loaded another white into the yellow layer at the same time, turn D so its home is on the bottom right and Ri E R again. Ri moves the visitor Up to the middle layer. E Replaces the visitor with the owner. R moves the owner Down. Up-Replace-Down. Check to see if any white edges are in E. If so turn D or E and hold the cube so the home is on the right and the owner is on the left with the white of the owner edge facing left. R E Ri if the owner is at FL, or Ri Ei R if the owner is at BL. Again you did Up-Replace-Down to move the white edge home. Check to see if there is a white edge with white facing down, but in the wrong place in the white layer. If so hold the cube so it is at the right and do R E Ri to move it to the yellow layer. Turn D to bring its home to the right and do Ri E R to move it home. Check to see if any white edges are in the yellow layer with white face up. R E Ri the edge into E, turn D to bring the edge’s home to R, then Ri Ei R.

**Three Yellow Edges
**

Now that you have 3 white edges in place, turn the cube over so yellow is on the bottom and do the same sort of moves to get 3 yellow edges. Just make sure you keep the working edge that is in the white layer lined up with the yellow edge spot you are ﬁlling, so that all of the white edges that are already solved stay solved. Re-read the ﬁrst paragraph in the Three White Edges section. One more thing. It is OK to solve yellows and whites at the same time if you want.

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**Last White and Yellow Edges
**

Using the techniques for ﬁlling in the edges so far, insert either the last white edge into the last yellow spot, or the last yellow edge into the last white spot. Insert it backwards. That is, so the yellow side of the edge is on the non-white side of the cube, or the white side of the edge is on the non-yellow side of the cube. Now putting the last edge in place by the normal means should put both home. Sometimes you end up with a situation in which you must remove an edge or both edges from the last slots because they are oriented incorrectly. Sometimes you end up with one side totally solved and the other not. Let’s say the white is totally solved and there is one more yellow to put in place. Put a white edge into the last yellow slot. Make sure the last yellow edge does not go into the white slot being vacated as you do so. Put the last yellow edge home and the last white should go home at the same time.

**Permuting the Last 4 Edges
**

After the white and yellow layers are complete, line them up with the other centers correctly. That is, turn U and D so that the yellow red edge lines up with the red center, and the white red edge lines up with the red center. There are different ways to approach the ﬁnal four edges. The way I learned it on Adam’s site, you ﬁrst cycle the edges into place, then you ﬂip them if necessary. Simple. I have since realized that I can use Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle to cycle and ﬂip at the same time when necessary. Or it can even be used multiple times to ﬂip edges, rather than the original edge-ﬂipping sequence I learned from Adam. First I present the simple method of permuting the edges, then orienting them. Then I will present a method using Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle which can permute and orient at the same time. If one of the four middle edges is in place hold the cube so it is at the bottom front, with the piece that needs to go to the top back located in the top front. A quick way to tell is if it has one color that matches the top and one that is opposite the front. For example, if the top center is blue and the front center is orange, then the blue/red edge is the one you want on the top front. To cycle the three edges do M U2 Mi U2. If none of the four edges are in place, see if you can hold the cube so that you need to swap UF and UB, and DF and DB. Do M2 U2 M2 U2. If you need to swap UF and DB, and DF and UB, do F2 M2 U2 M2 U2 F2.

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**Orienting the Last 4 Edges
**

Sometimes none of the edges need to be ﬂipped and you are done. Sometimes two need to be ﬂipped. Sometimes four. To ﬂip UF and UB: Mi Ui Mi Ui Mi d2 Mi Ui Mi Ui Mi U2. To ﬂip UB and DF: F2 (UF UB ﬂipper) F2. To ﬂip four, ﬂip two at a time.

**Permute and Orient All At Once
**

If you like the Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle technique you can use it to cycle the three edges into place when you see that they are going to need to be ﬂipped after placing them. That way you can put them home with one Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle and accomplish two things at once with a minimum of moves and not too much ﬁguring.

**Alternate Flipping Method
**

Do any Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle that cycles the two edges along with another edge. Then ﬁgure out another Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle that puts all three pieces home. This method is probably slower than the other for me because I have to think about how to set up the Up-Replace-Down 3-Cycle whereas with the other one, it is just recognize which pattern it is and whip through the memorized sequence of moves.

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