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Older cubers discussions

pglewis

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Sep 23, 2016
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2016LEWI07
I have just recently restarted cubing.
My previous bout, a couple of years ago, lasted a couple of months, and saw me beat (once) the 60s barrier using LBL (typical average abt. 80s). I didn't have much success with CFOP though. Basically, I sucked at intuitive F2L :D
Now that I have restarted, I decided to use CFOP exclusively, and after some training I am starting to get faster in F2L, though I still average abt. 90s. Lousy, I know, but one week ago I was at 120s, so I am improving quickly.
The target, this time, is getting to an average of 40s and getting my PB below 30s. Will I make it? I think so. It will take some time though, but I'm having fun, so who cares? :)
You have the right attitude: having fun is all that matters. You're in a wonderful position where knocking 10+ seconds off your times isn't difficult to do. It may not be all that long before you realize a PB of under :30 is quite achievable.
 

coinman

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Jun 28, 2008
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Stockholm, Sweden.
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2005GUST02
I'm also a senior cuber, just turnd 55. Most of all I just wanted to say hello and show that I am still alive :)
Many of the older cubers here, both Swedes and from other countries, probably know who I am since I participated in a few World Championships, and lots of other competitionsboth at home and abroad. I have not written anything here for several years. I'm still cubing but not as much as before and I have forgotten some algorithms, but who knows -someday I might start training again.
A few yers ago I also started a fairly popular competition in this forum that I have seen come to new life from time to time which I called the 100 moves challenge, try it, it's fun :)
 

Ander

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Jan 5, 2018
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Genoa, Italy
You have the right attitude: having fun is all that matters. You're in a wonderful position where knocking 10+ seconds off your times isn't difficult to do. It may not be all that long before you realize a PB of under :30 is quite achievable.
Thank you; in fact between yesterday and today I did a fair bit of solves and my averages have decreased somewhat; I got some AO5 below 80 s and some singles to slightly more than 60 s. More or less, I am now as fast - or rather slow - as I was (with much more training) doing LBL.
I have now started to learn 2-look OLL, so far edge is done and corner is 4/7. I want to memorize them all, do some practice, and then move to 2-look PLL. We'll see how this effort goes. Meanwhile, practice, practice...
 

Tom Joad

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Jun 29, 2016
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137
3-move white cross, free F2L pair, PLL skip... forgot to start the timer. 11.71 on a 2nd attempt that I won't count as a PB but... shoulda-coulda.

U F' D B2 R F' U' D2 F2 R2 U2 L F2 R B2 D2 F2 D2 U' B2
Nice!

A while since I taught myself anything new, will focus on my cross and looking ahead to first pair if I can find the time...

Mostly mindless solving, averaging 15 -16 seconds when I’m in the zone... it’s good to be back on here though, hopefully I’ll find the inspiration to move to the next level... I’d love to average 13 seconds!
 

pglewis

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Cincinnati
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2016LEWI07
Nice!

A while since I taught myself anything new, will focus on my cross and looking ahead to first pair if I can find the time...

Mostly mindless solving, averaging 15 -16 seconds when I’m in the zone... it’s good to be back on here though, hopefully I’ll find the inspiration to move to the next level... I’d love to average 13 seconds!
I hit a really good spell recently where I got my first sub 20 Ao12 and then beat it the next day with a 19.08 Ao12 and a sub 21 Ao50. Then I had the fast single but didn't start the timer, another sub 14 single on my phone, and then finally the 12.19 on Stackmat. Only my Ao5 is still standing from last year at this point.

My current focus is:

* Work on faster back slot F2L pairs and give preference to back slots early in the solve to improve lookahead (I tend to favor front slots when rotating)
* Blind pair solving
* 2-sided OLL recognition... I tilt the cube or do U moves far too often when I should be able to determine the case without doing that

I think those things should eventually get me a couple seconds faster and maybe finally out of the low 20s.
 

pglewis

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I find this scramble really difficult, do you have your solution?
I finally had time to sit down and figure out what I did to get the PLL skip. It's just one of those lucky things where A) I saw my pairs quickly without much pausing and B) my odd, accidental choice of dealing with the third pair was key to getting the lucky skip.

