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Potential New 3x3 Technique: Free Slotting ( CFOP extension/cousin to psuedoslotting)

OreKehStrah

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Hey everyone, I've been thinking about this concept since summer, when I returned from my break from cubing. As I've gotten older I started thinking about methodology more and found that to be the most interesting thing in cubing for me. I was originally learning ZBLL, and thought, there's gotta be another way that could be better of an extension for CFOP. So I've been thinking about where CFOP could expand in the future and I think I might have a simple, but potentially really powerful (maybe) new technique. I'm sure others have thought of this, but I decided to make this post and discuss a lot of the benefits free slotting provides. But first a little bit more back story.

Recently everyone has been pretty hyped for the potential of psuedoslotting since Tymon popularized it, which lead me to a more refined idea of my original idea for expanding CFOP. I've been thinking about ways to expand CFOP based around doing different things during F2L, and I've been interested in TTLL since ZZ-CT was introduced, and I realized that TTLL could be a suitable expansion for CFOP. However, the problem is that this requires LL EO first.

That's the original motivation of Free Slotting, allowing TTLL to work with CFOP, but I realized it actually has a lot of utility in CFOP.

Let me now define what I'm calling Free Slotting.
Free slotting is making one of the four F2L pairs with either the F2L pair's edge and the correct corner, or a corner of the last layer such that the corner you pair with the F2L edge will have either a U or D color sticker on the D layer(Or in other words the corner is correctly orientated with the edge) . If you do free slotting on your final pair, instead of one pair, you actually have 5 different pairs you can make in the slot, which gives you a tremendous amount of freedom for that pair. You can form the normal F2L pair, or you can pair the edge with any of the other four last layer corners so that the last layer color of that corner is facing down/ is orientated. That way, after you insert the free slot pair, you can do "normal" OLL in that there are no new, weird OLL cases. You simply recognize normal OLL cases with a D layer corner color on the last layer if you pair the F2L edge with a last layer corner. In that case you then proceed to do TTLL instead of PLL, or just the standard CFOP last layer if you make the normal, standard pair. Because you are making pairs with LL corners instead of pairs with different F2L pieces by changing the D layer I'm calling this a cousin to psuedoslotting. The free slotting name is from the fact you are "free" to make a pair of your choice with 5 different corner-edge pairings, in any slot, at any time during F2L.

By intelligently choosing which of the five corners you use to make the free slot pair if its for the last slot, you can usually avoid rotations and/or orient some or all of your last layer edges, which can allow TTLL influencing via performing different CLL algs. You could also use the technique to do VLS more frequently. If in the future this really catches on, there could potentially be ZB-TTLL that solves everything after the free slot pair is made, provided LL edges are oriented like for ZBLL.

Plus, it's not too uncommon for an F2L edge to naturally pair with a LL corner that is oriented correctly, giving you a much higher chance at getting a completely free pair, meaning you only have to solve 3 pairs.

You can also do the free slot edge when it's not the last pair/slot to affect other F2L pairs to make the next pair easier or to do multislotting. You can also make the free slot pair first and it could make inspection easier since you only have to pair the F2L edge with a correctly oriented corner out of 5 different corners instead of the specific F2L corner the pair normally uses, so the planning could become easier/the solution to cross+1 becomes shorter, which could allow lookahead further into the solve during inspection.

The main drawback to the method/technique is simply having to learn TTLL, and the worst part about that is simply the algset isn't optimized yet. If more people start generating algs and work on improving the alg set this issue could be negated quite quickly IMO. TTLL is a lot easier to learn than ZBLL since it is less algs by a long shot, and has PLL style recognition. Other than this I see no real other drawbacks to this technique because at worse, it's the same amount of steps as doing OLL-PLL. It's essentially just a different kind of PLL at the end of the day.

In conclusion, there are a great multitude of benefits from free slotting I can think of currently, and I'm sure there's probably more I haven't though of yet.
These include: more flexibility in F2L since you can choose to form 5 different pairs for one slot, there's a greater chance that you can make a free slot pair using a very low movecount, you can avoid rotations by intelligently choosing which corner to pair with the F2L edge, you also can affect EO by making smart pairing choices,the chance to get a free pair drastically increases, the ability to positively affect other F2L pairs if you make your free slot pair when it is not in the last slot, and you can have potentially easier lookahead and planning during inspection since the first pair can have 5 different corner-edge parings.

