• Welcome to the Speedsolving.com, home of the web's largest puzzle community!
    You are currently viewing our forum as a guest which gives you limited access to join discussions and access our other features.

    Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community of 35,000+ people from around the world today!

    If you are already a member, simply login to hide this message and begin participating in the community!

Older cubers discussions

Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
437
Likes
757
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
WCA
2015BOSW01
Yesterday I did some timed solves until I felt like I was properly warmed up then did a session of 50 cross+1 solves with the normal inspection limit to get a current baseline. On good ones I'm 4-6 seconds, mean is ~7, and I bleed out as slow as 9-11 seconds with mistakes or ones I take forever to find the first pair. My best Ao12 was about a second faster than my previous baseline last summer and about a half second faster on Ao25. This will give me an indicator on progress as I start drilling and also shows that my best potential has improved by about a second and longer averages about a half second since last Aug just from organic improvement on cross+1 alone.

For first pair prediction drills I won't be timing and I'll use unlimited inspection, figure out the moves for the cross, then tracking a corner that will end up in the U layer, then track the pairing edge. I spent a couple days on this a few weeks back and tracking a corner was tricky and slow at first but I was slowly getting the hang of it after a little work. I'll also use this handy scrambler and start with 3 or 4 move crosses and ramp up the difficulty as needed: https://christianvaughngames.com/C2F2L

Along with the video @h2f shared, JPerm also has a "how to be sub 15" video that focuses on Cross+1. I think in both those vids he uses the method above for tracking but just using normal scrambles instead of easier cross scrambles.

The "next level" guys might have some things to chime-in with, among those active here @Selkie, @CLL Smooth, @Logiqx, and @JohnnyReggae come to mind, all of which probably have a lot more practice with it than I.
You're getting quite good with cross+1 if you can do that in under 10 seconds. To be honest I have attempted cross+1 a few times, but have very quickly gotten frustrated that I stop and go back to just cross. Seeing that I could save myself a second or 2 at least by putting more effort into cross+1 I really should. I have a large 3 day competition in 2 months which I really want to do well at .... time to start practicing cross+1.

Thanks for the tips, they will help me :)
 
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
725
Likes
1,051
WCA
2016DUEH02
Yesterday I did some timed solves until I felt like I was properly warmed up then did a session of 50 cross+1 solves with the normal inspection limit to get a current baseline. On good ones I'm 4-6 seconds, mean is ~7, and I bleed out as slow as 9-11 seconds with mistakes or ones I take forever to find the first pair. My best Ao12 was about a second faster than my previous baseline last summer and about a half second faster on Ao25. This will give me an indicator on progress as I start drilling and also shows that my best potential has improved by about a second and longer averages about a half second since last Aug just from organic improvement on cross+1 alone.

For first pair prediction drills I won't be timing and I'll use unlimited inspection, figure out the moves for the cross, then tracking a corner that will end up in the U layer, then track the pairing edge. I spent a couple days on this a few weeks back and tracking a corner was tricky and slow at first but I was slowly getting the hang of it after a little work. I'll also use this handy scrambler and start with 3 or 4 move crosses and ramp up the difficulty as needed: https://christianvaughngames.com/C2F2L

Along with the video @h2f shared, JPerm also has a "how to be sub 15" video that focuses on Cross+1. I think in both those vids he uses the method above for tracking but just using normal scrambles instead of easier cross scrambles.

The "next level" guys might have some things to chime-in with, among those active here @Selkie, @CLL Smooth, @Logiqx, and @JohnnyReggae come to mind, all of which probably have a lot more practice with it than I.
I think it’s time for me to return to LL drills and I’ve never done cross+1 drills—I think I’ll give that a shot. I definitely think cross+1 will be helpful for me. Finding the first pair is not smooth for me. Then again, sometimes I see 2 or 3 pairs right away and get “stuck” deciding which to do first.

