New 4×4 Record: 2:50.96

•May 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t been speedcubing much lately but I decided to grab my 4×4 and give it a go. My living room was too stuffy, dark and hot so I went to the kitchen, turned the fan on and enjoyed a cool spring breeze. I have been frustrated as of late so it was so refreshing to see my record broken by a few seconds. My centers were really fast (sub-30 I believe) but my middle layers were horrible. At one point I just stared for several seconds, lost. I had a great final layer though, which was my saving grace. No parity and a lucky draw = a new record!!! 2:50.96!

New Megaminx Record: 7:52.85

•May 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In the past month I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my Megaminx and Windmill Cube. They are fantastic additions to my puzzle collection and provide a reasonable challenge. I have done both for time but don’t have an official time for the Windmill Cube yet. It’s like 2:30 or so. However, I did go for a Megaminx time run twice. The first was better than the second, but both hovered around the 8-minute mark. I’ve updated both my Best Times Page and my Milestones Page. I’ll say…while I’ll never be good enough to even take part in competitions, I’ve come a long way since first solving a cube 15 months ago.

Next up for the collection? I made a To-Buy List but I’m leaning towards a Gigaminx. They’re expensive though. I’ve seen the larger ShengShou cubes and I’ll have to say they look solid. I never use my V-Cube 6 any more because it’s so annoying. The 8×8 and larger will have to be purchased…but we’re talking big bucks. However, I’m thinking a Gigaminx might be fun. Anyways…it’ll all have to wait for now. Oh…and I seem to have lost my 2×2. I’m not happy about that.

Windmill Cube Algorithms

•April 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

OK, now that I’ve had some time to play around with it, the windmill cube is not the end of the world. I’m beginning to grasp how it all works and it’s looking less and less alien to me as time goes on.

The tutorial can be found here. However, it’s unclear in many ways. I’d love to make one that is easier to follow. Ultimately this only really requires about 3 new algorithms.

4: Middle Layer

Slanting Downwards (Away From You) – Move to left and…
R’ D’ R D (move cube to insert on left side now)
L D L’

Slanting Upwards (Towards Your Face) – Move to right face and…
D L D L’ D’ // R’ D’ R

5: Orient Last Layer

2 unmatched edges in F and L position:
F D L D’ L’ F’

If 2 edges are opposite each other (hold in front):
F L D L’ D’ F’

6: Position Corner (Get corner colors correct)

Find 2 Adjacent Corners that need to be swapped. Hold in the F and L position:
Twist D layer right…(?)
D L D’ R’
D L’ D’ R

If you cannot get 2 adjacent correct, do the algorithm once, then repeat.

7: Orient Last Layer Corner

Find any oriented corners.

If 3 are not oriented
If 3 corners have yellow on the right face, hold the correctly-placed yellow piece under your right thumb.
L D L’ D L D2 L’

If 3 corners have yellow on the left face, the opposite applies. Yellow under left thumb.
R’ D’ R D’ R’ D2 R

If 4 are not oriented
Find a pair on the front face that are not facing you.
R’ D’ R D’ R’ D2 R

This should orient one, then you can do the first algorithms again.

If 2 are not oriented
Find where yellow is facing you and start on the opposite side using the opposite’s algorithm.

8: Position Bottom Edges

Find a correct edge and place in back.

When looking at bottom face, to move the remaining 3 pieces counter-clockwise, do this…

R’ D’ R D’ R’ D2 – then turn cube clockwise
L D L’ D L D2 L’

Alternately, to move the remaining 3 pieces clockwise, reverse the algorithm.

L D L’ D L D2 L’ – then turn cube counter-clockwise
R’ D’ R D’ R’ D2

Solved…New Cube Roundup

•April 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A few months ago I had a 3-cube purchase. I got a 3x3x2, Pyraminx and Skewb. All were fun puzzles but the 3x3x2 and Skewb were more novelties than fun cubes to solve IMO. I’m interested in the bigger cubes (3x3x4/etc) but they’ll have to wait. This month’s 3-cube purchase was much better and I find myself really enjoying all three new cubes.

Void Cube
This is pretty standard fare but I’m really enjoying the color layout. I didn’t expect it to be the case but it’s cool. Dark grey opposite light grey. Yellow opposite Orange (odd!) and a light blue opposite a minty green. I thought of restickering it `but I will probably keep it. In any event, It’s a fun puzzle with just one parity issue to remember. It doesn’t turn well but I can feel it breaking in and getting more responsive.

Windmill Cube
My YJ Wheel Puzzle should just be called a Windmill Cube. This one is friggin’ strange. In some ways it’s just like a 3×3, in others it’s utter confusion. I solved it last night and had a real hard time wrapping my head around it. However, just a few algorithms and a little practice shows things aren’t as odd as I initially thought. This may be one I tinker with only rarely, but it looks awesome. I’ll have to get some algorithms on the site to help me practice ’em more.

I definitely like this. Each solve goes a bit more smoothly. It’s hard to hold and turn accurately but solving it is fun and so very similar to a 3×3. As I wrote already, I’m definitely digging this puzzle and it’s probably my favorite non-cube puzzle.

