Writing Article on the Rubik's Cube. Need All Your Help!

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by NikWilliamNovak, Apr 9, 2012.

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  1. NikWilliamNovak

    NikWilliamNovak Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    Hey Everyone,

    My name is Nik Novak and I am from Ottawa, Canada. I am practising journalism in school and have decided to write an article on the popularity of the Rubik's Cube. I was hoping that you fellows could help me better understand the mind of a solver. I'm looking to use your answers as quotes, so the more responses I get the more colourful article I can write. Thanks to all who participate and feel free to answer as many or as few questions as you have time for. And hell, I'm excited to learn from all you and become a little "cube cultured".

    Background Information: Full name, Age, Where you're from.

    How long have you been cubing and how long did it take to solve your first cube?
    Can you describe the setting, emotions, and thoughts at the moment you solved your first cube?
    How do you challenge yourself to become a better solver?
    Most memorable cube solving experience?
    Can you attempt to sum up what it means to be a solver? Be as logical or abstract as your mind wants to be.
  2. JonnyWhoopes

    JonnyWhoopes Premium Member

    Jun 25, 2009
    Massachusetts, USA
    Jonathan Grayum, 17, Worcester MA, USA

    I've been cubing since May 20th of 2008, it took me around two hours to solve the cube the first time. I used Dan Harris' book.

    The first time I solved the cube, I was excited, but not as much as I expected. The true excitement didn't come until about a week later, when I solved it without any outside help for the first time. That was a euphoric rush.

    I challenge myself by not accepting anything lower in quality that what I believe I should have. It only takes a few times of extreme frustration with yourself before you either quit, or figure out how to fix your mistakes.

    My most memorable cubing moment was probably my first sub60 3BLD. Most exciting thing ever. The rush you get every time you take off the blindfold in anticipation is incredible, let alone when you break one of the most difficult barriers you've faced before.

    To be a solver is to enjoy solving puzzles. This can be as narrow or as broad as you wish, you're still a solver. If you only solve the 3x3, or if you solve non-regulation puzzles, you're still a solver. A speedsolver, on the other hand, is somebody with a love for speed when solving. In a generalization, the fastest speedsolvers tend to have an appreciation for almost all aspects of solving in general, while slower ones only care about speed. It's interesting really.
  3. Akash Rupela

    Akash Rupela Member

    May 9, 2011
    New Delhi, India, India
    Name- Akash Rupela
    From- Delhi,India

    I have been cubing for 11 months now. My first timed cube solve was 9 minutes after learning the beginners method from the internet
    When i solved the cube for the first time, the feeling was okayish, nothing as special as i thought it to be. Obviously, i just learnt a method and applied it.
    To become a better solver, i look upon all the national records of my country, watch videos of fast people, get motivated, and practice A LOT , like really a lot
    My Most memorable experience was i made a painting of the face of a girl i liked (let know if u want a photo of the painting) with 400 cubes on her 18th birthday. Not a solving experience, but most memorable cube experience indeed.
    For me, being a Rubiks cube solver defines me. Precisely, not a solver, a speedsolver. Solving is not interesting as such after 1-2 days of knowing how to. Its about trying to beat yourself everytime you solve it. If you are ambitious (like me), it is very addictive. I feel proud to be a speedcuber :)
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  4. Zyrb

    Zyrb Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    Zack Bright, 15, USA

    I've been cubing for 2 years, it took me about 1 week to learn how to solve a Rubik's cube, my first solve (without help) was about 10 min. I was at home and my dad was watching me try to solve it. Once I did solve it, the feeling was the same as finishing a race or receiving a present. As soon as solved it I knew I had to do it again.