Sounds like you’re making some good progress.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
1,220
Likes
1,833
Location
Cincinnati
WCA
2016LEWI07
You're getting quite good with cross+1 if you can do that in under 10 seconds. To be honest I have attempted cross+1 a few times, but have very quickly gotten frustrated that I stop and go back to just cross. Seeing that I could save myself a second or 2 at least by putting more effort into cross+1 I really should. I have a large 3 day competition in 2 months which I really want to do well at .... time to start practicing cross+1.

Thanks for the tips, they will help me :)
You must turn super fast compared to me if you're not at least tracking a corner in inspection :eek:. I'm betting your LL is excellent.

I'm far from being able to predict anything within inspection time yet so my baseline cross+1 times just show what I currently do in my normal solves. I timed a handful with unlimited inspection and prediction of the first pair yesterday on 3 and 4 move crosses and the times ranged from high 3s to low 5s when I got it right, which was most of the time... ridiculously faster than my high 6 / low 7 mean just winging it.

I think it’s time for me to return to LL drills and I’ve never done cross+1 drills—I think I’ll give that a shot. I definitely think cross+1 will be helpful for me. Finding the first pair is not smooth for me. Then again, sometimes I see 2 or 3 pairs right away and get “stuck” deciding which to do first.

Sounds like you’re making some good progress.
Getting an Ao50 under 24 was the main progress I wanted to see and my 23.39 session didn't even feel like a great one, with its fair share of 25+ and a few over 30. I've been feeling like 23s are on the slow side of "meh" when I'm properly warmed up and I finally got an Ao50 that agrees. I'm still a couple seconds off your consistency but you probably make fewer dumb mistakes to drag it down. It's also been really promising to see one 15-17 full step showing up per session lately, that's a new thing. I won't bother tracking longer averages for a while until the new stuff starts to solidify, though I will continue to time a lot of solves because a better single could still turn up at any time.

I highly recommend doing an Ao50 of cross+1 to get a baseline for where you are. If nothing else, I think a little cross+1 spamming might be a great warm-up before a full solve session. Just like with my full solves I noticed I started to hit my stride with cross+1; warming up with that and switching over to full solves when you hit a groove might be a really good recipe to attack Ao5 and Ao12. Plus it feels awesome to stop the timer sub-10 a bunch of times :D.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
1,220
Likes
1,833
Location
Cincinnati
WCA
2016LEWI07
One other random thought on the topic: I think the reason working on first pair prediction feels like pulling teeth for a lot of us is we haven't had to work like this for a while, pure spamming gets the job done. I find it similar to when I tried to take up thumb-style/fingerpicking on guitar. I'd been a flat picker for over 25 years and was comfortable to the point of unconscious with it and fingerpicking felt like I was a total beginner again. If I accept that I'm just going to suck really bad at it for a while and apply enough stubbornness I'm sure I can at least eventually get the tracking down a lot faster, figuring out cross alone was difficult once upon a time too.
 

Mike Hughey

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
9,896
Likes
1,915
Location
Indianapolis
WCA
2007HUGH01
YouTube
MikeHughey1
You must turn super fast compared to me if you're not at least tracking a corner in inspection :eek:. I'm betting your LL is excellent.
JohnnyReggae is way better than me at 3x3x3, but I'm still not surprised he's not tracking anything past cross in inspection; I suspect most people at his speed don't. I find that even working out complete cross is sometimes difficult for me for 7+ move crosses, and for anything over a 3 or 4 move cross, tracking even a corner is just mind-bogglingly difficult for me.

Which reminds me - somewhere around here I've seen and used a tool that gave crosses of various move lengths for practicing this sort of thing, but I can't find it now. Anyone know where it is?
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
116
Likes
67
JohnnyReggae is way better than me at 3x3x3, but I'm still not surprised he's not tracking anything past cross in inspection; I suspect most people at his speed don't. I find that even working out complete cross is sometimes difficult for me for 7+ move crosses, and for anything over a 3 or 4 move cross, tracking even a corner is just mind-bogglingly difficult for me.

