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Solution examples

13 annotated solutions

I hope this will provide the kind of understanding that disjointed theory steps can not. Like how I actually think when solving, what the considerations are, how much I can and can't see ahead, etc. The positions are random ones taken from the Sunday competition for the Yahoo Speed Cubing club on Nov 25 2001. This is of course not speed solutions. Each took me several minutes, and I think hard and study the cube very carefully for each turn. What I did not do was to try out several different options to see which one would lead to the best solution in the end. It's all based on what I can see and think ahead about when looking at a position. Sometimes I did check what alternatives would have resulted in afterwards, as you can see.

You can follow this fairly well by looking at the java cubes. I recommend stepping one turn at the time, and turning the cube around a lot (click and drag on the cube) to see where the pieces are. But the best way is to get the same position on your own cube, and go through the solutions there. You can do that by stepping backwards from the solved position, but I prefer taking the cube apart and putting it back together in the right state.

A few observations from doing this page:

Acronyms etc:

S1, S2... = Step 1, Step 2
T1-7 = Turn 1-7
YB edge = Yellow-Blue edge
BWO corner = Blue-White-Orange corner
RY/B pair = Red-Yellow edge and Red-Yellow-Blue corner
[P13/3] = The perfect solution is 13 turns, and would save 3 turns. I don't use it since I don't know it.
T17 = When I merge the final turn(s) of one step with the first in the next, I indicate that with blue turn counters. I hope it's not too confusing that some steps never seem to get completed. They are complete in my head!

Example 1

  • T1-7. S1. Several 7 turn corners available. I could easily start with another.
  • T8-10. S2.The BWO corner is the obvious choice, but BYR is also excellent.
  • T11-15. S3. 4 bad edges. It's tempting to try to preserve the RY/B and/or OG/Y pairs, but it's rarely worth it. I just go straight for the bad edges.
  • T16-24. S4.A simple S4 with no real choices except in T21, where you can pick either of 2 options. The other leads to a 44 move solution the way I usually do it.
  • T25 makes it easier to see the corners. [P13/3]
  • T26-33 S5+6 is a fundamental move to solve S5-6 for this corner config
  • T33-41 S7 Arne (A2)

Example 2

  • T1-4. S1. The existing BW/O pair makes this the obvious start.
  • T5-10. S2. The BYO corner is a little easier than the other two
  • T11-15. S3. There are 2 ways to fix these bad edges in 5 moves. They look equally good to me. I pick one on random.
  • T16-29. S4. Nothing too obvious here, so I go for the GOW "broken corner".
  • T30 makes it easier to see the corners.
  • T31-40 S6+7. (no S5) Bruno (G4)

Example 3

  • T1-8. S1+2 The RY/B pair gives an obvious starting point. Luckily, that also forms the OY/B pair, and with some unusual moves I can fix both S1 and S2 simultaneously. If you pick a half turn instead of the quarter turn in T6, you get the beautiful solution to the right (uses perfect B4), but that's hardly possible to see then.
  • T9-13. S3. With both the BW/R and OW/R pairs already formed, you'd think there was some clever way to do S3 and S4 in one sweep, but I can't figure one out. So I just fix the edges without breaking the pairs.
  • T14-20. S4. It's too hard to preserve both blue pairs. I just do the simple one, luckily, the other falls right into place.
  • T21-27 S5-6. is solved with a Niklas. The perfect FL solution is 12 moves, 4-5 moves faster.
  • T28 color adjustment.
  • T29-37 S7. Allan (A4)

Example 4

  • T1-9. S1+2 There are two good pairs to start from. I pick the GO/W, since the first turn also forms the GR/W pair. Some original thinking lets us do both S1 & S2 at once.
  • T9-15 S3. 2 bad edges left after.
  • T16-26. S4 GRY is a "broken corner".
  • T27 color adjustment.
  • T28-34 S5. A Niklas does S5 and sets up the corners in Sune position. Niklas twists corners like Sune, so the "target" rules from S6 apply.
  • T35-41 S7. I end with a Sune (B5) [P11/3]

Example 5

  • T1-5. S1. Despite WO/G being done, it needs 7 moves. YOB is the only decent corner to start with.
  • T6-12. S2. All 3 corners suck. BWO looks a little more fun.
  • T12-20 S3. There are 4 equally good ways to do T17. One day I might show all four here.
  • T21-31 S4. All the other corners look downright hostile, so I start with the RYB one (OK, OYG has some promise too). T25 is key! Forming RW/B midway is unusual, but works great here.
  • T31-40 S7. (No S5 or S6) Allan (A4). A great ending of a problematic solve. Bypassing S5 & S6 is just luck. I'm not that good!