    Everyone wants to become better at something. With speed solving you can watch yourself improve through times. The same feeling that I had when I first solved the cube returns to me every time I reach a goal. I always critique and analyze my solves, I try to be very strict with myself because I'm the only one to blame for my bad times =)

    My most memorable experience so far was solving the cube in front of around 20 soldiers, during the whole solve I could sense there eyes following every turn I made, and when I finished everyone cheered and to have people that I respect so much think I did something awesome, felt amazing

    Speed solving for me is a constant race against yourself. When I speed solve, I imagine myself as my opponent always trying to beat my previous times and abilities. Though, I wouldn't be a speed solver if I didn't enjoy it, every solve is a different challenge and a different experience. A lot of people at school identify me as the 'Rubik's cube guy' and I like that. I'ts something I'm proud of, a proof of dedication.
  5. antoineccantin

    antoineccantin Member

    Nov 8, 2010
    near Ottawa, Canada
    Antoine Cantin, 13, Ottawa, Canada

    I've been cubing for about 2 1/2 years. I took me quite a while to learn how to solve a cube. My brother wanted to teach me how, since he could solve it, but I was not as enthusiastic as he was about solving cubes. After a lot of convincing, and teaching, I finally got it after a couple months. (without a sheet of algorithms)

    I unfortunately don't remember my first solve :(

    To become a better solver, I practice a lot, learn new algorithms, and set myself some goals.

    As for my most memorable cubing experience, I would have to say when I went on TV for cubing for the first time. It was on CBC's "The National, with Peter Mansbridge". It felt awesome!

    To be a speedsolver for me, is simply someone who tries to solve a cube/twisty puzzle the fastest they can!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  6. Hippolyte!!!

    Hippolyte!!! Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    Hippolyte Moreau, 16, from Nantes, France.

    I practice cubing since 2008 (I start when I was 11 or 12 year old, I can't precisely remember). Once a guy of my school came with a cube, he taught it to a friend, who also taught to another, and then in a few weeks many people knew how to solve it. Soon, I wanted to be able to solve it too, and I ask my friend Antoine Piau (I mention him because he's now the third best French :) ) to teach me. When I went back home that afternoon, I could solve a Rubik's cube. Of course it was awesome and really self-rewarding, and I was really proud, but the biggest success feeling I had after an accomplishment was one or two year after, when I could solve the first blindfolded I tried.

    As many others, beat myself is my main goal in speedsolving (strictly speaking, because this hobby has many other amazing points, like meeting great people, nice and fun, from your home country and from abroad, travel, and live great experiences). For reach that goal, I train a lot, with of course periods of high-motivation and periods of low-motivation, periods of 3x3x3-obsession and periods of other event-obsession, but always by keeping in mind that I can beat myself, sometimes easily, sometimes with hard training, and also beat others (obviously still in a friendly mind).

    As regard as my most memorable cubing experience, I start answer in my first paragraph, but in speedcubing, there is always goal with a special meaning for you or the community to reach. Solve for the first time each puzzle, go for the first time to a competition, solve for the first time a cube blindfolded, and then in multi-blind, solve for the first time with not much movements in the fewest moves event, and mainly for me: beat significant barrier, like old records. Even I'm far away of the current world level in some events, I'm very proud to think that I did better in official competition that previous national, continental or even world records. That is very very rewarding, mean a lot for me and can sometimes boost my motivation.
    Getting my first national record was also great, even though it was in feetsolving, with a relatively good time. :) Same for my first podium and my first (and still last currently^^) podium in french championship...

    Answer to your last question is the hardiest for me, especially with my poor English, because there isn't a definition. Be a solver mean, as it was written, that you enjoy solving twisty puzzles, but I think there is also a difference to make between solver and speedsolver. Some of us haven't speed goal, but only like to solve and to go to competitions to meet people to share their hobby. Some wants to have a better "cube comprehension". Those ones typically practice fewest moves, perhaps blindfolded, and often learn lot of different ways to solve a cube, just by curiosity. The most (I believe), prefer to be as fast as possible. It doesn't mean that they don't like others aspects I mentioned, but the thing they enjoy the most is getting faster and faster. I belong to these category: I like fewest moves and weird methods, but it doesn't annoy me to practice a method just because fast guys use it, if it enable me to be fast too.

