Archive for the Algorithms Category

Skewb Ultimate Algorithms

Posted in Algorithms, Blog, Cubing on December 13, 2018 by slateman

I grabbed this little guy while in New York and, it being a Skewb variation, I quickly ran into troubles. Not quire sure what’s up with these friggin’ things, but my brain breaks a little bit, particularly this dumb dodecahedron. It didn’t help that after getting a few steps in, I kept getting confused by orientation and the tutorials out there leave a bit to be desired. Not knocking their content – but they’re not too organized. Anyhow, here’s my solution, which will likely require some tweaking before I forget how it’s all done. That’s kinda silly though, as it only really requires the same one algorithm all Skewbs need. R’, L, R, L’. You can reverse it (L, R’, L’, R) for step 2.

Step 1: Solve an X
This isn’t so bad, though sometimes moving an item out of the way takes a second. This should really be intuitive, but worst case, you might have the piece in the correct spot but not oriented.

If so, move it up to the opposite side. If moved to the right, rotate counter-clockwise, if on the left, CW. Then bring it down and fix the initial turn. Note, if the color you want is facing up when starting this, you’ll have to do this step twice. You can situate all four without breaking one another.

Step 2: Position remaining centers
This will swap the top and front centers as well as the left and the right. If you’re smart enough, you can plan this out. I, on the other hand, just keep bringing the top piece down to its correct spot (and messing up the rest in the process) until everything is right. Don’t worry about orientation – just getting them in the right spot. You’ll know which algorithm to use based on its upper-level orientation. If the piece you need is on the left face, start with a R’ to bring it to its position. If on the right, start with L. This takes a few tries, but it’s easy.

Step 3: Orient top-layer X
This can be a pain. Figure out the top-layer colors (here they’re pink and green) and you want there to be two on one face. In this photo these stickers are close, but it could be on the other side where they are farther apart. These can be any combination of those colors too. G,G/P,P or how it is here, one of each. You’ll put these on the left side and rotate the puzzle up so your algorithm is done adjacent to your bottom layer. Doubled algorithm this time: R’, L, R, L’ (x2).

If you have no doubles, which is likely, find one sticker you want. If it’s on the left, start with the R’ version of the algorithm and vice versa. I believe this should consistently give you a usable pair.

Step 4: Orient remaining centers
The very same algorithm will be used to rotate centers. This will flip four centers: U, F, L and R. If you only have two, you’ll be doing this algorithm twice – by fixing one and breaking three others (3+1=4).

Get the four centers U, F, L and R as mentioned and rotate up slightly. You will be performing this algorithm on a properly-oriented side as shown here. Do the same algorithm 6x. Every so often you will have four mis-oriented centers in a row and not a plus pattern. Despite having four, your goal, you still have to perform this step repeatedly. Use your intuition to figure out which to fix so to prep yourself for a proper final step.

Good luck!

Master Pyraminx Algorithms

Posted in Algorithms, Blog, Cubing on November 19, 2018 by slateman

When I first moved to Sweden, I purchased the new flat-edged Master Pyraminx. The puzzle looks great and I solved it a number of times. Then, I forgot how.

It’s strange; I can still solve the rest of my puzzles, or at least I think I can. In recent months, I’ve returned to the puzzle each time frustrated by my lack of memory and the unclear tutorials online. Today I checked again and hobbled together a solution. As always, for my own purposes, here are the steps I used to finally remember this solve!

Step 1: Solve One Face

Well, of course, get tips matching their adjacent sides first and get all three corners properly aligned. Then, pick one face to solve. This requires some intuitive positioning but it shouldn’t prove too difficult. Get those three center edges and then fill in the remaining six middle-edge pieces.

Step 2: Flip Middle Edges

Sometimes you’ll have all these middle pieces placed correctly. If not, however, two will be placed correctly, but oriented in reverse. In this case, move the correct piece to the back. Then you perform this algorithm, using intuition for replacing the bottom layer.