B2 F2 R2 U2 B2 U2 B2 R' U2 R D2 U F R F' L F D F // Scramble
x2 // Inspection


L D' (L R') F2 D' // Cross
U L U' L' U' L U2 L' // First pair
U R U' R' y U R U' R' // Second pair
U L U2 L' y' U L' U2 L // Third pair *
U2 (R U' R') U2 (R U' R') // Last pair
U M' U' R U R' U' R' F R F' U2 M // AUF/OLL
U2 // AUF
 
Last edited:

joshsailscga

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I finally had time to sit down and figure out what I did to get the PLL skip. It's just one of those lucky things where A) I saw my pairs quickly without much pausing and B) my odd, accidental choice of dealing with the third pair was key to getting the lucky skip.

B2 F2 R2 U2 B2 U2 B2 R' U2 R D2 U F R F' L F D F

L D' (L R') F2 D' // Cross
U L U' L' U' L U2 L' // First pair
U R U' R' y U R U' R' // Second pair
U L U2 L' y' U L' U2 L // Third pair *
U2 (R U' R') U2 (R U' R') // Last pair
U M' U' R U R' U' R' F R F' U2 M // AUF/OLL
U2 // AUF
*Inspection: x2 before the solve

Makes the cross work a little better than if you execute from scramble orientation XD

Interestingly, I do an almost mirror of that OLL alg, so the oriented corners face away from me and I do M U R U R' U' R' F R F' M'. Seems a little more fingertrickable if you want to play with it.
 

pglewis

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*Inspection: x2 before the solve

Makes the cross work a little better than if you execute from scramble orientation XD

Interestingly, I do an almost mirror of that OLL alg, so the oriented corners face away from me and I do M U R U R' U' R' F R F' M'. Seems a little more fingertrickable if you want to play with it.
Yeah, I neglected to include the inspection, initially.

I'll eventually learn the y2 oriented version of that OLL, I see on AlgDB that's the one most people use (if that's what you're talking about). I just learned the one above initially so it's always been "my alg".
 

Puffin

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Do you all think there's an upper bound on how fast older cubers can be? I've heard that "hands slow down" as we age, and as a late starter I often wonder what kind of times are realistic for speed cubing. I'm more interested in magic cubes and new puzzles, but I would also like to try to get fast. I'm just not sure what that means. What are the Senior Tour records or the adjusted sub-20 for the over 40 crowd?
 

Mike Hughey

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Do you all think there's an upper bound on how fast older cubers can be? I've heard that "hands slow down" as we age, and as a late starter I often wonder what kind of times are realistic for speed cubing. I'm more interested in magic cubes and new puzzles, but I would also like to try to get fast. I'm just not sure what that means. What are the Senior Tour records or the adjusted sub-20 for the over 40 crowd?
This is the best source of results for us old folks, provided by one of our members here (Logiqx):

Realistically, I'd say the majority of those here who are consistently sub-20 probably started cubing before they were 40. But there are certainly a few examples of people who have managed to get well sub-20 despite starting cubing after they turned 40, so it's possible.

I'm fairly decent at piano, and my fingers are still quite fast for that at age 58, so I find it hard to believe it's really a problem with fingers being too slow. I do think it takes a lot more practice to get fast at cubing when you're older, though, and since most of us don't have all that much time for practice, it's not surprising we tend not to get very fast. Speed and precision (and quick thinking!) are all required, and mainly that just takes a lot of practice, and probably more practice for older people than for younger people. But I suspect the limit is probably way better than most of us think, for someone who is truly dedicated. I certainly think sub-10 is possible even for someone my age, with enough practice. But I'm pretty sure that someone will not be me. :)
 

pglewis

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2016LEWI07
Do you all think there's an upper bound on how fast older cubers can be? I've heard that "hands slow down" as we age, and as a late starter I often wonder what kind of times are realistic for speed cubing. I'm more interested in magic cubes and new puzzles, but I would also like to try to get fast. I'm just not sure what that means. What are the Senior Tour records or the adjusted sub-20 for the over 40 crowd?
I'm 52 and slow pattern recognition and lookahead are my bottlenecks, not slow hands.
 