    I hope I could help you, and was happy to answer. Do not hesitate to ask if you don't understand some point. ;-)
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  7. ryanj92

    ryanj92 Member

    Dec 26, 2011
    Sheffield, UK
    Ryan Jones, 19, England

    How long have you been cubing and how long did it take to solve your first cube?
    I learnt the beginners method when I was 15 just out of curiosity, and could solve the cube in about 2 minutes using a beginners method I found on YouTube. I then didn't really do much with it for a couple of years, but about a year ago I got back into cubing, and started learning again.

    Can you describe the setting, emotions, and thoughts at the moment you solved your first cube?
    I was following the YT video fairly closely as I was performing the final step for the beginners method, and I think the main emotion was relief - I'd performed the final algorithm wrong on more than one occasion so just to get it right was a big relief! It definitely wasn't the biggest sense of achievement I've felt from cubing, but looking at the solved cube puts you in the old dilemma - do I just put in back on my shelf now, fully solved, or do I perform the heart-wrenching task of scrambling it up again and going from the beginning? Fortunately, I chose the latter. My speedcubing career wouldn't have gotten very far otherwise, haha!

    How do you challenge yourself to become a better solver?
    I practise almost daily, and make sure I give myself some long term goals to aim for. Personally, I want to participate in the UK Open this year, so I want to get my average down to at least below 30 seconds so I can prove myself as a competent cuber (and it'd be cool to see it on a WCA profile!). Things like race threads give me the quantitative feedback from my practise that keeps me motivated and allows me to identify weak points in my cubing, so I can also have some short term goals that eventually will allow me to satisfy my long term ones.

    Most memorable cube solving experience?
    It's hard to pick one, really, because each milestone I pass brings its own sense of achievement, I think the biggest three have been breaking a one minute average of five, and breaking both a 30 second single solve and average of five. I have a feeling that there'll be more memorable moments to come, though: participating in my first competition, and lowering my times as far as I can!

    Can you attempt to sum up what it means to be a solver? Be as logical or abstract as your mind wants to be.
    I think there's a lot of incorrect perceptions that people who don't solve can fall into when they think about the skills required to be a speedcuber. You don't have to be good at maths - a relatively sharp mind and decent memory can take you far! In the method I use, solving the first two layers are very much about anticipation, to get good times you have to be able to look ahead when you're solving, so you're doing one thing whilst planning the next. The last layer is where you have to be really sharp, as you need to be able to recognise cases quickly, and having dexterous hands will help you to execute algorithms with the speed and fluency that you need to get good times. You also need to have a strong sense of motivation - it can take you quite a while to improve, and it can get a little frustrating when you don't seem to be improving much, so you need to just be able to knuckle down and practise. If you've got the willpower to set goals and stick to them, chances are you'll probably succeed!

    Hope this helps ^^
  8. arcio1

    arcio1 Member

    Apr 4, 2012
    Poland, Rybnik
    Artur Kristof, 16, Rybnik, Poland

    I started cubing many years ago, maybe about 2006, it didn't take me a lot of time to solve the cube, I googled "Jak ułożyć kostkę rubika" (how to solve the rubik's cube in Polish :) ) and about an hour ago it was solved.

    I was very excited and happy, I was jumping around the house and I hugged my mom :D

    I do not really know, I think I don't and this might be a problem. But every day I just try to solve it faster and faster.

    Two moments: first solve and first blindfold solve.

    And this question is hard, I think that it means to be interested in solving cubes, in famous people who solves cubes, to watch official WCA competitions and what is most important - to enjoy solving puzzles ;)
  9. Kirjava

    Kirjava Colourful

    Mar 26, 2006
    How long have you been cubing and how long did it take to solve your first cube?

    Since late 2004. Probably took an hour or so.

    Can you describe the setting, emotions, and thoughts at the moment you solved your first cube?


    How do you challenge yourself to become a better solver?

    Practise and development.

    Most memorable cube solving experience?

    Any competition.

    Can you attempt to sum up what it means to be a solver?

    A solver is an entity that solves the rubiks cube.
  10. cubersmith

    cubersmith Member

    Dec 6, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    Euan Smith, 14, United Kingdom

    How long have you been cubing and how long did it take to solve your first cube?