LD, RD, LU, RU
U’, L’, U, L

Step 3: Finish Second Layer

Here we bring the red piece down, not vice versa. Again we break the bottom layer, but that’s OK, it’s easy to fix! Of course, you can figure out the opposite if mirrored, so use intuition when figuring out what goes where here.

l, R’, l’, R’
Then get the U out of the way (u’)
L’, u, L, u’

Step 4: Centers

There are three possibilities here. Centers are all solved, none are solved or three are out of place. You could solve centers earlier or at the end, but if you have three centers misplaced, the algorithm will make you repeat the final step, so here’s a good time to do this algorithm.

To solve four centers, place opposite centers on top and bottom. It should be an easy one here:

LD, RD, LU, RU (x3).

As I mentioned, when three centers are out, it messes with things. This is sometimes referred to as parity. For this case, place the one properly-placed center on the left side and do the following:

R, U, R’, U (x2).

If this doesn’t swap your centers correctly, do it again. Done!

Step 5: Last-Layer Edges

All that should should remain are last-layer edges. Either these are solved or they need to be permuted. These could go clockwise or counter-clockwise. The algorithm here works opposite of that rotation. But it’s easy enough and can be done twice to accomplish the same result.

R, U, R’, U, R, U

Change that to U’ for a clockwise last-layer spin.

4×4 Windmill Last-Layer Parity

Posted in Algorithms, Blog, Cubing on August 8, 2018 by slateman

Another quick algorithm update. I saw I had left my awesome MoYu AoSu 4×4 Windmill Cube on the shelf unsolved. That last-layer edge parity (either opposite or adjacent) can’t be fixed by the normal algorithm, as it messes up your centers. “Oh, what was the solution again?” I pondered…To the YouTube!

Ah, that’s simple! OK, so first, rotate the U layer either way and then drop down the white center. Move back the top layer so your parity is properly located for your algorithm and the white/yellow centers are front and back. Do the awesome LL parity algorithm and then just reset the white and yellow faces. Since those two don’t have any orientation, it’s OK if you flip them around.

Quite simple really…until I forget next time, of course!

Gear Ball Algorithms

Posted in Algorithms, Blog, Cubing on September 3, 2017 by slateman

This ought to be unnecessary. The Gear Cube can be solved with just one algorithm and this has two. However, they’re so simple that I forget them all the time. It’s dumb. And it’s easy to fix! Just make a quick blog entry for it to go along all those other algorithm entries. OK, let’s get to it: First get the corners, which is really quite simple. Then worry about those edges. This algorithm swaps the top-front center and the top-back center. I don’t usually forget that, but the R2, U, R2, U sometimes eludes me. That is enough to solve the Gear Cube, but not the Gear Ball which needs something to move around those pesky inner edges. Here you can move around eight at a time. If all are awry, just do this algorithm twice. If not, you should have one stripe of correctly-placed inner edges. Put that in your M layer, going from left to right and do a R, U, R, U, R, U algorithm. Then of course, just rotating those final edge pieces is a cinch. So, there you go! Easy to remember!

5×5 Edge Parity Algorithm

Posted in Algorithms, Blog, Cubing on June 7, 2016 by slateman

5x5-parityI love me those odd-numbered cubes. Those even-numbered ones are a PITA sometimes and their parity is obnoxious. However, a nice 5×5 is a relaxing, fun jaunt. And relaxing is the word to use…as it’s not difficult and there’s only this parity to know. It’s an easy algorithm but I’d forgotten it along the way. Muscle memory only goes so far when you haven’t used it in a year plus. Here’s a quick-to-look-up algorithm. Placing the mismatched singletons on the right just do the following algorithm for an easy fix!

(Ll)’ / U2 / (Ll)’ / U2
F2 / (Ll)’ / F2 / (Rr)
U2 / (Rr)’ / U2 / (Ll)2

Skewb & Skewb Diamond Algorithms

Posted in Algorithms, Blog, Cubing on February 3, 2016 by slateman

IMG_20160203_102041198I remember buying my Skewb when I was just getting into cubing and realized…it’s not that cool. There’s really no true challenge and therefore it sat on my shelf, rarely touched. In the years since, I’ve purchased other octahedral puzzles: the skewb diamond, the rainbow cube, a face-turning octahedron, the flower rex cube. And it turns out…nah, they’re not that cool either.

