Tantalising and enchanting people for years. Ever wondered what it would be like to be someone who could solve this peculiar puzzle?
‘I have so many cubes it’s hard to keep count. I can solve every single one of them, not all at once though. My personal best on the standard three by three cube is 14.48 seconds. But my favourite Rubik is the Pyramix, which is also known as the triangle Rubik cube. My solve on this is only 24.07 seconds, but I have been able to shave a lot of time off it this week, so I am getting faster.’ (Jerry peters, average cuber, New York)
The Rubik’s Cube, the world’s best selling toy, was created in 1974 by Ernõ Rubik (1944 – ). He was a professor from Budapest in Hungary. Wanting to help his students understand three-dimensional problems he created The Rubik’s Cube.
The Rubik’s Cube is a puzzle that consists of a cube with six coloured faces made up of twenty-six smaller coloured blocks, that are attached to a Spindale in the centre of the cube. Each of the six faces is covered by nine stickers that consist of solid colours: white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. The goal of the cube is to rotate the sides and blocks until each of the faces are back to their six original single colours. Cuber’s memorise algorithms and sequences of moves in order to get the cube back to its solved state. However, on a normal 3x3x3 cube there are 43 252 003 274 489 856 000 combinations, or 43 quintillion. This number gets massively increased when the gets bigger. For example the 5x5x5 Rubik’s cube (otherwise known as the Professor’s Cube) has 282 870 942 277 741 856 536 180 333 107 150 328 293 127 731 985 672 134 721 536 000 000 000 000 000 combinations (aka 283 trevigintillion).
Once Ernõ Rubik had scrambled the cube, he found it difficult to solve it back to its original state. It was not until 1980 when a professor of Mathematics at London South Bank University, England, named David Singmaster (1939 – ) had created ‘Step by Step Solution of Rubik’s ”Magic Cube’. Publishing the first layer by layer method on solving the cube. In 1982 the first Rubik’s Cube Championship was started in Budapest, Hungary. With 19 competitors Minh Thai from the United States was the winner. After three attempts of speed solving he had the best time of 22.95 seconds.
Now the current world record hold for speed solving the 3x3x3 Rubik Cube is Patrick Ponce, from the United States (Middletown). On 2nd September 2017, at only fifteen-years-old, he took just 4.69 seconds to solve the cube at the Rally In The Valley competition in Middletown, Virginia, United States.
Since 1982 Cubing competitions have been a huge hit. In comparison to other hobby competitions cubing is a little different. Age is not a factor. In most other hobbies you may find that within the competitions, skills determine your ability to make friends while you are there. However with cubing competitions, people are more friendly.
‘It’s great, even if you can’t solve the cube in under a minute, we who can do it in under 30 or 20 seconds are more than happy to talk to you. Exchanging advice and certain algorithms to help you solve them faster. Adds more great people to the top speed cuber comps.’ (Jerry Peters, average cuber, New York)
An experienced cuber who goes by the name of LC Cuber, is a huge fan of going to as many competitions as he can. The only negative about the competitions is that, ‘they can get so busy and so quickly. I find it hard to get a good competition speed solve when I cannot concentrate as much as I’d like, with all the background noise. Other than that it is a great experience to have.
LC Cuber also mentioned remembering seeing this individuals unlucky attempt at speed cubing. ‘The worst thing to happen at a competition is that your solve is going so well, then all of a sudden the cube pops. Pieces fly everywhere.
‘why not pick up a cube and give it ago, with the help of many YouTube videos I learned to solve the three by three in a week. After that, just keep practising and your solve time become faster. Just please don’t peel the stickers off, it’s much more satisfying to solve it, especially that first time.’ (LC Cuber, experience cuber)
‘It’s a great hobby to have. It keeps the mind sharp’. (Jerry peters, average cuber, New York)
Image credit: Jerry Peters
Image credit: Jade Medley
http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/72863-fastest-time-to-solve-a-rubiks-cube (accessed 14.03.2018)
https://uk.rubiks.com/about/the-history-of-the-rubiks-cube (Accessed 14.03.2018)
https://www.therubikzone.com/number-of-combinations/ (Accessed 14.03.2018)
http://www.ukca.org/ (Accessed 14.03.2018)