    I have been solving for three years, but speedsolving for a year and a half. It took me about 4 hours total to learn to solve the cube (I just used an internet video.) I would estimate my first solve to be around 10 minutes, using layer by layer method.

    Can you describe the setting, emotions, and thoughts at the moment you solved your first cube?
    There was a stage in learning to solve the cube, that I considered giving up because I thought it was very difficult and only an elite few could solve it. I guess this made it more of a triumph when I did solve it. When I solved it, I ran around my house because I didn't know that really anyone can solve the cube

    How do you challenge yourself to become a better solver?
    Whenever I practise, which is pretty much every day, I solve between 50-100 times usually. This number works for me, but it by no means works for everyone. Everyone works at their own pace, and requires their own amount of practice. It's all personal, you should just cube, whenever you're enjoying it or if you're on a hot streak. The important thing is not to force yourself to cube. Practice is most effective if you are enjoying yourself.

    Most memorable cube solving experience?
    My first competition was probably my most memorable experience. It was Guildford Summer Open 2011 I didn't do too well, considering what I average at home, but I still had a great time, I think everyone's first competition is a great memory.
  11. Background Information: Full name, Age, Where you're from.
    Name: Michael Swan
    Age: 19
    Where you're from: Saskatchewan, Canada

    How long have you been cubing and how long did it take to solve your first cube?

    I've been cubing since just before the beginning of high school. I think that was in 2006. I can't quite remember my first solve very well.

    Can you describe the setting, emotions, and thoughts at the moment you solved your first cube?

    The answer to that is no. I can probably assume that I was excited. However, I can remember my first BLD solve. That was at my sister's house in the middle of the night. I remember beating her high score on tetris, then attempting. I was very excited when I actually did it.

    How do you challenge yourself to become a better solver?

    I just solve it on the bus, and in class, and while I have nothing else to do. I don't really challenge myself as much as I could.

    Most memorable cube solving experience?

    In Grade 9, I solved it in front of the school at a school assembly. I told them that if I was going to do it, they'd have to replace mine, because it was getting to be impossible to use. The one they got me was from the dollar store, and it actually popped several times during the solve. I was lucky enough to finish the solve before it broke.

    Can you attempt to sum up what it means to be a solver? Be as logical or abstract as your mind wants to be.

    I solve rubik's cubes.
  12. PandaCuber

    PandaCuber Member

    Jun 24, 2011
    Background Information:
    Bryan Rusinque.
    American with full Colombian family.

    How long have you been cubing and how long did it take to solve your first cube?
    Since July 2011. Took me about 20+ minutes. <-- First solve with no notes.

    Can you describe the setting, emotions, and thoughts at the moment you solved your first cube?
    Setting: Bedroom
    Emotion: Happy to solve something most people cant
    Thoughts: YAY YAY YAY.

    How do you challenge yourself to become a better solver?
    I just have fun. I get better cause its fun and I do it more and more.
    When you dont worry about your times that much, thats when you become better.

    Most memorable cube solving experience?
    Learning full 42 CMLL algs. took forever.

    Can you attempt to sum up what it means to be a solver? Be as logical or abstract as your mind wants to be.

    A solver is someone who solves the cube and wants to be better at it. If you solve the cube as fast as you can and you practice it daily or even weekly, youre a speedsolver.
    If that was even what you were asking...
  13. pdilla

    pdilla Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    Moili'ili, Hawaii
    Justin-Anthony Roberts, 22, Kahala HI, USA

    I first picked up a cube, with a true intent to solve it, in my first year in college on Feb. 22 2008. It took me 3 hours to solve it by utilizing Dan Brown's original video on YouTube. I was at the Bus Stop, iPhone in hand, and when I finally finished the last layer, I felt like I just hit the lottery. I DID THE IMPOSSIBLE. I was half expecting the world to end immediately afterwards.