Among my collection, those are collectively my least-favorite bunch of cubes.

However, I should at least know how to solve them, and I only recently realized I never actually solved my Skewb Diamond. So, I went out to figure it out and I was beyond frustrated. Tutorials weren’t clear enough (I plan on making my own) and it just annoyed me. But now, I think I have it down, and so as usual I’m tossing up some algorithms for future reference as I will inevitably put these away and forget about them…again!

Let’s get to it!

Skewb: (R’ / L / R / L’)(Alg will turn front center piece)

  1. Solve White Face
  2. Match Centers
  3. Top-Layer Corners

The second step will swap the Front and Top centers as well as Left and Right centers.

The last maneuver requires the algorithm to be performed twice.

4 Incorrect

  • Place yellow headlights on left (facing left)
  • Place yellow on front right facing front
  • Place yellow on back right facing back

Bar – Algorithm 2x

  • Yellow in Front Right – Facing Right
  • Yellow in Back Left – Facing Back

Skewb Diamond

Step One
The first step is to solve one side, not including the single-sticker center.

Then find one other correctly-placed corner to make a second complete side.

Step Two
Now, with a four-color piece facing you, place that new, correctly-placed piece in the back left and rotate the puzzle forward. The correct piece is now in the front-left position and the original face is on the left in your left palm. Perform this algorithm:

Solve All Corners
R / U’ / R’ / U / F

Step Three
You will face one of two situations. You’ll have to swap a three-cycle of faces or you’ll have four.

Four-Cycle
To swap four, place a four-sticker piece facing you. This algorithm swaps top & below 4-sticker piece as well as swapping top right back & top left back. The algorithm is:

Four-Cycle
R / U / R’ / U’ (x3)

Three Cycle
Find the base side (around which the three cycle goes) and put that in left palm.

Colors of the three-cycle around this face will be on bottom, back-left and top-left.

Using the opposite side of base side (same color) as your front face, the single-sticker triangle looking right at you with a flat top. Remember, one ill-placed center will be on the bottom.

Three-Cycle
Clockwise: U / R / U / R’ (x2)
Counter-CW: R / U’ / R’ / U’ (x2)

Mastermorphix Algorithms

Posted in Algorithms, Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing on May 26, 2015 by slateman

mastermorphixI solved this guy once upon getting it and then got stuck on the last layer the second time. (I think I got really lucky the first time!) It sat on the shelf, in a mostly-solved state since and it mocked me. It embarrassed me. I can’t be defeated by a mere 3×3 shape mod!!! Alas, I recall why I didn’t solve it again. The tutorials did not help me in any meaningful way. Today’s savior? My favorite cubing channel, TheMaoiSha! It’s entirely in Spanish, and I’ve loved his videos as of late. Could a Spanish tutorial help where the English-language ones failed me? ¡Sí! Let’s link it up, toss some Algs and call it a night!

Parte Uno
Parte Dos

Permutación aristas:
R’ U’ R U’ R’ U2 R (Rotate L, F, R centers)(B remains)

Orientación aristas:
B’ R’ U’ R U B (L – Front & Left)(Bar – Left & Right)(+repeat last alg if nec)

Permutación esquinas:
R U’ L’ U R’ U’ L U (FL remains – rotates other 3 CCW)

Orientación esquinas:
R’ D’ R D (Beginners’ Method)(if still not fixed, rotate single-color piece)

Face-Turning Octahedron Algorithms

Posted in Algorithms, Blog, Cubing on October 18, 2014 by slateman

rex-octahedronI wasn’t too enamored with summer cube purchases but last night’s 2x4x6 victory was quite a memorable one. I went back to the face-turning octahedron today and tried Super Antonio Vivaldi’s tutorial. I conquered this one in the past but it wasn’t all too fun. Trying this again…I don’t know if it really is. The eight-faced beast challenges my brain…I guess that’s a good thing. Anyways, algorithms that I keep forgetting…

