July 4, 2016by Todd Schannuth (Happy 240th Birthday, America) Have you ever looked at a scrambled Rubik's Cube and felt like you were looking at a six-sided padlock with no earthly combination? Well, believe it or not, Rubik's Cube does have a combination. And it's only ten numbers long. Here it is: 2413-1526 You won't set any speed records using it, but those ten numbers are all you need to solve the Cube. Write them down or copy them into the notes on your smartphone. You never know when you'll run into an unsolved cube.
This variation on (what has come to be called) the Beginner's Method assumes you've got a good five minutes to kill, and no one to impress but yourself. I was in that particular boat a few weeks ago. I hadn't touched a cube since the late 1980s, but had vague memories of having been able to solve it (albeit, slowly). I decided to see if I could again memorize a solution. You can find several simple 7-step Beginner's Method solutions to the Cube online (most are slight variations of the general layer-by-layer approach credited to mathematician The official This layer-by-layer approach was not the method I'd memorized in the '80s when 'the Cube' was still TIME's The moves were simple enough. It was the notation that seemed over-engineered for the job. So I started looking for a more intuitive way to describe the layer-by-layer method. I guess I'm more of a numbers guy. -------------------------------------------------------------
Rather than assigning letters to the faces of the Cube, assign them numbers. Holding the cube in front of you, imagine the top face is 2, the right face is 4, the face straight in front of you is 6, left face 8, and bottom face 10. Forget the back face that's furthest from you. It doesn't need a number. In this Safecracker Method's nomenclature,
Just to be clear on Notation:
In truth, you can solve the entire middle layer using only 2413-1526, it just takes longer to power though with only the one combination. Making smart use of its inverse (1526-2413) will knock at least 30 seconds off your time.
Now you're done.
Further Reading: About Ernő Rubik Cube Resources: Find a Rubik's Cube at Amazon While there's no 'right way' to solve a cube, there are some that seem a bit less right: Having just jumped out of an airplane If you're young and/or still have a heap of un-allocated brain cells, you might take to Speedcubing. It's a whole other world -- full of notation, nomenclature, finger tricks, and algorithms galore. For that, you will inevitably end up on these two websites: If you find yourself outgrowing the Safecracker Method, here's a primer for translating into the notation of speedcubing:
Good luck! |
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