# The Ribbon Method

#### Lachlan Stephens

##### Member
Hi, my name is Lachie Stephens, known as "yeetskeet" elsewhere. I'm 14-year-old speedcuber from Australia, and I've been cubing for just under a year now. I average about 11.5-12 seconds with the CFOP method. Recently I've been talking with a friend of mine, Justin Taylor, over Discord, discussing the method known as "Ribbon". Both Justin and I believe this has not only equal to but greater potential than CFOP. But first, what exactly is the Ribbon Method?

Summary of the method

If you are familiar with the ZZ-CT method, then this method should not be too hard to grasp. If not, then hopefully most of the following makes some sense. Ribbon shares a few key factors with the CFOP method, being almost identical up until last slot and last layer. The steps of this method are as follows:

Ribbon: This step is very similar to CFOP in that it consists of executing a cross solution. However, there is another key factor to this step that gives it its name. An F2L edge must also be placed in its correct position on the cube (note this is just the edge, not the corner). This edge can be cancelled into the cross solution, or inserted directly after the cross (in fact, the edge can be placed at any point during F2L, however placing it during cross solution is almost always more useful).

F2L-1C: This step can be completed exactly like CFOP F2L, by forming pairs of edges and corners and inserting them into their respective slots on the first two layers, while completely ignoring the slot that is being used for the Ribbon. One unfortunate thing is that, without influence, around a third of the time you will end up with an F2L corner below the Ribbon edge (note: if the F2L corner corresponds with the Ribbon edge, in any orientation, no attention needs to be paid to it). This can be fixed by offsetting the D layer and solving the pair like normal. An example of this will be shown in the example solve later on.

TOLS: This step is the most unique step of the method, and as of now is only used in the Ribbon Method. In this step, all of the last layer corners will be oriented using a single algorithm. It can be recognized entirely from the top layer by noticing the orientation of the edges and corners, however noticing the orientation of the D-layer corner can greatly decrease the time required for recognition. This step contains 173 algorithms, however, this can be reduced to 116 algorithms if you already know Full OLL. This step uses the Ribbon's corner to orient all the last layer pieces and itself (note: in most cases, a different corner will appear in the Ribbon slot after executing a TOLS algorithm).

TTLL: This step also appears in the ZZ-CT method. TTLL permutes the remaining pieces of the cube after TOLS, and contains 93 algorithms. However, this can be reduced to 72 algorithms if you already know full PLL. After TOLS, there is a 20% chance that the remaining F2L corner happens to be in the correct place, which will result in a PLL. The recognition for TTLL is almost identical to that of PLL, however, it completely disregards the colours of the corner that belongs in the D-layer and the one that's already there (note that the position of the top layer corner is important, just not the colours).

The Pros and Cons of the Ribbon Method

Pros:
• On average, lower movecount than CFOP
• Around 30% of the time, TTLL will be completely 2-Gen (only RU)
• 2-Look LSLL, compared to CFOP's 3-Look LSLL
• TOLS algorithms are mostly short and easily fingertrickable (sure that's a word)
• Easier lookahead Multislotting using the Ribbon slot Easy TOLS recognition due to D-layer corner
• Easy TTLL recognition, cases can easily be compared to PLLs (e.g. "Looks like an R perm except...")
• Some TTLLs are extremely low in movecount

Cons:
• High algorithm count
• Some TOLSs and TTLLs are nonoptimal (movecount and fingertricks)
• Bad cases can occur with the D-layer corner
• Bad combinations of TOLSs and TTLLs can lead to movecounts higher than CFOP's average

Example Solve using the Ribbon Method

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

z2 y // inspection
D' L B' D2 L F // ribbon
U L U L' // first pair
U' R' F R F' R U' R' // second pair
y D2 L U' L' D2 U L U' L' // third pair
U2 F' R U R' U R U2 R' F // TOLS
U' R2 U2 R2 F2 U' R2 U' R2 U F2 // TTLL

// 48 STM

Inspection: I planned the Ribbon solution during inspection, I originally planned out the cross, then looked for pieces that could be integrated into the cross solution with one or two moves. In my experience this is the best method for planning the Ribbon during inspection.

Ribbon: As you can see, this was very low movecount, and this is around the average Ribbon movecount when solving colour neutral. The original cross solution was D' L D2 L F, and I added a B' in a strategic position during the solution so as to not interfere with any of the cross pieces, and place the Ribbon edge in its correct position.

First and second pairs: While solving these, I noticed the piece in the ribbon slot belonged in a different F2L slot, so I took note of that while solving the pairs. As for the execution of the two pairs, they were solved in a standard way, in the same way that most CFOP solvers would solve them.

Third pair: This is where I offset the D-layer in order to set up for my third pair. I do a D2 L U' L' to set the pieces up into a 4 move insert in the back left slot, before doing a D2 to restore the D-layer. Then it's a simple matter of inserting the pair.