Example 6

  • T1-9. S1+2. The GO/Y pair is "stuck", so I start for the GOW corner instead, while preserving the pair. With some very careful maneuvering in T4&T5 it all falls in place very nicely.
  • T9-14. S3. I pick a half turn in T10 to preserve the RW/G pair
  • T15-27 S4. GRW is the obvious corner for S4a. I make sure to split up the malformed GR/Y pair while building GRW. For T24 I can pick one of two turns, and do the one that gives a better corner configuration.
  • T28-34 S5+6. Niklas
  • T35-43 S7. Allan (A4)

Example 7

  • T1-12. S1+2. Only bad corners here. The WO/B pair is awkardly placed. The best I can come up with is to do the YOB corner, while preserving the WO/B pair, and try to keep things together. 12 moves is good for such a bad start.
  • T12-19. S3. 6 bad edges needs 7 moves. The third move you can go two ways, but I can't say which one is better.
  • T20-33 S4. One of the 4 corners is slightly less bad than the other 3. In T20 I choose the move that separates the misformed BR/Y pair. In T30 I can go two ways. They look equally good (the other also ends in 52, but I didn't know that)
  • T34-41 S5+6. This handy move solves this corner configuration for S5+6.
  • T41-52 S7. Bert (A3).

Example 8

  • T1-7. S1. This one was painful! The GW/R pair looks great, but can't be completed in under 8 moves. The others don't look any better. The best I can find is this 7 mover for OYG
  • T8-10. S2. I kept an eye at WOG during S1, and made sure it was in good position. T5 was key. .
  • T10-12 S3. Only 2 bad edges.
  • T13-24 S4. YBO is the obvious choice for S4a. Very standard S4b move.
  • T25-31 S5. Maybe my least favorite corner config. There's a 13 turn S5+6 sequence that I don't know... So I do a Niklas.
  • T32-41 S6+7. A lucky Bruno (G4). These can go much worse.

Example 9

  • T1-6. S1+2. GO/Y looks like the perfect start, but if you look more you see that you can build GR/Y first, while keeping the GO/Y pair intact, and do S1+2 as fast as you could do just S1 with GO/Y.
  • T7-12. S3. In T10 I can go two ways, this one is best for the RGW corner
  • T13-23 S4. Both RGW and BOY look good. RGW is 2 moves shorter.
  • T23-32 S5+6. One of the 2 diagonal corner swaps I know.
  • T32-40 S7.Arne (A2)

Example 10

  • T1-7. S1. One of several 7 move options.
  • T8-14 S2. One of several mediocre options.
  • T14-18 S3. The only way.
  • T19-23 S4a. RGW looks slightly better than the others
  • T20 Quarter turn instead of half turn to break up the problematic RB/W pair.
  • T28 Half turn instead of quarter turn gives better final layer position
  • T24-31 S4b. Simple standard move that uses many turns.
  • T32-39 S5+6. My standard move for this corner position.
  • T39-51 S7. Bert (A3)

Example 11

  • T1-10. S1+2. It's clear that RWG and OWG are the corners to go for. How to get there quickest is trickier. There may be a shorter solution.
  • T11-18 S3. 3 moves longer than needed to preserve the 2 pairs. It seems worth it.
  • T19-25 S4. The pairs work. I primarily build on the RWB trio, but the RY/G pair gets nicely built up using the same moves.
  • T26-36 S5+6+7. Well known Niklas plus Sune (B5) case. 7 + 7 = 11 when the sequences melt together. [P10/1].

Example 12

  • T1-7. S1. BRY is one of several 7 move solutions.
  • T8-13 S2. BRW is the least bad alternative.
  • T13-20 S3. I have to work for it here too.
  • T21-31 S4. GRY looks best.
  • T32-45 S6+7. No S5. G3. [P12/2]

Example 13

  • T1-10. S1+2. A few 6 turn corners. I picked one at random. Midway I decided to do S1+S2. T5-6 sets up S2 in mid S1.
  • T11-15 S3. Textbook S3.
  • T16-28 S4. No easy pickings. I do the easiest corner the hard way.
  • T29 Color adjustment
  • T30-40 S5+6. My standard move for this corner position. [P13/6] (131).
  • T40-48 S7. Allan (A4)
  • Averages for 13 solutions
  • S1+S2: 10.2 turns
  • S3: 5.6 turns
  • S4: 11.3 turns
  • S5-7: 15.4 turns
  • Total: 42.5 turns
Mail me at cube@lar5.com