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25 Years of Rubik's Cube

Published on Thursday, December 22, 2005 in , , , , , ,

Before this year wraps up, it should be noted that this year saw the 25th anniversary of the Rubik's Cube's original release, so I figured it was time to revisit this classic puzzle.

Rubik's cubes, of course, are mainly for solving, and one of the most popular ways to do this is to solve for speed. But how do you go about solving it in the first place? If you're new to the cube, solving methods and notations, a great place to start is Jasmine's Beginner Solution to the Rubik's Cube page. She builds up a basic method, and then goes on to describe more advanced strategies, once you're comfortable with her basic method.

Another good beginner's page with graphic notation of what each move actually looks like is Joel's simple solution. This, and many of the other following pages that teach Rubik's Cube solutions, use Java to simulate the cube, so you'll probably want to make sure that you have the latest version (free download).

If you want to start getting into it for speed, check out Solving Rubik's Cube for Speed.

One of the more interesting speed methods is Philip Marshall's ULTIMATE SOLUTION TO RUBIK'S CUBE. With this method, there are only two different series of moves you have to learn to solve it in an average of 65 moves!

Solving the cube, even for speed is only one way to approach it. Here's a Perpetual Calendar Rubik's Cube, in which you simply have to solve one face for the current date. Unfortunately, you can't buy a real version of this anywhere. However, you can make one with the aid of a blank cube, some customizable Rubik's Cube stickers, and the proper layout of the stickers. The customizable stickers also come with a Word file for a different perpetual calendar, which is also designed to display the year!

Another unique challenge is to learn to solve the cube blindfolded. One of the most comprehensive methods of doing this is to learn the method at Jessica Fridrich's Speed Cubing Page without a blindfold, and then learn Richard Carr's adaption of this method for blindfolded cubing. Richard Carr's additions are written in simple text with no paragraphs, so it should be copied to your favorite text editor or word processor to make it more readable.

Of course, another alternative is to learn any of the methods above, and use a different kind of blindfold.

Thinking about the calendar cube and the blindfolded cubes gave me an idea for a bizarre, untried idea. Imagine you're given a scrambled perpetual calendar cube to examine for a minute or two, and then you put on a blindfold. At that point, someone gives you a date, such as "July 26, 1980". Not only do you solve the face of the perpetual calendar to show July 26 (or July 26, 1980, depending on the version you're using), but the cube also shows the correct day of the week (Saturday, in our example)!

This is a mix of any of the above blindfolded methods, combined with the classic Day For Any Date feat. I'd think the toughest part of this routine would be presenting it without looking like a show-off.

Don't think I've forgotten about those who prefer to admire the cube in a hands-off fashion. Take a look at the breathtaking Three-dimensional designs of Dr. Hana M. Bizek. He's a Rubik's Cube solver who likes to arrange large groups of cubes together in order to form artistic patterns. Among my favorites here are the Jaroslav and the Landry staircase.

If this still isn't enough Rubik's Cube information for you, then I can only hope that Jaap's Puzzle Page, especially their Rubik's Cube, Rubik's Revenge and Mini Cube pages, offer enough links to sate your curiosity.

4 Response to 25 Years of Rubik's Cube

10:04 PM

Happy new year

10:08 PM

...Imagine..

Mishel
12:15 AM

Check this link up for a nice simulation.

http://dura.cell.free.fr/home/swf/evilcube.swf

8:36 AM

Glad you liked my Beginner Solution to the Rubik's Cube!

Happy cubing,
Jasmine