# Thread: How-To for big cube blindfolded solving

1. Hey everyone,

Is this something that people would be interested in reading? I'm trying to get this topic moved to the "How-To" sub-forum but I have to start it here first.

I really want to write a tutorial for solving the big cubes blindfolded, because it really is not as hard as I hear people think it is.

Let me know if you'd be interested in reading something like this, and I'll write one.

Chris

2. For what it&#39;s worth, I&#39;m interested in reading it. I think there are probably many other people who would be interested in it as well...

-Doug

3. Chris: Definatly.

I think you should showcase stefan&#39;s method aswell as a &#39;beginner&#39; solution. I think people might get overwhelmed with yours at first ;)

I might have a crack at 5x5x5 :)

~Thom

4. Even though I have yet to solve a 3x3 BLD, a bigger cube BLD how to would be awesome. I say give it a go. :o

5. :D Need I say more??? I&#39;ve wanted this FOREVER&#33;&#33;&#33; hehe...

6. I dont solve a 3x3 BLD yet but i will some day :)
but i would like to read about how you could do the 5x5

maybe there are things that can be used for the 3x3

Greets Alexander

7. Hey everyone,

I will definitely start writing the tutorial then. I will try to include an overview of how Stefan&#39;s method works too, or at least my take on it since I don&#39;t know it nearly as well as some others here. Thom, maybe you could add to the part about Stefan&#39;s method to make sure it&#39;s complete? I don&#39;t think I would do it full justice.

Also, freestyle cycling isn&#39;t nearly as hard as people think it is. It&#39;s basically equivalent to learning a new puzzle, and one that only needs about 10 "algs" to solve for the most advanced method. You could use a more beginner approach and use maybe 1-2 "algs" and still solve a 5x5 or 4x4 blindfolded.

Ok cool, well I&#39;ll start writing the tutorial. I&#39;m still refining how I memorize, so I&#39;ll include something in there about that, but it&#39;ll be light since my method is changing still too.

Keep checking back, I&#39;ll go ahead and start writing this.

Chris

8. Chris, I&#39;ll start writing this then and send it you once it&#39;s finished so you can tag it onto the end. Unless you&#39;re already written it, in which case I&#39;ll spruce it up :)

~Thom

&#39;Beginners&#39; Solution To Solving the 4x4x4 Blindfolded

Contents:
Intro
Overview
Edges - Algorithms & Concepts
Special cases
Edge Parity
Centres - Algorithms & Concepts
Corners - Concepts
Tips & Tricks
Application to a 5x5x5
Sound good?

9. Chris, I&#39;ll start writing this then and send it you once it&#39;s finished so you can tag it onto the end. Unless you&#39;re already written it, in which case I&#39;ll spruce it up smile.gif

~Thom

QUOTE
&#39;Beginners&#39; Solution To Solving the 4x4x4 Blindfolded

Contents:
Intro
Overview
Edges - Algorithms & Concepts
Special cases
Edge Parity
Centres - Algorithms & Concepts
Tips & Tricks
Application to a 5x5x5

Sound good?
Hey Thom, sounds good. I&#39;ll use the exact same format you do for freestyle cycling as well.

10. Hey everyone, this tutorial will end up being pretty long, since I have a lot to say on the subject.

Here is the first installment.

Contents: How to solve a 4x4x4 blindfolded using the freestyle cycling method. This method is 100% intuitive, and is also very fast at solving the cube. I personally have been able to solve a cube blindfolded in under 5 minutes using this approach, and this includes the time to recall the cycles.

Introduction: This approach is using a very intuitive way to come up with commutators or "algorithms" on the fly. Before you stop reading, know that learning a commutator type is the same thing as learning an "algorithm". You will need only 1-2 commutator types, "algorithms", to solve a 4x4x4 blindfolded. I actively use roughly 10-20 commutator types or "algorithms", depending on how you count, in my blindfolded solving. So even using this method to it's most advanced level, there still is not very much to learn since the method is ENITRELY intuitive and requires no memorization whatsoever.

Overview

What order do I use for memorization and solving?
Edges - Algorithms & Concepts
Special cases
Edge Parity
Centres - Algorithms & Concepts
Tips & Tricks
Application to a 5x5x5

The Good Stuff

1) What order do I use for memorization and solving?

Here is the order I use to memorize and solve, and why I memorize and solve this way.

Memorization:
1) Centers
2) Edges
3) Corner permutaion
4) Corner orientation

Solving:
1) Corner orientation
2) Corner permutation
2a) Leave parity, if it exists, as (UBL <-> UBR)
3) Edges
3a) correct parity if it exists using an alg that does not affect centers
4) Centers
4a) solve any center blocks created to speed up the solve (more on this in the tips and tricks section)
5:2b) Solve corner parity if it exists

Why memorize and solve in this order?

Let's approach this problem backwards a little bit. What's the easiest part of memorizing and solving a 4x4x4 cube? We will want to memorize this part last, and solve it first. This way you don't have to memorize it well, just take a mental snapshot, quickly put on the blindfold, and then solve that easiest part immediately. Out of the 4 steps to achieve to solve a 4x4x4, orienting the corners for me is by far the easiest step. So that is why I memorize it last and solve it first.

Ok now what is the next easiest step? Well to memorize the centers you have to deal with 24 centers, so that's a hard step. To memorize the edges you have to deal with 24 edges, so that's a hard step. That leaves the corner permutation with only 8 pieces. So memorize this part 2nd to last and solve it second. This way you can take close to a mental snapshot, but make sure you can still remember it after memorizing and executing corner orientation.