I'd love to hear what the community thinks about this idea, and get feedback on it! I'd be especially interested in what Jayden M and Chris T think since Jayden makes a ton of intellectual videos about cubing and has a lot of good insight, and Chris since he pioneered TTLL.

Also I realize this is very similar to the Ribbon method, but I think the difference between just inserting the F2L edge with no regard to the corners orientation compared to making a pair so the edge is with an oriented corner is very minimal. I also believe that since making a pair where the corner is oriented usually is 1-4 moves extra than just inserting the edge, combined with the fact it saves you from learning a very large amount of TOLS algs, plus gives you a better ability to influence other F2L pairs or the LL makes CFOP with free slotting better than using Ribbon.
 

OreKehStrah

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In practice most of your corner options will be unattractive. I can see this being useful in tandem with techniques like pseudo-slotting (i.e. more neat 5-movers to (pseudo)solve 2 pairs).
Okay I was planning on it after I get out of class, although I can’t promise it’s gonna be super high quality lol. The put the concept as simple as possible though, when you get to the last F2L slot instead of just making the pair like normal, you can pair the edge with any of the last layer corners too, in a way that puts the last layer color of that corner on the bottom. Then you can do normal OLL then TTLL.

In practice most of your corner options will be unattractive. I can see this being useful in tandem with techniques like pseudo-slotting (i.e. more neat 5-movers to (pseudo)solve 2 pairs).
Not always. You can make the free slot pair at any moment it’s most convenient so it might be like your second pair for example. You might see that after you solve first pair the F2L edge and one of the last corners becomes set up for a 3-4 move insert. I think I forgot to say it but I’m not proposing this as a replacement for the normal CFOP F2L but rather just as a potential compliment to the method. I think I’m the future CFOP solvers are going to use more and more advanced techniques to have more options and take advantage of more cases. I definitely think this is worth it and I’m going to pursue it. And in a lot of cases this goes really well with psuedoslotting.

I don't understand this please make a video
Just realized I responded to the wrong comment lol. Sure no problem. I was planning to after I get out of class today
 

Escher

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Not always. You can make the free slot pair at any moment it’s most convenient so it might be like your second pair for example. You might see that after you solve first pair the F2L edge and one of the last corners becomes set up for a 3-4 move insert. I think I forgot to say it but I’m not proposing this as a replacement for the normal CFOP F2L but rather just as a potential compliment to the method. I think I’m the future CFOP solvers are going to use more and more advanced techniques to have more options and take advantage of more cases. I definitely think this is worth it and I’m going to pursue it. And in a lot of cases this goes really well with psuedoslotting.
Go for it, exploring these side alleys can have great results. Not my intention to be discouraging, perhaps if you reverse the order of my sentences it reads less negatively.
 
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This is really cool. In fact I would probably switch to it if I wasn’t using ZZ. I think this definitely has potential. But the one problem is that this is literally just ribbon but you can do normal F2L and do A normal oll which sometimes might not be as efficient as TOLL? (I kinda forgot name sorry) but I think you could just use ribbon.
 

OreKehStrah

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Go for it, exploring these side alleys can have great results. Not my intention to be discouraging, perhaps if you reverse the order of my sentences it reads less negatively.
Yeah I could tell you had no I’ll intent. It’s good that people are critical because sometimes it turns out that new techniques simply aren’t as useful

This is really cool. In fact I would probably switch to it if I wasn’t using ZZ. I think this definitely has potential. But the one problem is that this is literally just ribbon but you can do normal F2L and do A normal oll which sometimes might not be as efficient as TOLL? (I kinda forgot name sorry) but I think you could just use ribbon.
The main downsides to Ribbon in my opinion is the fact you have to learn like 100 something algs to do the weird kind of OLL plus spend time to recognize the case and what direction the corner is facing. With this technique though you only need like 1-4 extra moves to make sure the corner is correctly oriented when paired so you can just normal OLL. It saves on having to learn algs and using twisted corner + recognition. And this isn’t meant to be a new method that you always do, but rather to supplement normal CFOP so you have more freedom and can capitalize on more lucky cases!

This is really cool. In fact I would probably switch to it if I wasn’t using ZZ. I think this definitely has potential. But the one problem is that this is literally just ribbon but you can do normal F2L and do A normal oll which sometimes might not be as efficient as TOLL? (I kinda forgot name sorry) but I think you could just use ribbon.
Also you could probably use this with ZZ with no issue since all corner edge pairings can work without rotations.
 

