Here’s How To Solve Rubik’s Cube!

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Today has been pretty busy.  The holiday season is in full swing.  It’s the first day of Hanukkah.  We went to a Christmas Party this afternoon.  And we then took off to do a little biking.  It was a beautiful late afternoon on the Island.  Perfect weather for biking.

So tonight we are staying in.   I thought it would be as good a time to solve the riddle of the Rubik’s cube.

Did you ever watch the Will Smith movie Pursuit of Happyness?  There is a scene where Will Smith solves the rubik’s cube puzzle in the time it took to take a cab ride.  What’s the big deal?  It got him a job interview.  Wish life worked that way.

And there is this.

This week, 14-year-old Lucas Etter set a new world record for solving the classic Rubik’s cube in Clarksville, Maryland, in the US, solving the scrambled cube in an astonishing 4.904 seconds.

Well!  Have you ever tried to solve it?  I have and it turned out to be a no starter.  I am not going to let that stop me.  If a 14 year old can solve it, why not me.

Well I got this post from Spark On It!  How to solve it in 5 minutes.  Time to get down to business.


From Spark On It!


The maximum number of face turns needed to solve the classic Rubik’s cube, one that is segmented into squares laid out 3×3 on each face, is 20, and the maximum number of quarter turns is 26. It took 30 years to discover these numbers, which were finally proved by Tomas Rokicki and Morley Davidson using a mixture of mathematics and computer calculation. The puzzle does have 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (43 times 1018, or 43 quintillion) possible configurations after all.

So how do the likes of Lucas Etter work out how to solve Rubik’s cube so quickly? They could read instructions, but that rather spoils the fun. If you want to work out how to do it yourself, you need to develop cube-solving tools. In this sense, a tool is a short sequence of turns which results in only a few of the individual squares on the cube’s faces changing position. When you have discovered and memorised enough tools, you can execute them one after the other in order as required to return the cube to its pristine, solved condition.

These tools require experimentation to discover. Here’s how I did it myself: go on holiday with a Rubik’s cube and a screwdriver. Do experiments to find tools. The trouble is that most experiments just scramble the cube horribly and you forget what you did so you cannot undo your moves.


Go and find out how you can solve the cube puzzle!











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