Ok so now how do we choose to memorize edges or centers first? Well now let's really think about things. Do we want to cross memorize and cross solve the two? Or do we want to memorize and solve in reverse order? To cross solve would work like this:

Memorize:
1) Edges; 2) Centers; 3) Corner permutation; 4) Corner orientation

Solve:
1) Corner orientation; 2) Corner permutation; 3) Edges; 4) centers

There is a problem with solving this way though, and this problem is interference. How much time will elapse from the time you finish solving centers until you solve centers? And how much from when you finish memorizing edges until you start solving edges? If you memorize Edges first and solve them 3rd that's 5 levels of interference. You have to memorize centers, both corner parts, and solve both corner parts before you start solving the edges. This means you have to memorize the edges very well to avoid this interference. For centers you also have 5 levels of interference. This means you have to memorize BOTH edges and centers very well before you start your solve, and this takes time.

Now what if you memorize and solve perfectly in reverse? What happens?

Memorize:
1) Edges; 2) Centers; 3) Corner permutation; 4) Corner orientation

Solve:
1) Corner orientation; 2) Corner permutation; 3) Centers; 4) Edges

Corners we already know is very efficient. But what about centers and edges? Centers have 4 levels of interference, and edges have 6 levels of interference. When we crossed centers and edges both had 5 levels of interference. Both sum to 10... so which is better?

I say having one have 6 levels and one have 4 is much better. This is because certain memory techniques are stronger than others. So use a strong method for the one with 6 levels and a weaker but faster one for the one with 4 levels of interference.

So which one do we give 6 levels of interference?

Ok now let's stop working backwards to solve this problem. Think about the beginning of a solve. How do we know which faces go where? There are no central most centers to use as guides, so what do we use? Corners? Edges? Centers?

I say centers, and here's why. What is the probability that you have zero centers in the correct location at the start of a solve? This probability is exactly zero! You will always have at least one center already on the correct face. If you don't simply rotate your cube and you will.

Big deal you say, you can do the same with the edges. But the four centers of the same color are completely indistinct. So having them on the right face is all you need, whereas for edges you need to have them in literally the right location out of 24 possible. A center has a 1/6 chance of being in the right location, an edge only 1/24.

This means that you could potentially have lots of centers already on the correct face simply by rotating your cube at the beginning of a solve. Why use cycles to put them on the right face when you can use cube rotations? From my experience I've never had fewer than 5 centers already on the correct face, and I have had as many as 11 already correct just by finding a clever way to rotate the cube before starting my memorization.

So maximizing solved centers before you start memorizing is clearly a good idea. But then do you memorize edges or centers first still? I say centers, because you already have spent some time getting a clear layout of all the centers of the cube from scanning all faces and trying to figure out which way to rotate the cube and get as many solved as you can. If the centers are already in your mind, why not use that to your advantage to speed up memorization a little bit? What if you only need to put one blue center on the blue face? If you memorize edges first you may not remember that and have to re-figure it out. I say use what little bit of knowledge you get about the centers to help you memorize them right now, right at the start.

So we end up with memorizing as:

1) Centers
2) Edges
3) Corner permutaion
4) Corner orientation

and solving as:

Solving:
1) Corner orientation
2) Corner permutation
3) Edges
4) Centers

Now memorizing and solving this way presents a couple problems. First off how do we handle corner parity? Secondly how do we handle edge parity?

Let's tackle the corner parity problem first. How do you solve this on a 4x4? For the 3x3 you use two edges and two corners and perform a PLL algorithm that swaps the two edges and the two corners. But here's the catch, the 4x4 doesn't have these two edge groups, you are direct solving the pieces. Also you don't notice this usually on a 4x4x4 since the centers are indistinct, but if you perform an odd permutation on corners you *MUST* also perform an odd permutation on centers. This means if you swap two corners you must also affect centers. That's bad if the centers are unsolved.

Here are the ways you can handle parity.

1) Create two edge groups that are swapped and use them to do a PLL alg that also contains the two swapped corners. You must do this after centers are solved already.
2) Solve everything on the whole cube except those two swapped corners, and use an algorithm that swaps just those two corners as the very last part of the solve.

I prefer option number 2 and here's why. At what point are you going to look at the corner permutation to determine if you have parity or not? You have to do this before memorizing the edge permutation, to make sure you create those two edge groups that are swapped. Are you going to look at the corner permutation after you memorize the centers? Are you going to use this valuable memorization time to do something completely useless, tracing the CP to see if you have parity or not? What if you don't have parity? You've wasted time to see that you don't have to do anything to handle parity. I prefer to just find out during the memorization of the corner permutation whether or not I have parity, and save it for last.

Ok, now how do you remember that you have corner parity throughout the ENTIRE solve? This is tricky. I always leave the same two corners swapped, UBL and UBR. This way you can just remember that you have parity, and you know parity means (UBL UBR) is your remaining corner cycle.

Ok so that handles corner parity. Now we need to handle the edge parity. Let's take a look at the typical parity alg:
r2 B2 U2 l U2 r' U2 r U2 F2 r F2 l' B2 r2

How does this alg affect centers and why do we care? Well we'll be handling edge parity before the centers have been solved. So we need to make sure our alg is what I call "centers safe" or doesn't affect any centers.

This alg is not centers safe. It performs the centers cycle (frU blU) (flU brU) which is the same as rotating the top center group twice or 180 degrees. So add on an alg that flips it back.

So your new 4x4x4 edge parity alg is:
r2 B2 U2 l U2 r' U2 r U2 F2 r F2 l' B2 r2 R L U2 L' R' U' R L U2 L' R' U'

or some other equivalent that rotates the top center twice after doing the parity swap.

And that is why I memorize and solve like I do. I'l handle the step 4a) above in the tips and tricks section. For now it is not important.

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Keep checking back for the later sections. I'll try to post this in installments though and ask for feedback in case I'm writing something in a weird way or something.

Chris

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