OreKehStrah

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The only problem is I’m trying to learn ZBLL and I could just learn ZZ-CT if I wanted to do this.
Yeah. This is meant for CFOP so you don’t have to learn anything extra to use TTLL and it lets you squeeze out more efficiency and have better influencing. So you can still do this in ZZ by just making a pair with a corner instead of learning TSLE, which is marginally less efficient, and by doing this you can predict/influence the cases of TTLL you could get, and do the ZBLL phasing equivalent for TTLL. You could also use this to make a pair that gives you the easiest WV cases and skip doing any orientation.

I don't understand this please make a video
I don't think I have time to make a video, since I need to work on some homework today but here are a couple of example solves that might help you understand the concept once you see it in action.

Please keep in mind that I am nowhere near the top echelon of speedcubing. I only average between 10 to 13 seconds depending on how focused I am, so my solutions are not the most efficient possible.

In each reconstruction I will use rotation notation and say what color should be on the front face in case I make a mistake with notation.
I will also use FSP to denote Free Slotting Pair and ABF for adjust both faces since you will often times need to adjust both the U and D layers.

Scramble 1:
D' B2 U' F2 U' R2 D2 B2 R2 B2 D F L U F L U2 B' L

In this solve the free slotting pair is done last.

z2 y2 (Blue Front Yellow Top)
Cross: D' L' R2 D' R
F2L 1: U' R U' R'
F2l 2: y(Red Front) U' R U' R' L U' L'
F2L 3: U R' U' R2 B' R' B
FSP: R' F R F' // This pair was already made so this is just an insertion via sledgehammer
OLL: U2 F' L' U' L U F U F R U R' U' F'
TTLL: U' D R U R U' R' U2 R' U2 R2 U R' U' R' // The U' and D moves are just ABF moves before the actual TTLL and can be done simultaneously
ABF: D' U2

Scramble 2:'
R F U B' L2 U' F' L2 U2 L U R2 F2 D B2 D' L2 U' D2 L2 D

In this solve the free slot pair was the 3rd pair of F2L and also capitalizes on a free pair already being made.'

z2 y(Orange Front Yellow Top)
Cross: L D L R U R B'
F2L 1: U R U' R' y'(Green Front) U' R' U' R
F2L 2: L' U L2 U' L'
FSP: y'( Red Front) R' U R // The FSP is done here so you can capitalize on the prebuilt pair
F2L 4: R U2 R' U R U R' U R U' R'
OLL: l' U' L U' L' U2 l
TTLL: D' R U' R' U' R U2 R' U2 R U2 R' U R U R' // The first D' move an ADF move and the rest is the actual algorithm
ABF: D U2

Hopefully these help. Let me know if there's any mistakes in the two reconstructions. I'll try to post some more example solves sometime today or over the weekend using the FSP in a lot more scenarios.
 

OreKehStrah

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what is FSP?
It says it in the top of that post but the FSP is the pair I’m using free slotting. This Free Slotting Pair FSP. Hope that helped!

Here's another example solve:

Scramble: U F R L2 F' L2 F R2 B U2 F D2 F2 R D' B2 R U B' F

Orientation: z2 y'(Red Front Yellow Top)
Cross: R2 L' F D L R' F2 D
F2L 1: L R' U2 L' R
FSP: U' R U' R' // Notice this pair was already made naturally and all we had to do was insert the pair, but also influenced pair 3 to be 4 moves
F2L 3: U L U' L'
F2L 4: y'(Blue Front) U2 R U R' U2 R U' R'
OLL: U' r F R F' R U' R' U' R U' R' // Using COLL we can influence our TTLL cases
TTLL: U2 D' (Sets up the correct execution angle) R' U2 R2 F R F' R U' R' F' U F R U' R
ABF: D U2

A big takeaway from the first few examples I've posted is that because you learn TTLL to use the technique, you can capitalize on cases where you have easy premade pairs of an edge and a correctly oriented last layer corner very often, which can also influence the next pair and also for when a free slotted pair ends up in a slot on its own and thus required no work at all to solve. I'll try to post some examples of LL influencing in future example solves.

Here's another example that was only 45 moves! I'm starting to find more efficient solutions/cancellations as I get better at the recognition.
Strangely enough, I also used a lot of wide moves in the solve.

