Lots to prep here but noteworthy items:

February 2011: Solved Rubik’s Cube
March 2011: Solved 4×4 Cube
April 2011: Solved 3×3 in 1:05
May 2011: Solved 5×5 Cube
June 2011: Solved 2×2 Cube in ~16 seconds
July 2011: Solved 3×3 in less than a minute!
August 2011: Solved 6×6 V-Cube
August 2011: 3×3 times consistently sub 1:10
Sept 2011: 3×3 times consistently around 1:00, 6×6 in 16 minutes, 2×2 in 0:13.
Oct 2011: 45.55 3×3 record! // 39.96 3×3 record!!!
Nov 2011: ShengShou 4×4. 4×4, 5×5, 6×6 new records
Dec 2011: 36.15 3×3 record! V-Cube 7×7
March 2012: 2:53.61 4×4 record and posted 7×7 and Pyraminx records
May 2012: Megaminx and Windmill Cube records set.

I purchased a Rubik’s Mini Cube many, many years ago but never solved it. Like most people, I figured, “Ahh, this can’t be that hard!” As most find out, it’s not all so easy! The cube I have is a strange one, as blue and green are adjacent, not opposite. In any event, just after solving my 3×3 in February, 2011, I grabbed my mini cube to figure it out. The thing exploded and I had to put it all back together again. Most cubers are used to this stuff, but it was a challenge for me. It doesn’t turn right now and so I just leave it as a show piece.

I bought a LanLan 2×2 in February for $1.75 and it’s great. My initial times were over a minute (at the time still lower than my 3×3 times) but nothing to be proud of. I don’t know the date, but sometime in June at the end of the school year I got my time to 16.46. Still not very good, but short of learning more, it’s not dreadful.

On September 18th of the same year, I did a few speed runs and wound up breaking the record with 13.0 seconds. I didn’t use CubeTimer, and the results weren’t so accurate (I’m convinced it was under 13!) but I can’t complain. New record!

Date Notes
June, 2011 Best Time: 16.46
September 18th, 2011 Best Time: 13.0

A full write-up is forthcoming…

I’ve always had a fascination with the Rubik’s Cube but sadly never solved it.
Feb 21st, solved.
Guojia Alpha Rubiks Cube Type A for $9 later in the month.
Times got better, until April’s 1:05 time.
Record stood until late July and I got my first sub-1 minute solve.
Average times got better, consistently under 1:10
By September, frequently under 1:00
In early October, I fumbled to stop the clock as I watched the timer turn to 50, ending with a 50.40 time. In my head, sub-50!
Several days later, amidst the madness of parenting, my first sub-40 solve! Awesome!

For a while I swapped back to my original cube, lubed by a friend. However, as time went on, the slick turning ended up w/ more lockups and frustration. It’s still quick, but I went back to my Type-A cube and had a few lucky final steps to get my 36.15 time. I was pretty shocked by that one. Was so psyched!

Date Notes
March 19, 2011 Best Time: 1:22
March 26, 2011 Best Time: 1:16.48
April 2, 2011 Best Time: 1:05.09
July 30, 2011 Best Time: 51.75
August 10, 2011 Best Time: 51.63
October 10, 2011 Best Time: 50.40
October 10, 2011 Best Time: 50.18
October 12, 2011 Best Time: 45.55
October 16, 2011 Best Time: 39.96
December 5th, 2011 Best Time: 36.15

3 Best Times

36.15 / 39.96 / 41.44

As my fascination with the cube grew, my co-worker told me a local store had official Rubik’s 4×4 cubes for $7. I bought two. One I kept at school and one at home. Each is very different and they’re both horrible. I hate them. For months I toiled with this cube, disliking it, and therefore disliking the 4×4 as a whole.

In any event, I solved the cube rather quickly and set my record within a week and that record stood until mid-August. I struggled with popping and lock-ups but still managed a decent time. I knew I could get that time so much faster with a better cube so I tried my other, looser one. Two minutes better! Now that was pretty nice!!!

In November I purchased a ShengShou v3 4×4 and within the first day I had shaven another 75 seconds off my time. I lingered around 3 minutes for another week before finally breaking that mark.

Date Notes
March 21, 2011 4×4 purchased & solved
March 26, 2011 Best Time: 6:42.15
August 17, 2011 Best Time: 6:20.14
August 17, 2011 Best Time: 4:22.53
November 3, 2011 Best Time: 3:13.85
November 3, 2011 Best Time: 3:02.96
November 10, 2011 Best Time: 2:56.13
March 18th, 2012 Best Time: 2:53.61
May 14th, 2012 Best Time: 2:50.96
May 15th, 2012 Best Time: 2:49.17

After some waiting and research, I bought my first 5×5 for $13 in mid-April, 2011. Immediately better than the 4×4, my mini-YJ is phenomenal. I wouldn’t mind a larger cube, I sometimes have troubles with how small this is (60mm). Almost a year later, I really need a new 5×5 as I find this way too cumbersome. Waiting to purchase a ShengShou as I love their 4×4.