Step 1: Get all 6 corners
D, D, U, U (left or right)(two will rotate / one will not)

Step 2: Solve edges
Clockwise: R, U, R’, U, R, U, R’, U
Counterclockwise: R’, U’, R, U’, R’, U’, R, U’

Step 3: 3-Cycle centers
This moves the UR center to UL center to LL center (left face, left center)
Use the face with the 1 center and slice down. (a M’, I suppose)
Your LL center should now be in the UR center spot
R down, L down, R up
Move the slice back
R down, L up, R up

2x4x6 Cuboid – Kicking My Arse!

Posted in Algorithms, Blog, Cubing on October 17, 2014 by slateman

2x4x6Maybe I should just quit cubing entirely. My recent purchases are all giving me a hard time and I feel less and less capable of doing any of this any more! Today, I’ve gotten closer to solving the 2x4x6 cuboid. Closer. I haven’t done it yet. I say this because I purchased it in July. That’s three months ago. It’s stumped me for more than three months.

My woes may soon come to a close, though. I think I might be able finish this. The problem is I never feel like I have time to dedicate to it. I couldn’t even write this post without having a child of mine climb all over me.

However, I hope for success to be in my future. Using Super Antonio Vivaldi’s parity tutorial, I’m working through the last few stragglers. I’ll forego writing about the first steps for now and get into the last parity algorithms.

First, get the orange & red touching white & yellow edge pieces. Then get the middle-center edge pieces (for me, green & blue touching white & yellow). You may encounter parity here. Then get the outer center edge pieces using the same algorithms.

The inner centers are next. Inner 2×2 blocks are done just like doing the last centers on a higher-order standard cube. Line up the centers, down, right, down, left, up, right, up, left. Hope that still makes sense. Outer centers are last and can use the same parity algorithms, though that’s where I’m stuck as I write this. Here’s what you need to know.

Even Layered Parity (4 edge pieces swap)(Same as 3x4x5)
2U 2R 2F 2U 2u 2F 2R 2U

Brick Parity (3 edge pieces swap)(Right side)
2F U 2R U’ 2L U 2R U’ 2L
2F 2r 2F
2L U 2R U’ 2L U 2R U’
2F 2r

Brick Parity (Left Side)
2F U’ 2L U 2R U’ 2L U 2R
2F 2l 2F
2R U’ 2L U 2R U’ 2L U
2F 2l

This works for inner or outer centers. Here’s how these pieces move.

The left side brick parity would rotate 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 1 and our view of the back layer would be (as you flip & look at it):
3 – – –
– – – 1

The front layer would be
2 – – –
– – – –

Right would be opposite. Dunno if this helps.

Floppy Parity (2 Edges – Front-Left piece + Down-Back-left piece)
2R 2B 2U L 2U R’ 2U R 2U 2F R 2F L’ 2B 2R
(Then do 2l and Red Bull 2x more)

Edit: Solved It!!! Three months of frustration! Now…to put it on the shelf proper or to scramble again? Hmmm. :)

Rotate Centers Algorithms

Posted in Algorithms, Blog, Cubing on September 16, 2014 by slateman

moyu-crazy-yilengI’ve received my new cubes and one of them is a strange one. The MoYu Crazy Yileng Fisher Cube (long title!) is a cool 3×3 shape mod but it requires the flipping of centers. Since I generally dislike picture cubes, I never bothered to know these.

In working on this puzzle, I need to remember these. One isn’t bad. The other may take me a bit. Therefore: Algorithms! This is just for my future reference. Which I’ll need.

180º (place on top)
R U R’ U (x5) or
(R U R’ U’) (R’ F) (R2 U’) (R’ U’ R U) (R’ F’)

90º (place on top & right)
[(R U’ R U) (R U) (R U’) (R’ U’ R2)] X 3