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[Help Thread] Correct Mindset to Approach Rubiks Cube

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Aug 3, 2017
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Hello, my name is Alexander Marriner and I have always been interested in puzzle solving, however I have struggled to get into Rubiks Cubes and have some questions if anyone could help. To my understanding, the point of any puzzle is to solve it yourself and to subsequently solve it again differently or faster or more efficiently. To that end I don't intend to learn any algorithms or watch any step by step puzzle guides as this seems to defeat the point to at least a first time solver. My questions follow: Firstly, is this a reasonable way to approach a Rubiks Cube if I want to start solving it? Secondly, can I assume that if I dedicate enough time to trying to solve them can I do so without the aid of any algorithms or 'tricks' to begin with? Thank you for any and all replies.
 

efattah

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Feb 14, 2016
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Hello, my name is Alexander Marriner and I have always been interested in puzzle solving, however I have struggled to get into Rubiks Cubes and have some questions if anyone could help. To my understanding, the point of any puzzle is to solve it yourself and to subsequently solve it again differently or faster or more efficiently. To that end I don't intend to learn any algorithms or watch any step by step puzzle guides as this seems to defeat the point to at least a first time solver. My questions follow: Firstly, is this a reasonable way to approach a Rubiks Cube if I want to start solving it? Secondly, can I assume that if I dedicate enough time to trying to solve them can I do so without the aid of any algorithms or 'tricks' to begin with? Thank you for any and all replies.
I took your approach on all the puzzles (rubik's cube, 4x4, megaminx, pyraminx, square-1, etc.) trying to solve them without any instructions in the 1980's. I managed to solve them all except for Square-1 where I could not resolve the parity problem.

I managed to develop a method to solve the 3x3 rubik's cube without any algorithms but I won't share the method to spoil anything. However, realistically, the fastest (by far) method to solve the cube on your own is to write down move sequences that are about 4-7 moves, executing them on a solved cube and write down the effect it had on the cube, then you have created your own 'algorithm' and as you create a bunch of these sequences you have tools to effect the cube in different ways. Of course since you are not able to solve the cube you either need to reverse each sequence to restore the cube or take the stickers off (every time!) you try a new sequence to put it back to solved since you really need to execute these sequences on a solved cube to watch what happens to the pieces. On the Megaminx the sticker removal isn't really necessary, in my case I executed my new sequences on the 'solved section' of the cube and then resolved that section but the 3x3 is too small for that approach.
 

obelisk477

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Hello, my name is Alexander Marriner and I have always been interested in puzzle solving, however I have struggled to get into Rubiks Cubes and have some questions if anyone could help. To my understanding, the point of any puzzle is to solve it yourself and to subsequently solve it again differently or faster or more efficiently. To that end I don't intend to learn any algorithms or watch any step by step puzzle guides as this seems to defeat the point to at least a first time solver. My questions follow: Firstly, is this a reasonable way to approach a Rubiks Cube if I want to start solving it? Secondly, can I assume that if I dedicate enough time to trying to solve them can I do so without the aid of any algorithms or 'tricks' to begin with? Thank you for any and all replies.
Solve pieces, not stickers.

Aaaaand go.
 

tx789

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Learning how a cube works is useful. Don't think in faces. Think about solved pieces. Starting with a more basic puzzle like a Pyraminx might help you.

The tiwstypuzzles forum might be a better for you. They focus on disscussion of twisty puzzles and solve them for the joy and figuring it out. Here the disscussion is about speed. For the offical events mainly.
 

AlphaSheep

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Hello, my name is Alexander Marriner and I have always been interested in puzzle solving, however I have struggled to get into Rubiks Cubes and have some questions if anyone could help. To my understanding, the point of any puzzle is to solve it yourself and to subsequently solve it again differently or faster or more efficiently. To that end I don't intend to learn any algorithms or watch any step by step puzzle guides as this seems to defeat the point to at least a first time solver. My questions follow: Firstly, is this a reasonable way to approach a Rubiks Cube if I want to start solving it? Secondly, can I assume that if I dedicate enough time to trying to solve them can I do so without the aid of any algorithms or 'tricks' to begin with? Thank you for any and all replies.
When I first encountered Rubik's cube, I was 10 years old. I tried to solve it, got frustrated, broke it, and gave up. The second time, I was 15 years old. This time I was more patient, but after a couple of weeks of trying, I learned a solution from a book (Youtube didn't exist back then). Now that I'm an adult, I realise I was about half way to figuring it out and I really wish I'd stuck with it and figured out my own solution.
 
Last edited:

SenorJuan

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Sep 26, 2014
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Two of my cubing friends from the 80's achieved what you're planning, one routinely sub-60 sec, the other having a sub-30 best..... I remember this as I hadn't cracked the sub-30 barrier myself at the time (using a LBL method)....but I was unable to pick up any tips from him, as he was a 'corners-then-edges' solver.

I would say it's worth taking the puzzle to pieces in order to understand how it functions. Beginners often think it's more complex than it is.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
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Thanks to everyone for the answers, that's all what I was hoping to hear. I will get back to it and figure it out. You've all been great, thanks chaps!

EDIT: And thank you for the useful hints, I was worried taking one of my cubes apart was sacrilege. I dabble in magic illusions and tricks also and dismantling an illusion to figure out how it works it murder most foul in that community. Again, thanks!
 

bcube

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Sep 8, 2010
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Hi Alexander,

Firstly, is this a reasonable way to approach a Rubiks Cube if I want to start solving it?
Yes. Article I wrote - how to solve combinatorial puzzles - might be interesting for you to read :)

Secondly, can I assume that if I dedicate enough time to trying to solve them can I do so without the aid of any algorithms or 'tricks' to begin with?
I´m going to say no this time. Don´t get me wrong though - I want to say that the amount of time you dedicate to some puzzle can not be directly proportional to your solution. I mean, sometimes it lasts a few minutes to figure out the solution on your own, sometimes it lasts a few years and it seems to you that you are still at the beginning... 3x3x3 Rubik´s cube is definitely a difficult puzzle to begin with (in terms of combinatorial/twisty puzzles) - only vast minority of solvers solved it on their own, I would say.

Good thing about combinatorial puzzles is that some sort of "learning curve" exists - you can (try to) apply the knowledge you gained earlier and use it to solve other puzzles as well.

Good luck trying to solve the 3x3x3 Rubik´s cube on your own.
 

SenorJuan

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Sep 26, 2014
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Location
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If you are yet to purchase a 3x3x3, please do a little research (on here for example) and buy a puzzle that passes as a 'speedcube', and you will enjoy using it much more.
If you've already got one, and it's hard to turn, a little silicone-based lubricant will free it up a bit.
 
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