Which reminds me - somewhere around here I've seen and used a tool that gave crosses of various move lengths for practicing this sort of thing, but I can't find it now. Anyone know where it is?
Pglewis has linked it in post number 20636 up there
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
1,220
Likes
1,833
Location
Cincinnati
WCA
2016LEWI07
Which reminds me - somewhere around here I've seen and used a tool that gave crosses of various move lengths for practicing this sort of thing, but I can't find it now. Anyone know where it is?
I'll link it again here too: https://christianvaughngames.com/C2F2L

My early advice is to try a bunch of 3-movers. Plenty of them are easy but plenty still presented a challenge since I'm just getting started. I mostly did 3 move practice yesterday and threw in some 4-movers at the end, the difficulty level goes up quickly with one more move. I started with 3-movers today but only did about a half dozen before moving up to 4, tracking the corners was already feeling a lot easier.

Predicting a pair within inspection on a difficult cross will probably be tough even with practice... but this drill is forcing me to do general cross drills as a side effect. I've already encountered crosses that I would have done less efficiently but knowing it's supposed to be 4-moves makes me dig up the better one. Even if I can't track anything on difficult crosses at the end of this journey I'll wager I might be able to turn bad solves from bad crosses into so-so solves. And on the easier ones it's the gift that keeps on giving, if I plan well enough to solve the first pair in the back then the 2nd pair has half as many blind spots to hide in. Sometimes even when I get the exact case wrong I still know the EO for the first pair up front and am set up for that without rotation, leading to some quick solutions despite mistakes.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
1,220
Likes
1,833
Location
Cincinnati
WCA
2016LEWI07
Cstimer has it in tools screen.
I hadn't discovered that option in csTimer before, I had to dig around to find it: pick "3x3x3" as the scramble type at the top then "easy cross" in the next drop down to the right, at the bottom of the list; you can set the length by clicking the gear icon to the right of that. This is extra handy because csTimer will also display cross solutions for cases where I just can't figure it out.
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
268
Likes
293
Cstimer has it in tools screen.
It sometimes generates wrong scrambles regardless of number of moves settings.

I think this one is the redesigned version of the old one (http://net13.net/Cube/Cross/ - link is not working now) but without drawing scramble. Under the hood it contains lots of preconfigured scrambles (about 1000 for each "level") and each time randomly selects it. But for such training tools it would be the best to have scramble, image and solution rolled into one, IMO.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
437
Likes
757
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
WCA
2015BOSW01
You must turn super fast compared to me if you're not at least tracking a corner in inspection :eek:. I'm betting your LL is excellent.

I'm far from being able to predict anything within inspection time yet so my baseline cross+1 times just show what I currently do in my normal solves. I timed a handful with unlimited inspection and prediction of the first pair yesterday on 3 and 4 move crosses and the times ranged from high 3s to low 5s when I got it right, which was most of the time... ridiculously faster than my high 6 / low 7 mean just winging it.
My last layer isn't bad and knowing full OLL certainly helps. I usually plan my cross in around 5 seconds, even the longer 8 movers which come up now and again. So I certainly do have time to start planning more in inspection, it's just trying to track pieces during inspection does my head in. But as you have shown it just takes some concerted effort, much like attempting to be colour neutral.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
1,220
Likes
1,833
Location
Cincinnati
WCA
2016LEWI07
It sometimes generates wrong scrambles regardless of number of moves settings.
I've had it generate shorter solutions than specified but haven't seen longer ones yet. Going to keep using the csTimer one for now because I can check the scramble (I make a lot of scramble mistakes) and cross solution all in one place as you mentioned.