    I felt incredibly satisfied with myself, that is, until my curiosity overtook me as I began to question just how fast I could become in theory. So I looked up "World Record Rubik's Cube solve" on YouTube and found Edouard Chambon's former WR solve of 9.18 seconds. Long story short... CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

    My most memorable cubing experience was my 6.68 second LL-skip. The solve felt amazing. I felt like I was going Super Saiyan or something. I thought to myself, "Alright! A sub 10 for sure," and then I saw the blocks begin to form... last slot... U2!! OMFG!!!

    To be a solver is simple. To yearn to do something that no one else deems possible, and to do it well. VERY well.
  14. hyunchoi98

    hyunchoi98 Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Hyun Choi, 13, Hometown- Seoul, Korea Currently- New Jersey, USA

    How long have you been cubing and how long did it take to solve your first cube?
    I have started cubing for about 2.5 years, it took me a week to memorize the 'Dan Brown' algorithms to solve the cube.

    Can you describe the setting, emotions, and thoughts at the moment you solved your first cube?
    I was in front of a computer in the living room, looking at DB's video. I was 'OMG WTF I SOLVED A RUBIK'S CUBE!!!!! MOM I SOLVED A RUBIK'S CUBE!!!! AHHHH!!!!' :p

    How do you challenge yourself to become a better solver?
    I'm ashamed of myself... i don't really challenge my self at all.

    Most memorable cube solving experience?
    1. When i first solved it.
    2. When i got my first sub-30 solve.
    3. When i first solved my v cube 7

    Can you attempt to sum up what it means to be a solver? Be as logical or abstract as your mind wants to be.

    A solver is a person/non-person that uses their hands/feet, metal/plastic/glass etc parts that are powered by organic/electrical means to turn the sides of a twisty puzzle which purpose is to have the correct orientation of the stickers/tiles/paint that have a certain color/texture, and the orientation is the same color/texture on each side.

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Most solvers are people
    and you are too. (probably)
  15. claudeccantin

    claudeccantin Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    cubing for a LONG time...

    Background Information: let's say I'm almost a half century old, and I'm from very close to where you are!

    How long have you been cubing and how long did it take to solve your first cube?
    I solved my first cube while at University circa 1981. A real Rubik's. There was no internet at the time, so it took me a LONG time to solve (weeks?). I don't remember if I solved it without "printed help", but I did eventually buy a book to help me speed my solving skills (I still have that book).

    After a while, I put the cube aside; one of my sons picked it up three years ago, and started playing with it. He solved it, then showed his younger brother (that's antoineccantin; he replied to you earlier). I "re-learned" it last fall -- with the help of my kids. This last week, they just showed me "F2L" so I'm practising that in my very little spare time.

    How do you challenge yourself to become a better solver?
    I just don't have the time, so instead I see me as a catalyst to people who have a LOT more spare time than I do. Look at


    It is the speedsolving cube club at their school in Rockland (just east of Ottawa). Look at the "media" tab for past articles, radio interviews and TV appearances the club has had over the last two years.

    Most memorable cube solving experience?
    Maybe my first real "in-competition" experience? It was at the MIT Spring 2012 competition this past February. Of the people who finished all their solves, I finished dead last in the competition :) My time: just below 2 minutes. And I was not the oldest one at the competition.

    Next to that would be on the "show floor" of a conference I was at this past November. One of the exhibitors was giving away some cubes with their names on it. There were three challenges for me: there was lettering on one side, so it had to be right-sided; the yellow and orange were "faded", so I could not see the difference between the colours (I'm colourblind) so I had to keep asking which was yellow and which was orange); and the cube was of really cheap quality so would turn even worst than the original, un-lubbed Rubik's cube from the 80's. Anyway, one of the cubes was mixed, so I proceeded to solve it for them. Needless to say, I was glad when it was solved!

    I will let the real speedsolvers answer your last question. I enjoy solving it, but I am very slow at it. My excuse (and I'll stick to it for now) is that I have to constantly stop the cube and really look at the colours to make sure I know what they are (I did change a few of the stickers so that some colours are more fluorescent than others to help me).

