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[Member Intro] Hello!

TreyH

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
7
Hi, I’m Trey from NYC....

If you don’t care about my progress over the past year since I started solving, I’ll just tl;dr to say I solve traditional 3x3x3 using 4-Look CFOP, and I don’t plan to become competitive, because I have arthritis, so I don’t expect to ever get much below 30 seconds. For me it’s just a challenge and enjoyable itself. (And, with my type of arthritis, an activity like this can be therapeutic, too.) My only goal is to improve my best time to under 30 seconds and get consistently under around 50 seconds.


I played with 3x3x3 cubes (probably an original Rubik’s) when I was a kid, and solved it a couple times over days of trial and error. I hadn’t solved a cube since until about a year ago. I came to cube solving by a kind of weird method: I was searching the Subscribe & Save section of Amazon for something, and I discovered you could get a subscription to speed cubes. That made me want to learn more—do enthusiasts have to replace their cubes so often? What’s a “speed cube”? What’s this stuff about magnets in cubes? How do magnets work? (j/k)—so I watched a video about the particular cube you could get by subscription, and that got me interested in solving in general.

I first learned beginner’s method with the little pamphlet that came with my first cube (the D-FantiX Cyclone Boys 3x3 Speed Cube Stickerless Magic Cube, which—I just looked—you can still subscribe to). I knew there were other algorithms like CFOP, but reading about them I always came across these enormous lists of algorithms to memorize, and that sort of memorization isn’t my best skill. So I started taking notes on cube positions where the beginner’s algorithm seemed especially “easy” or “hard”, and came up with some ways to improve on beginner’s method. (Nothing I actually invented, mind you, just patterns I recognized.) For instance, learning to mirror perms and do perms without turning the whole cube.

Using the beginner’s method this way, I got my times to somewhat consistently (~60%) come in under 90 seconds (from around 5 minutes when I first entirely memorized how to do the beginner’s method) and my best time was 68 seconds. When I exhausted my ability to finger-trick down any more (I have arthritis, so I didn’t have a lot of leeway there) I decided to learn a “real” method. I chose the 4-look variant of CFOP, since it reduced the total number of patterns and perm algorithms I had to memorize to just 15 after 2FL. I used ChaoTimer on my iPad, because
  1. it let me get scrambles for partially-solved cubes
  2. it could use the iPad’s sensors to let me smack the table to stop the timer, as if I had a mat
At this point I got very frustrated, though, because although my consistency improved a lot—about 95% of my solves were now under 85 seconds, and the other 5% were almost all cases where I really goofed and basically had to start over at 2FL—my best times weren’t improving. The fastest I could get the 4L-CFOP done was still slower than my best-ever time with beginner’s method.

I bought a smart cube (the Giiker Supercube) to try to better-analyze what was happening. While unfortunately the Supercube software could only break down stats on beginner’s method and not CFOP, its tracking my every move with idle times did help me figure out where I could target my practice. I learned to do FPLL much faster, and soon broke my beginner’s method record and eventually got my best time to 45 seconds. But then I seemed to slam into a wall. Despite practicing at least 30 minutes every day, while I improved my consistent solve time to around < 68 seconds if I didn’t make a mistake or fumble the cube—my best times just didn’t budge.

So I tried to learn full CFOP—but, like I said, my brain just isn‘t great at keeping so many arbitrary algorithms in my head, and my times actually got worse because I made errors so often.

I bought a GoCube after that, because I heard it knew CFOP. It (or rather, its app) does have algorithm recognition, and can break down CFOP steps, and I liked the feel of the cube. (It’s much easier to fumble with my arthritis than the stiffer Giiker, though, and would sometimes go flying across the room when I lost my grip.)

I’ve recently realized from looking at my performance stats that I waste a lot of time in 2FL, and I’ve been working on improving that. Just sheer practice eventually started to shave time off my best, though, and my best time is now about 42.1 seconds.

Right now, I’m still trying to get my 2FL time down and am finding that the hardest part for me is in always quickly identifying the pairs. A white cross solve where the white corners are all in the wrong places but on the bottom layer is pretty much worst-case scenario for me—I still make errors like getting the WGO corner up on the top layer and proceeding to pair it with the GR edge and only discovering my mistake upon slotting because I just didn’t “see it right”.

So that’s my story and where I currently am. I’ve been dipping into this forum for months, but this is my first post, so, hi there!
 
Last edited:

TreyH

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
7
So I tried to learn full CFOP—but, like I said, my brain just isn‘t great at keeping so many arbitrary algorithms in my head, and my times actually got worse because I made errors so often.
Oh, and I know there are other methods with fewer algorithms to memorize, but I’m still seeing what my limits are with CFOP. After I feel like I’ve stopped making progress, I’ll start looking at other methods.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
593
Location
The FitnessGram Pacer Test is a multi stage...
Oh, and I know there are other methods with fewer algorithms to memorize, but I’m still seeing what my limits are with CFOP. After I feel like I’ve stopped making progress, I’ll start looking at other methods.
What a cool story! Certainly inspiring. Since you mentioned that you have arthritis, I think that if you want to push your capabilities with 3x3 solving you should try a low-movecount method like Roux or ZZ. You also mentioned about there being fewer algorithms to memorize in those other methods, and you would be right, but I would recommend switching not because of that but because you can be more efficient and have to turn less fast, which seems like it would be easier on your arthritic hands. I am not a doctor, so please correct me if I’m wrong. Additionally, please keep us appraised of your progress!
 

ProStar

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Messages
691
Location
An uncolonized sector of Mars
I agree with ImmolatedMarmoset, if solving is flaring your arthritis then going for Roux or ZZ might be best(I'm not a doctor either though). You also don't need full CFOP yet(1 look PLL and OLL), I average around 28 and I still use 4 look last layer.

If you're looking for ways to improve, then I and probably other cubers on the forums and at comps would be willing to help. You could upload a few solves to youtube and post them on the forums to see what other cubers have to say.

Also, just a note, the second step in CFOP is 'F2L', not '2FL'. It stand for "First 2 Layers" :)
 
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