My last layer isn't bad and knowing full OLL certainly helps. I usually plan my cross in around 5 seconds, even the longer 8 movers which come up now and again. So I certainly do have time to start planning more in inspection, it's just trying to track pieces during inspection does my head in. But as you have shown it just takes some concerted effort, much like attempting to be colour neutral.
I've been "working on" full OLL for over a year but mostly have it down. Highway/55 still isn't memorized, about a half dozen aren't fully in muscle memory, and maybe about 10 are still slow on recog. I suspect this exercise is going to be another long game to reap the full benefits. It may also eventually push me to work more on dual neutral to increase my chances of shorter crosses but I'm still reluctant to try going full CN. Hats off to you on the color neutral work you put in!
 
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
725
Likes
1,051
WCA
2016DUEH02
Question for the 4BLD solvers:

Do you find that practicing 4BLD (or learning in my case) improved your 3BLD?

I notice a small bump in my lookahead with 3x3 after I focus on 4x4 for awhile. I’m wondering if there’s a comparable effect with BLD.
 

Mike Hughey

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
9,896
Likes
1,915
Location
Indianapolis
WCA
2007HUGH01
YouTube
MikeHughey1
Do you find that practicing 4BLD (or learning in my case) improved your 3BLD?
I've always expected and hoped this, but I'm afraid I've never seen it. I need to practice 3BLD (and practice it a lot) to even stay in shape with it. Right now, I'm terribly out of shape with 3BLD; probably the only thing that keeps me even tolerable at it is my multiBLD practice. But I find that multiBLD tends to make me more accurate at regular 3BLD, but a little slower.
 
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
725
Likes
1,051
WCA
2016DUEH02
I've always expected and hoped this, but I'm afraid I've never seen it. I need to practice 3BLD (and practice it a lot) to even stay in shape with it. Right now, I'm terribly out of shape with 3BLD; probably the only thing that keeps me even tolerable at it is my multiBLD practice. But I find that multiBLD tends to make me more accurate at regular 3BLD, but a little slower.
I was sort of thinking that may be the case. But, I don’t have much to base my guess off. I do think I’m going to slowly begin learning some 4BLD stuff. I’ve looked into it before...worked out all the setups for my letter scheme and understand the principles... but for me I think the long pole in the tent will be my memory skills to keep all that info organized in my head.

For now, I’m just going to work on the centres and all those setups and special cases. That’s the bit that is the most different—whereas corners are essentially the same as 3BLD
 

Mike Hughey

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
9,896
Likes
1,915
Location
Indianapolis
WCA
2007HUGH01
YouTube
MikeHughey1
I must admit that, while it works that way for me, I'm not sure if others find it the same. I just know that big BLD practice doesn't seem to help my 3BLD speed at all, and 3BLD practice also doesn't seem to help my big BLD speed at all. The various bigger cubes help each other, but there doesn't seem to be much connection for me between big BLD improvement of any size and 3BLD improvement.
 

mark49152

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Messages
4,676
Likes
3,210
Location
UK
WCA
2015RIVE05
YouTube
mark49152
Do you find that practicing 4BLD (or learning in my case) improved your 3BLD?
Yes, indirectly, in the sense that after doing a lot of 4BLD practice, enough to improve significantly, 3BLD feels much easier. As with many things, that's a sign of improvement. My 3BLD accuracy improves, the event becomes less tiring and I can relax and push speed more when practising.

However, 4BLD practice doesn't directly improve my 3BLD speed. 3BLD requires different techniques to do it fast, and like Mike said, it takes dedicated practice.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
1,220
Likes
1,833
Location
Cincinnati
WCA
2016LEWI07
... but for me I think the long pole in the tent will be my memory skills to keep all that info organized in my head.
Might as well dip your toe into mbld while you're at it, it'll give more practice on longer memos. Locations are a super easy way to help mentally organize/subdivide things and full image memo with associations between them helps me with retention. I have total faith you'll find what works for you, I haven't even attempted a 3bld solve this year so I have to live vicariously through others.
 
Top