    I hope my post was not too long. If you want to see speedcubers in action, come to our competiton (RCN-NCR 2012) in Rockland on May 19. I guarrantee there will be at least one Canadian record broken (feet). Antoine is also looking to better his own Canadian records in Master Magic...
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  16. insane569

    insane569 Member

    Mar 6, 2011
    Don't Worry About It
    Background Information: Full name, Age, Where you're from.
    Gabriel Luevano, 16, Mexico
    How long have you been cubing and how long did it take to solve your first cube?About 2 years. Only 30 minutes to learn a basic method.
    Can you describe the setting, emotions, and thoughts at the moment you solved your first cube?None really. I solved it and had an urge to do it again and do it faster.
    How do you challenge yourself to become a better solver? Practice alot, In school while walking to class I practice one handed.
    Most memorable cube solving experience? My first blindfolded solve in competition. Great time although the time could have been faster I was happy with it.
    Can you attempt to sum up what it means to be a solver? Be as logical or abstract as your mind wants to be. Anyone who knows the notation for a cube and can solve it using nothing but their own memory/knowledge.
  17. NikWilliamNovak

    NikWilliamNovak Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    You guys should've seen my face after seeing and reading all the replies. Thanks so much for taking the time to help me out. I know there's a cube lying somewhere around my house and I wouldn't feel right finishing my article without solving my first cube. And to the Cantin's who live nearby, I added May 19 to my calendar so I will hopefully see you at the competition in Rockland. Thanks again everybody!
  18. JohnLaurain

    JohnLaurain Member

    Dec 25, 2011
    Background Information: Jacob Nishimura, 13, Coralville, IA

    I've been cubing for 3.5 months, and my first timed solve took about 2 min.

    I was excited that I had actually solved a Rubik's Cube, because I was a bit skeptical at the beginning :3

    I challenge myself to be a better solver by trying to lose a second a week from my averages

    My most memorable cube solving experience was when I was doing a really good solve, I had finished my f2l at ~8 seconds. I finished 2 Look OLL at ~11 seconds. I was about to get a new pb, but then I popped as I did the last turn for 2 Look PLL.
  19. Nestor

    Nestor Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Dominican Republic
    Nestor Sanchez, 34, Dominican Republic.

    the Rubiks cube always fascinated me. In 2010 I bogught one and failed at solving it on my own, so I learned Badmephisto's begginers method and I've been cubing ever since. I actually didn't enjoy my first solves that much as I considered them failures (I resorted to external help). I eventually bought a 4x4 and a domino's and after solving them on my own I was hooked on twisty puzzles. I now own and have solved by myself 50+ puzzles.

    I don't challenge myself to become a better solver, I simple enjoy solving twisty puzzles over and over and with practice comes efficency and speed.

    My most memorable solve would be figuring out the curvycopter for the very first time, it just felt great! A close second would be my PB of 13" on the rubiks: I had such a great looakhead and everything felt as it simply "clicked" in place.

    A solver for me is anyone who enjoys challenges and unreavelling complex puzzles, be them physical or mental. It takes both technical and deductive abilities and passion to become a great one.
  20. 5BLD

    5BLD Member

    Apr 14, 2011
    Alex Lau, England, 14

    Well I've been cubing for just over a year now- my first solve took ages- couple of weeks of just playing with it then i realised 'moving out of the way' and stuff. Then i left 2 corners and 2 edges iirc and used the beginner booklet...

    When I first solved it I was pretty happy that I could do most of it myself. Month later my friend was solving his really fast (50s). He lent me Dan Harris' book which I have read only once because I thought the method was kinda boring.

    I tried lots of other methods, including Heise which is still my favourite, then I picked Roux. Joined speedsolving, caused a lot of trouble, took a break and came back much faster... Now one of the fastest- i think this is my most memorable experience when I realised I was actually fast.

    How to challenge myself? Well I just sit down and focus at a certain step at a time and push the time and efficiency down (well efficiency up actually). To make myself better I find teaching others helps too.

    Solver: one who solves. One who likes to solve and does so often enough to be recognised as, well a solver.

    Speedcuber: anybody solving for speed.

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