Scramble:
B2 L' D2 L2 B2 F2 L F2 R D2 L' F R' F D B' L2 U' R B'

z2 y(Orange Front Yellow Top)
X-Cross: D R D2 F' D' U' F'
F2L 2: y'(Green Front) U2 R' U' R
F2L 3: y'(Red Front) U R U2 R' U2 L' U L
FSP: U2 R' F R F'
OLL: r U R' U' r' F R F'
TTLL: u' F2 U' r2 U' r2 U r2 U r2 F2
ABF: U' D or E' or u U'
 

OreKehStrah

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I think another thing is that you can pseudoslot the FSP with another pair for more efficiency. This would be hard to implement but has a lot of potential.
Definitely! This technique is something I thought of when thinking about anything that could squeeze out any extra efficiency from CFOP in the future that still fits in the framework of the method. So in the ideal world, maybe a decade or two, this would be paired with psuedoslotting and multislotting techniques.
 

ottozing

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One thing I want to comment on about TTLL is the fact that a lot of the algorithms seem to be very HTM focused instead of QTM (lots of R2 F2 U2 etc etc), which I think is holding TTLL as a whole back

For example, when I checked out a TTLL pdf earlier today, the first random case I tried I was able to find something better by hand simply by doing a setup to ZBLL (what I found was B R2' U' R U R D R' U' R D' R' U2 R' U' R U' R B' and I can 1.3x it quite easily, even though I'm certain that it isn't anything close to optimal)

If someone could spend some time developing TTLL cases with qtm cube explorer I think that would help the subset greatly (which I'm starting to think has potential in a CFOP context, though not to the same extent as things like VLS or ZBLL)

EDIT - If anyone is actually serious about finding good algs, I'd be happy to communicate over FB or something and timer test things for you, since I'm pretty good at learning new algs quickly
 

OreKehStrah

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One thing I want to comment on about TTLL is the fact that a lot of the algorithms seem to be very HTM focused instead of QTM (lots of R2 F2 U2 etc etc), which I think is holding TTLL as a whole back

For example, when I checked out a TTLL pdf earlier today, the first random case I tried I was able to find something better by hand simply by doing a setup to ZBLL (what I found was B R2' U' R U R D R' U' R D' R' U2 R' U' R U' R B' and I can 1.3x it quite easily, even though I'm certain that it isn't anything close to optimal)

If someone could spend some time developing TTLL cases with qtm cube explorer I think that would help the subset greatly (which I'm starting to think has potential in a CFOP context, though not to the same extent as things like VLS or ZBLL)

EDIT - If anyone is actually serious about finding good algs, I'd be happy to communicate over FB or something and timer test things for you, since I'm pretty good at learning new algs quickly
I’m hoping I can start learning to generate algs myself pretty soon. I think using TTLL would definitely be more situational, but one of the things I think would be really cool is if someone got really good a picking when and what to free slot so you can almost always use VLS/WV when inserting your last pair so you can go directly into TTLL or PLL. I was starting to wonder about how good the TTLL algs can get since at some point there has to be an exhange of pieces between the U and D layer. Since you found a simple ZBLL cancellation that’s way better, I think that there’s probably a lot of double moves that can be removed from the algs.
 

PapaSmurf

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EDIT - If anyone is actually serious about finding good algs, I'd be happy to communicate over FB or something and timer test things for you, since I'm pretty good at learning new algs quickly
I'd happily do some algs, although I don't have facebook. I can do email or speedsolving.com or discord. I also want to work on optimising ZBLL (especially T and U for now), so if you're willing to collaborate on that too, that'd be great.
 
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I'm not entirely sure i understand but it seems to have potential I probably won't do this myself as there are better things to work on but can definitely see more advanced people using it.
 

OreKehStrah

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I'm not entirely sure i understand but it seems to have potential I probably won't do this myself as there are better things to work on but can definitely see more advanced people using it.
This is kinda meant to be a WIP project that can develop to be better and better as time goes on to help supplement CFOP solves by giving more F2L choice. You should try going through a couple of the reconstructions and that might help you understand it if you wanna learn a bit more
 

ottozing

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I'd happily do some algs, although I don't have facebook. I can do email or speedsolving.com or discord. I also want to work on optimising ZBLL (especially T and U for now), so if you're willing to collaborate on that too, that'd be great.
Email works, just use the same one attached to my x2 per week newsletter in my sig and send stuff when you find it
 
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