Oh, and I updated my Cube Collection with a photo of the whole lot.

Digging Megaminx!!!

•March 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The first solve of the Megaminx was not pretty. It took a while to really wrap my head around the whole lot. However, after a few solves, I’m getting the concept; it still takes me forever though. Anyways, I’m good on everything up until the last layer. Just some algorithms for quick access…

(R’ U’ R U) x2

(U’ R’ U R) x2

And for those pesky final corners…

5 Corners
R’ D R || R’ D’ R

4 Corners
R’ D R || R’ D’ R (Until no corners left, then R’ D’ R)

Quick Windmill Cube Alg…

Middle layer. Sticking out, move to left and…

R’ D’ R D (move cube to insert on left side now)
L D L’

New Puzzles En Route!

•March 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’m still really enjoying my cubing hobby, particularly because I can get new things for relatively cheap. I also collect coins on the side, and I specifically like American coins. However, at this stage in the game, everything is so expensive. Therefore, my hobby is not really going anywhere. I digress. This weekend I ordered three new puzzles and I’m quite excited about their impending arrival. They are as follows…

YJ Wheel Puzzle
I haven’t really read a lot about this puzzle online. It appears to be a very interesting puzzle indeed, in some ways a 2x2x3. (I have a 3x3x2, but not something like this.) It will be my first real shape shifting puzzle, as I don’t count my 20-year-old Square-1 for some reason. It’ll be in white, never my first choice, but I didn’t see any other choice. This was cheap and I don’t expect it to be a real serious puzzle. As I can find very little about this (it differs from the Fisher Cube somewhat), I may have to make a video for this. I’m rather curious.

Lanlan Void Cube
I have one Lanlan cube, my 2×2, and I think it’s pretty solid. In searching online, I found a relatively cheap Void Cube and figured it might be novel. From what I understand there’s one issue of parity, but I think I can handle one new algorithm! It seems that Rubik’s has their own version of this cube, but it matters little. I just wanted a quick cube to tinker with. Much like my 2×2, the color configuration of the Lanlan cube looks horrible, so I may have to resticker it at some stage. Again, more of a novelty than a serious cube IMO, this may be my least exciting addition to the collection.

QJ Megaminx
Now this is what I’ve been waiting for. For the longest time I had absolutely zero interest in the ‘Minx series. However, upon researching and watching videos online, I think it should be a lot of fun. It sounds like it solves like a standard 3×3 in many ways. While I can’t really envision that, it should be a fun adventure. Of the three new puzzles coming, this is the only that I think I’ll try for speed. We’ll see how it all turns out, but I’m most excited about the Megaminx.

Everything should arrive later this week, early next week at the latest. I’m psyched. This should be a fun unboxing!!!

New 4×4 Record: 2:53.61

•March 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been solving the 4×4 a bunch lately, it’s so much more enjoyable now that I have the ShengShou, and it’s becoming a nice quick solve. This is something I can do in just a few minutes when I have a few to spare. I’ve given up on getting more than one color in the middle layer at a time, as it just slows me down. I realize it’s better, but I have a hard enough time figuring out which color is next sometimes. So, after a few runs this morning, including another sub-3 minute solve, I bested my record by just about 3 seconds. It’s not a wonderful speed, I guess my new goal is 2:45, but it’s something. I encountered parity in my last step, but that’s an easy algorithm. I truly hate having to do the long parity alg. The boy was ready for a nap, so he cried the entire last minute. Good thing I can tune him out. heh. So, 4×4, a new record, felt pretty good about things!

4×4: 2:58.45

•March 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Again, not a record, but it’s only my second sub-3 minute 4×4 solve. I was tinkering this morning and this solve turned out well. This was complete with a parity issue. Without this, I would’ve broken my record! Alas, it was not meant to be and my son is crying. I should tend to things…

New 7×7 Record: 28:24.34

•March 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Yeah…that’s right. 28 friggin’ minutes. Well, I’ve been meaning to do an actual speed (?) run and tonight was the night. Now, first off, the 7×7 is a beast. It took 10 minutes just to get the centers, another 6 to get the middle 3 edges, but another 10 (!) for the final edges. I messed up a few times on that one. I’d say that wrecked my chances for a fast run, but let’s face it, it took forever. Ultimately though, I really wanted to have a figure, and 28 minutes+ it is. It was fun. I listened to some Satch, got over the fact that my son drooled on the cube and lost a green/yellow edge sticker. At least it turns a bit better than my V-Cube 6, but it was harder than normal to align the layers to turn at first. OK. Done. 7×7 record set. I’m happy.

New Pyraminx Record: 13.80

•March 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

After my new purchase a few weeks ago (3x3x2, Pyraminx, Skewb), I realized I would never go for speed on most. However, the Pyraminx is not a difficult puzzle and so I did decide to time myself. Today’s record of 13.80 seconds is not bad. With only three algorithms, really (I’d actually say two) it’s not hard to go for speed. A little luck goes a long way! I guess a sub-10 would be a nice goal to shoot for!