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Yesterday, during FMC Europe 2018, I managed to get an official successful FMC attempt without using any cubes or stickers (or a scramble for that matter), using only tools provided by the judge.

We were handed pens, blank sheets, solution sheets, and scramble cutouts, but I chose not to reveal the scramble - the picture of the cube net was enough.

I did it in 37 moves :O (although I'll admit, the scramble was lucky)

In order to achieve this, I graphed cube states after major stages and was visualizing cublet transitions in my head, with a help of hand gestures. I used my main speedsolving method, ZZ.

The backstory:

Our friend, Wojciech Szatanowski, was offering a 50 PLN prize for such challenge, so I was considering accepting it. I knew, that I'm able to do that roughly in 1 hour (I did it 2 times before, one correct and one with 4 edges swapped). However, I didn't want to have a worse mean because of that. But yesterday I DNF'd the first scramble, so I thought: "Why not, I'll try this".

The second attempt was already without cubes. It was almost successful, I barely managed to finish my solution, but then I noticed I did phasing wrong. There was a U perm left at the end and I didn't have time to write it down. But in the end it turned out good for me, because I was decided to try the challenge again for the next scramble.

And it turned out that the third attempt was the best. Easy 4-move EOLine, short left block, straightforward right block with phasing. However I messed it up the first time, had to redo it, it cost me a lot of time, but I had it saved up from quick earlier stages. And at the end ZZLL, with 2 move cancelation and no AUF, which I was sprinting to write down. I barely made it, I had only 15 or so seconds left.

The delegate (and the creator of the challenge), checked it and said something like: "I don't believe it, he did it". At first I wasn't sure, that he was talking about my solution, but then he congratulated me and handed me a 50 PLN banknote. I was so relieved, but pretty proud too

Funny note: few competitors in the room, normally using the cubes, had a worse result for the third attempt than me, including the delegate, who is also the current national record holder for FMC

Funny note #2: my method was evolving during the attempt. I added more cube snapshots and compacted the corner notation.

Here's the solution and draft sheet:

Reconstruction/visualization:

/* Scramble */

R' U' F L2 U B2 U2 L2 U' L2 B2 R' B U R2 D2 L F D2 U F' L2 F2 R' U' F

/* Solve */

y' x2 R' B U2 F2 // EOLine

L' U L' R U' R' L2 U' L' // left block

U' R U R2' U' // half of the right block

R2 U R' U2' R U' // last slot with phasing

y R U' R' U2 R' U2' R2 U R2' U R U' F' // ZZLL

// View at alg.cubing.net

We were handed pens, blank sheets, solution sheets, and scramble cutouts, but I chose not to reveal the scramble - the picture of the cube net was enough.

I did it in 37 moves :O (although I'll admit, the scramble was lucky)

In order to achieve this, I graphed cube states after major stages and was visualizing cublet transitions in my head, with a help of hand gestures. I used my main speedsolving method, ZZ.

The backstory:

Our friend, Wojciech Szatanowski, was offering a 50 PLN prize for such challenge, so I was considering accepting it. I knew, that I'm able to do that roughly in 1 hour (I did it 2 times before, one correct and one with 4 edges swapped). However, I didn't want to have a worse mean because of that. But yesterday I DNF'd the first scramble, so I thought: "Why not, I'll try this".

The second attempt was already without cubes. It was almost successful, I barely managed to finish my solution, but then I noticed I did phasing wrong. There was a U perm left at the end and I didn't have time to write it down. But in the end it turned out good for me, because I was decided to try the challenge again for the next scramble.

And it turned out that the third attempt was the best. Easy 4-move EOLine, short left block, straightforward right block with phasing. However I messed it up the first time, had to redo it, it cost me a lot of time, but I had it saved up from quick earlier stages. And at the end ZZLL, with 2 move cancelation and no AUF, which I was sprinting to write down. I barely made it, I had only 15 or so seconds left.

The delegate (and the creator of the challenge), checked it and said something like: "I don't believe it, he did it". At first I wasn't sure, that he was talking about my solution, but then he congratulated me and handed me a 50 PLN banknote. I was so relieved, but pretty proud too

Funny note: few competitors in the room, normally using the cubes, had a worse result for the third attempt than me, including the delegate, who is also the current national record holder for FMC

Funny note #2: my method was evolving during the attempt. I added more cube snapshots and compacted the corner notation.

Here's the solution and draft sheet:

Reconstruction/visualization:

/* Scramble */

R' U' F L2 U B2 U2 L2 U' L2 B2 R' B U R2 D2 L F D2 U F' L2 F2 R' U' F

/* Solve */

y' x2 R' B U2 F2 // EOLine

L' U L' R U' R' L2 U' L' // left block

U' R U R2' U' // half of the right block

R2 U R' U2' R U' // last slot with phasing

y R U' R' U2 R' U2' R2 U R2' U R U' F' // ZZLL

// View at alg.cubing.net

Last edited: Mar 11, 2018