Logiqx

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Realistically, I'd say the majority of those here who are consistently sub-20 probably started cubing before they were 40. But there are certainly a few examples of people who have managed to get well sub-20 despite starting cubing after they turned 40, so it's possible.

probably more practice for older people than for younger people. But I suspect the limit is probably way better than most of us think, for someone who is truly dedicated. I certainly think sub-10 is possible even for someone my age, with enough practice. But I'm pretty sure that someone will not be me. :)
I first solved a cube at 39.5 and started speed cubing around 40.

At the age of 48, I'm currently ~14.5 seconds globally but if it weren't for side projects and other hobbies, I think sub-13 and maybe close to 12 seconds would have been achievable by now. My somewhat limited practice time is either maintaining speed or regaining lost speed, rather than improving.

I do get occasional sub-10 singles but I think it would be super-hard to be globally sub-10 for anyone starting after the age of 40.

I suspect there will be some faster guys coming through who started cubing earlier in their life and also, I think the rankings might be motivation for new seniors who have the time and motivation to get fast.

For example, @Konsta is now 40 and got a sub-12 average in comp. I believe he is after an official sub-10 average.

There are a bunch of sub-10 solvers around the age of 30 so it'll be interesting to see what they can do in their 40s.
 

zslane

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Jul 8, 2020
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Out of curiosity, what is now generally considered the 3x3 solve time that defines a "speed solve"? In other words, what does one's average have to be to be officially considered a "speed solver" today?
 

One Wheel

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Out of curiosity, what is now generally considered the 3x3 solve time that defines a "speed solve"? In other words, what does one's average have to be to be officially considered a "speed solver" today?
The way I've heard it if you're trying to solve fast and timing your solves, as opposed to just solving without regard for how long it takes, that makes you a speedsolver.
 

Puffin

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Another question for the group:

My wife wants me to get a new shelf for my cubes. Any suggestions — what are y'all using?
 

Tom Joad

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Jun 29, 2016
Messages
137
I finally had time to sit down and figure out what I did to get the PLL skip. It's just one of those lucky things where A) I saw my pairs quickly without much pausing and B) my odd, accidental choice of dealing with the third pair was key to getting the lucky skip.

B2 F2 R2 U2 B2 U2 B2 R' U2 R D2 U F R F' L F D F // Scramble
x2 // Inspection


L D' (L R') F2 D' // Cross
U L U' L' U' L U2 L' // First pair
U R U' R' y U R U' R' // Second pair
U L U2 L' y' U L' U2 L // Third pair *
U2 (R U' R') U2 (R U' R') // Last pair
U M' U' R U R' U' R' F R F' U2 M // AUF/OLL
U2 // AUF
Cool, way faster than my solution! Also you must have executed it very smoothly for that time. I think I am good at easier solves but not great when the cross is more than five moves.

For the third pair, I can recommend U (regrip so thumb is on top) LU’LF’L’FL’

It’s rotationless and easy enough to sub-1 with a bit of drilling (learn the right handed version too)
 

pglewis

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Cool, way faster than my solution! Also you must have executed it very smoothly for that time. I think I am good at easier solves but not great when the cross is more than five moves.
It was about as easy as a 6-move cross gets for me, at least. I can clearly visualize what to do with that situation and the L R' part can kinda be done at the same time.

The rest was just a case of seeing and evaluating the pairs a lot more quickly than usual for me.

For the third pair, I can recommend U (regrip so thumb is on top) LU’LF’L’FL’

It’s rotationless and easy enough to sub-1 with a bit of drilling (learn the right handed version too)
This is brilliant and I see the right handed version of this in J-Perm's PDF, now that I looked up the case. Of course my weird handling of it (not even how I'd normally solve that pair) was the stroke of luck required for the PLL skip, but that was a total fluke. Your approach is immediately going into my toolbelt.
 
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