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How I Solve It

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I learned how to solve the cube from [SS], as I said, and I still think about the solution in terms of the outline there.

1. TOP EDGES
2. TOP CORNERS
3. VERTICAL EDGES
4. BOTTOM CORNERS
5. BOTTOM EDGES

The details are almost completely different, though. I mix steps 1 and 2 together and do them ad hoc. Step 3 is the one thing that hasn't changed (much); I still use the two main sequences from [SS] verbatim. After that, I turn the cube over so I can see what I'm doing. It would be smarter to do that before step 3, but I'm too set in my ways now. Finally, I just use primitives to fix everything up (still corners first). I haven't done the math, but I think my way is at least comparable to the book's way. It usually takes me about three minutes to solve the cube.

One recent development is that when I run into a flipped edge in step 3, I'll leave it in place and deal with it later, in the last step. There are usually (probability 7/8) some flipped pieces at the end anyway, and with the quadruple flip available it hardly matters how many there are.

Let me tell you a little more about step 3 so that you can learn to solve the cube using these essays. Here's how it works. First, find a piece that you want to move from the bottom layer to the middle layer. Turn the bottom face until the colors match—the piece color and the center color on the vertical face—and orient the cube so that the destination is the right front edge. If the piece is on the front face, do the first sequence to swing it up into place, otherwise the second. And then you're done!

D-1R-1DR DFD-1F-1
DFD-1F-1 D-1R-1DR

The only other solution in my books is the one in [WW], and it uses exactly the same sequences, just in a different orientation. I guess those are just the best sequences for the job.

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@ November (2012)