Due to the lack of parity issues when compared to the 4×4, I find it much more enjoyable to solve. In fact, it’s a method of relaxation (as my fourth child was born earlier in the month). I started around the 15-minute mark, then got it to about 10. There it stood for a few months until August of 2011 when I got my V-Cube 6×6 that I went back for speed. I shaved almost 90 seconds from my time, another dozen a few days later and finally got my time under 8 later in the week.

My centers were about 2 minutes but in my November record-setting solve, I got that down by 30 seconds. My edges are still the slowest, but hey, my new record is just over 6 minutes. I aim for sub-6.

Date Notes
April 19, 2011 Purchased Mini YJ 5×5
June, 2011 Best Time: 9:49.70
August 10th, 2011 Best Time: 8:35.07
August 14th, 2011 Best Time: 8:22.50
August 21st, 2011 Best Time: 7:52.94
October 8th, 2011 NOT Best Time: 7:58.4
November 17th, 2011 Best Time: 6:16.24

After several months of waiting (and trying to justify the $45 it would cost for another cube), I purchased my V-Cube 6×6 in August of 2011. I was amazed by its weight, clicking mechanism, the incredibly long time it took me to solve and the amount of times it exploded as I was solving it. With the summer off, I was busy watching four kids full-time and getting the quiet time to take nearly a half an hour to finish has continued to be rare. The few times I really tried ended with pieces flying everywhere.

In September I got an actual record time of 16+ minutes. My centers solve clocks at around 8:30, edges another 5, full solve 3 minutes later. Holding pieces together is part of the slow time and barring a sub-15 minute goal, I don’t really need to try for record times on the 6×6.

In November I tried again, clocking a minute faster than my prior solve. My centers were much faster, 5:30, but I slowed down elsewhere. In low light, I have a hard time differentiating blue/green and white/yellow. In daylight, there are no issues. Solving my V-Cube isn’t too enjoyable, really. I’m constantly monitoring how I move so that I don’t get any pops. It may be time to find another 6×6!

Date Notes
August 5th, 2011 V-Cube 6×6 Purchased
August 10th, 2011 Best Time: 29:44.97
September 9th, 2011 Best Time: 16:25.27
November 17th, 2011 Best Time: 15:26.62

I did not need the 7×7 but then again, I really did. I waited for Christmas to arrive and got myself one. 2011 proved to be the year of the cube, getting and solving the 2×2 all the way up to the 7×7. The cube itself feels so different from the 6×6. It’s a beast, of course, but I’m so pleased in that it doesn’t pop like the 6×6.

After a few months of just playing around with it, my son played with it, drooled on it and I lost some stickers. In mid-March, 2012, I had a day alone. My family was with the in-laws, and I had the ultra-rare day without responsibility. In the evening, I listened to some Joe Satriani and took the plunge. It was about 10 minutes for the centers alone. 6 minutes were needed for the inner edges and another 10 (!) to finalize the edges. I messed some things up here, but let’s face it; even a good solve for me will require a ton of time! I ended up with a solve time of over 28 minutes. Crazy. The 8×8 is on the market. I don’t even want to know how long it would take.

Date Notes
December 25th, 2011 V-Cube 7×7 Received
December 2011 Best Time: far too long!
March 15th, 2012 Best Time: 28:24.34

I like the Pyraminx. It’s not difficult to solve but it’s rather fun. I figured a speed run would be a fun adventure and my current time is pretty quick, just under 14 seconds. This doesn’t seem like a puzzle I’ll do much for speed, but it can be fun!

Date Notes
February 18th, 2012 QJ Pyraminx Received
February 20th, 2012 Best Time: 20.15
March 15th, 2012 Best Time: 13.80

My first ‘big’ cube purchase was a Pyraminx, Skewb and a 3x3x2. All are cool, but they’re really just novelty for me. None are all too fun to solve and none are a challenge. So, my second bigger cube purchase was a Megaminx, a Void Cube and a Windmill Cube. The former and the latter are just awesome and are such great additions to my collection.

I find the Megaminx to be a nice, relaxing puzzle. It’s not hard, but it is enjoyable. One Saturday afternoon, a good month after purchasing the puzzle, I tried it out for speed. I clocked in at under 8 minutes. Now, I could probably get this time down, but since most of the time is spent finding things, I don’t see this as something that needs real consistent challenging. Maybe I’ll go for another run but I think I prefer the puzzle as a Zen type thing. It has, though, really sparked my interest in the Gigaminx. Hmmm, expensive!

Date Notes
March 27th, 2012 QJ Megaminx Received
May 11thth, 2012 Best Time: 7:52.85

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