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Keyhole method

kid who cubes

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HI, I want to explore the limits to the keyhole method.
I personally think its underrated and want a discussion on it.
I use it along with 2-look for the last layer.
After spending large amounts of time working and playing on the method i discovered ways to build 2 or more ready made edges while making the cross.
I think times fast times could be achieved with this.
What do you think about this, what are your fastest keyhole times?
 

DGCubes

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I got down to a 17 second average with Keyhole. While I've personally switched to F2L, and I feel that F2L is generally better, I completely agree with you that Keyhole is an underrated method that really should be expanded on. I find its pros are that it's ridiculously easy to recognize, and has a decent movecount, but its biggest con is that it's broken up into quite a few more steps than F2L (as in, 4 edges + 4 corners as opposed to 4 pairs).

Totally agree that more people should know about Keyhole though; especially beginner/intermediate solvers. I find that, at the very least, it's an easy, intuitive way to transition into F2L. Personally, I've never met someone who uses the beginner's method who doesn't understand Keyhole, while there are a ton who have trouble with F2L.
 

SenorJuan

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I like keyhole, it was my method from 1980 - 2001 when I decided the effort of learning CFxx was worth it.
I solved the 3 first-layer corners first, and keyholed 3 edges in, then did the last corner then last edge.

Though beginners will learn to just use the one 'slot' for keyholing, usually Front-Right, it's more flexible if you can use other slots, mainly Back-Right, it can save a few turns/rotations.

There are some tricks you can use, too, such as:
R' D' F D R
R' D' F' D R
and their mirrors, for shifting edges from an adjacent middle-layer slot, preserving the orientation.

An alternative way of building the [first layer minus one corner] is to start with placing one edge, then place the corner next to it (going clockwise), then the next edge, etc, until all but the final corner is solved. It works well when solving without pre-inspection, non-cubers are impressed you can be furiously turning within a second of being thrown a scrambled cube!

Keyhole also suits beginners tackling the mirror-blocks puzzle, where making F2L pairs is a really tricky job.
 
Last edited:

Dash Lambda

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I can't really see keyholing as anything more than an intermediate step or a component of F2L. I use it, but only when the situation calls for it.

Keyholing is necessarily slower than full F2L because, even though each individual recog+insertion step is faster than an F2L pair, you're nearly doubling the step count and you're not generally halving the time per step. It can be faster than F2L if you're still transitioning, though that would only make it an intermediate method.

I do think it's good to be really proficient with it, of course, because it's used in a lot of insertions and can allow for some multi-slotting, but as I said at the beginning, that just makes it a component of F2L.
 

xyzzy

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Keyholing is necessarily slower than full F2L because, even though each individual recog+insertion step is faster than an F2L pair, you're nearly doubling the step count and you're not generally halving the time per step.
Is it really, though? One possible benefit of keyhole is that you don't have to do the first layer as cross followed by three corners; you can also do a Roux block and attach a pair onto it. Doing this seems to lead to a move count of around 30-35, which isn't too bad.
 

Dash Lambda

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Is it really, though? One possible benefit of keyhole is that you don't have to do the first layer as cross followed by three corners; you can also do a Roux block and attach a pair onto it. Doing this seems to lead to a move count of around 30-35, which isn't too bad.
And there's also a lot of freedom with F2L. The difference is that keyholing is one planned method, and F2L is whatever is fastest. Decreasing steps and increasing efficiency and freedom (with methods that serve the same isolated purpose) is always faster in the end.
I actually have had a few solves recently where I did my cross and had unpaired edges and/or corners solved in two or more slots, and in that circumstance, keyholing was more efficient, so I did that. Of course, when it isn't all edges or all corners, it's more accurately described as multi-slotting, but you get the point.
 

SenorJuan

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Another edge-solving trick I forgot is this one which moves an edge from the adjacent slot, but flipping the orientation:
F' R' F2 R F ( and it's mirror R F R2 F' R' )
It actually swaps two edges, so it's not necessary to ensure the unsolved corner is in the correct place, try it and my duff description may make more sense...
 

kid who cubes

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And there's also a lot of freedom with F2L. The difference is that keyholing is one planned method, and F2L is whatever is fastest. Decreasing steps and increasing efficiency and freedom (with methods that serve the same isolated purpose) is always faster in the end.
I actually have had a few solves recently where I did my cross and had unpaired edges and/or corners solved in two or more slots, and in that circumstance, keyholing was more efficient, so I did that. Of course, when it isn't all edges or all corners, it's more accurately described as multi-slotting, but you get the point.
In my keyhole solves I usually place an edge in whilst solving cross in about 2 extra moves. Then ill insert that corner and for another pair ill use keyhole if the case is easy. Then ill solve 1 or 2 pairs using F2L. You get alot of freedom this way.
This is more of a keyhole hybrid though.
 
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