Archive for the Cubing Category

Gear Ball Algorithms

Posted in Blog, Cubing with tags 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!

New 4×4 Record!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records, High Scores/Accomplishments with tags on July 27, 2017 by slateman

On the same day that Feliks broke the 7×7 world record, with a 2:08 showing, I managed to shave four seconds off my modest 4×4 personal best. A 2:14+ time may seem quaint to these speedcubers, but it’s the best I’ve ever done. My newest cube, a stickerless QiYi MoFangGe Snow Leopard, isn’t really great. It’s exploded several times and I am pretty sure I lost a record just in trying to keep it from doing so again. However, a parity-free run this morning yielded a pretty good time. While I don’t think a sub-two-minute run is ever to be in the cards, I’ll remain humble with this new record.

New 3×3 Record! First Sub-30! OMFG!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records, High Scores/Accomplishments on May 7, 2017 by slateman

I’ve been waiting for this moment for six years. I had a session yesterday where everything was clicking. My average of 5 was 34.06. Average of 12 was 35.11. Average of 50 was 37.29. I could just see the entire solve more clearly than ever.

And today was the day. A quick cross. Three corners and three second-layer inserts were so fast. I had the yellow cross and corners permuted. Two lightning fast sune algs and a standard three-cycle to finish off and I knew it was coming. Just didn’t know if I could break 30. Let’s face it… 30.00 wouldn’t have been nearly as good. This was utterly thrilling. And while the record could be broken again, I think the greatest success here is the change in average time. I’ll never get too much faster… Not without F2L. But for now I can officially say I’m under 30 seconds. At 41 yrs old, I’ve been waiting since I was 35 to say that. :) \m/

100 Solves. New 3×3 Record!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records on April 28, 2017 by slateman

I don’t cube like I used to. My collection continues to grow, recently an Eitan’s Twist and a 2x2x4 entered the fold, but I don’t go for speed like the old days. (five years ago, heh) After seeing some people using an app called Twisty Timer which tracks your times and charts them, I figured I’d just see how I stood. 100 solves later and my average was just over 41 seconds. My old Average Of 5 record has remained unbroken for over four years, mainly because I don’t really ever challenge it. I was about half a second too slow to challenge that one but…what’s this? Oh right, a new personal best!!! I missed the elusive sub-30 claim by a mere quarter-second, but I’ll take it. 30.25 is my new 3×3 record. Maybe 100 more solves will give me the opportunity to shave off that elusive chunk of a second?

Moved To Sweden! Slow Updates

Posted in Blog, Cubing, Games, Music on September 30, 2016 by slateman

tmp_4563-flag_of_sweden-svg1391003633Well, I’m here! The family and I have upped and moved to Gothenburg and will be here for several years. My PC won’t arrive for another month at least and so updates to any and all of my sites will be slow. In the meantime, I’m trying to platinum Far Cry Primal and Zero Time Dilemma. I’ve brought some of my favorite cubes to hold me over until my collection arrives (pic below!) I’m doing my best to keep up on new music (Opeth, Alcest, Insomnium, Ghost, In The Woods…) So while things may be slow, I’m not done with editing or updating. I’m itching to try out Urien in SFV and update my FAQs. Until then… Enjoy your autumn!

Puzzle Collection - Summer 2016

Puzzle Collection – Summer 2016

Edit: Oh, and for my purposes, here are some dates to look forward to:

Oct 11 – Rise Of The Tomb Raider
Oct 13 – Rez Infinite
Oct 14 – DoDonPachi: Daifukkatsu
Oct 23 – The Walking Dead (Season 7)
Oct 28 – Testament: Brotherhood Of The Snake
Nov 03 – J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Nov 04 – Dark Tranquillity: Atoma
Nov 11 – In Flames: Battles
Nov 18 – Metallica: Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Nov 23 – Alcest @ Pustervikbaren
Nov 25 – Einherjer: Dragons Of The North XX
Nov 29 – Anne Rice: Lestat & The Realms Of Atlantis
Nov 29 – Final Fantasy XV
Nov 30 – Vikings (Season 4 – pt 2)
Dec 16 – Amon Amarth @ Lisebergshallen
Jan 15 – Homeland (Season 6)

Diamond Skewb Tutorial + Jaws DEATH

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Guides, Personal, Video on July 8, 2016 by slateman

A pair of recently-uploaded YouTube videos follow. The first is the long-gestating tutorial for the Diamond Skewb. I tried to make this video twice and both times the puzzle exploded on me. That just let pieces everywhere and no inspiration to fix/record a movie. So, I finally got around to it. This is an update to my Skewb & Skewb Diamond Algorithms post from last year.

The second video is just stupidity. This is from when I went to Universal Studios Hollywood in 2003. Mat and I were on the Jaws exhibit and as he rose from the depths, I got my camera right on in there and then…DEATH. Absurd. Don’t watch this, it’s a waste of your life.

5×5 Edge Parity Algorithm

Posted in Blog, Cubing with tags 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

Average Of 5: Sub-40 Still!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records on March 21, 2016 by slateman

It’s been a few years since I posted any real cubing milestones. I have not stopped cubing, certainly not, but my speed-cubing days are mostly behind me. With a few minutes to spare today, I figured I’d try my hand at an average of five to see where I stood. It’s been quite some time, really. So, imagine my delight when I realized I was still under 40 seconds! My best was a bit over 36 and my worst nearly 44. Still…it means I’m not really out of the game! Anyways, this is no record but it’s good enough for me!!! Visual evidence!

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 1.46.00 PM

Skewb & Skewb Diamond Algorithms

Posted in Blog, Cubing with tags 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 Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing with tags 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)