Interview with Speedsolving.com member Jayden McNeill : Currently (at the time of this interview) is ranked #2 in the world for 2×2 average (1.55 seconds), 15th in 3×3 average (7.91 seconds), 2nd in skewb average (3.10 seconds), and has held many continental records in Australia. He is ranked top 100 in many WCA events.
Location: Canberra Australia
What made you become interested in solving puzzles?
When I was in high school about 4 or 5 years ago, a couple of my friends could solve the rubik’s cube and would often do solves at school. After a while, I decided to learn as well from pogobat’s video, and I’ve been addicted ever since.
2×2 and Skewb seem to have your strongest interest. (if this is true) why is this?
Well, I wouldn’t say they have my strongest interest now, although definitely once upon a time. 2×2 in particular I haven’t been very interested in for over a year, and although I’ve still gotten some decent competition results since then, I don’t see myself getting back into 2×2 any time soon, if ever. Skewb I’m more or less just taking a break from until I have a skewb that turns well again. Right now I would say 3×3 and 5×5 have my strongest interest, although that could change very quickly since I tend to hop from event to event quite often.
I think what held my interest in those events was the fact that they were short and had a lot of depth in terms of solutions, and also doing pauseless solves which I could just inspect completely was really satifying.
What, in your opinion, is your biggest “cubing” accomplishment?
I think it’d have to be my 5.91 3×3 single, although my 3.10 skewb former World record average, my 1.99 2×2 Oceanic record average, and just recently my 7.91 official 3×3 average are all very close seconds. With the 3×3 single, the fact that I can say I’ve solved a rubik’s cube in under 6 seconds in a competition (Not that I’m one to brag) is just unreal, and if I were to quit cubing completely today, that would be the highlight of it all for sure.
What motivated you to practice and become fast at solving puzzles?
Sometimes I might want to go for a record, other times I might want to get sub x officially, or even just sub x at home, but most of my motivation just came from enjoying whatever event I’m practicing.
Describe how the cubing scene in Australia has changed over the years since your first competition in 2012.
Well, nowadays competitions don’t just happen in Melbourne, or on the rare occasion Perth. Sydney has grown quite a bit in the past few years, and Canberra has had a competition every year since 2013. There’s also more people than before, and with that you have more fast/competitive people, although you still generally see the same people on the podiums in Australia. We also have a noticeably larger community of younger cubers at competitions, so hopefully they’ll stick around over the years and continue to help the Australian community thrive and grow. We also now have one more delegate in Australia lol.
What will the future of cubing be like and how would you like cubing to progress?
I think cubing is coming to the point where big competitions in more popular countries are going to be restricted to primarily faster cubers for logistical reasons. I would also like to eventually see things grow to the point where more and more people can get sponsored by companies to compete at different championships, which is already somewhat happening with the China Championship that just happened. However, I’m not convinced it’ll actually progress much beyond that, although I hope it does.
So far, what has been your most enjoyable cubing experience?
The week I spent in Peru with Natan and a bunch of other people, as well as the week of the World Championship in Brazil were to me the best weeks of cubing in my life. I’m sure many people would agree with me on that if they were at Worlds, especially those who came along on the Peru trip.
What are your other hobbies?
Right now my other hobbies are tetris and guitar. I played tetris for a while a couple years ago, but lost interest until a few months ago when Andy Huang sucked me back into it. As for guitar, I had been playing for at least 5 or so years before I first picked up a cube, and at first I was balancing both hobbies, but eventually I just stopped playing outside of music classes at school because I wanted to cube more. In the last few weeks though, I’ve really gotten back into it.