TOLS: This was a nice case, and demonstrates how easy most of the TOLS cases are to both memorize and execute. This algorithm is just an F' sune F. This case could easily be recognized without using the D layer, however it could also be mistaken for a similar case. I used the D layer and noticed the white sticker facing towards me. This allowed for a quick realization of the case.

TTLL: The algorithm for this case is quite easy to memorize and in my opinion is quite fun to execute. The recognition for this case is moderately easy, looking similar to an R perm. The low movecount of this algorithm combined with the low movecount of the TOLS algorithm provide a very nice combination for LSLL.

As you can probably tell by now, this method has potential. By no means is it a perfect method, but yet again, what is? Justin has put in hours of dedication and effort into this method, and I'm proud to say I am going to attempt to be one of the first people to learn this method in full, even with the extra 188 algorithms I need to learn to get there. This method is almost completely unknown to the majority of the cubing community, despite it being a method with so much potential. I, personally, would love to see it expand and for more people to begin to use the method and become fast with it. This method deserves more attention, and I hope that by posting this that more people can gain an understanding of just how amazing this method can be.

Lachie Stephens

#### DGCubes

##### Member
Interesting method. Definitely seems like there's potential here.

I think pseudo-pairs could also be really useful for 3rd slot cases like these. For example in this case, you could also do D2 L U2 L' U L U' L' Uw2.

Do you have a list of all the TOLS algorithms anywhere? Just curious to see what some of the other ones look like.

#### Lachlan Stephens

##### Member
Interesting method. Definitely seems like there's potential here.

I think pseudo-pairs could also be really useful for 3rd slot cases like these. For example in this case, you could also do D2 L U2 L' U L U' L' Uw2.

Do you have a list of all the TOLS algorithms anywhere? Just curious to see what some of the other ones look like.

And I know TTLLs are a lot easier to find, but Justin's personal preferences are here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/148i4z9K--45G_-RH0f5ayC5Za8cPMyy5/view

#### Sajwo

##### Member
or you could just make an xcross

#### PapaSmurf

##### Member
The reason why ribbon is better than x cross is because you save moves doing the ribbon (ie missing out a corner), therefore allowing you to look further ahead in the solve (for example, making an x-ribbon). It also means that efficiency stays the same, as tols is equal to oll, and ttll is equal to pll (in terms of ergonomics and movecount). Thirdly, ribbon can be used to integrate more "zz concepts" into cfop. There's a variant which does insert corner+eo then a ZBLL finish. This makes it good for allowing people to use ZBLL every solve, not just 1/8 (or slightly more due to sledge). So I'd say that ribbon (with the work put in) is better than cfop. More efficient and ergonomic.

#### Lachlan Stephens

##### Member
The reason why ribbon is better than x cross is because you save moves doing the ribbon (ie missing out a corner), therefore allowing you to look further ahead in the solve (for example, making an x-ribbon). It also means that efficiency stays the same, as tols is equal to oll, and ttll is equal to pll (in terms of ergonomics and movecount). Thirdly, ribbon can be used to integrate more "zz concepts" into cfop. There's a variant which does insert corner+eo then a ZBLL finish. This makes it good for allowing people to use ZBLL every solve, not just 1/8 (or slightly more due to sledge). So I'd say that ribbon (with the work put in) is better than cfop. More efficient and ergonomic.
I agree with everything you've said here. The variant of inserting the corner + EO followed by ZBLL is a potential alternate way to approach Ribbon, however in terms of recognition, algorithm count, and ergonomics, I would say the basic idea of Ribbon still stands as the best variant. Another variant I suggested to Justin would be to insert the Ribbon edge last while orienting edges, and then do a 2-Gen TOLS and continue on to TTLL. However he explained that inserting the Ribbon edge last was the worst time to insert it, as it required an extra look to the solve. I think the ZBLL variant is better than the one I suggested.

#### AMCuber

##### Member
Isn't this kind of like 3x3 keyhole? The F2L part?

#### PapaSmurf

##### Member
That wouldn't be any better than doing last slot, oll, pll.
Isn't this kind of like 3x3 keyhole? The F2L part?
No, as with this you solve F2L-1 corner, then solve last 9 pieces. With keyhole, you solve F2L fully, and do the "ribbon" with 3 out of 4 slots.

#### OreKehStrah

##### Member
I’ve been thinking about different methods, and in particular methods using TTLL because I think it’s cool. Since psuedoslotting has become somewhat popular to talk in the community, advanced CFOP could start to include more psuedopairing. I think something that can squeeze out more efficiency for cfop and nullifies part of the issue with ribbon is to simply make the easiest last pair such that the edge gets paired with any corner in the correct orientation. That way if it is the d layer corner you continue like normal, and if it’s a properly oriented top layer corner, you do normal OLL instead of having to learn new OLL like algs, then do TTLL. It’s no worse than doing CFOP, especially once TTLL becomes more optimized, and can save moves, particularly with awkward F2L cases. There’s a lot of times where you can pair the last edge with 3-4 moves to a top layer properly oriented corner. And it is also just kinda cool to do TTLL Imo

#### PapaSmurf

##### Member
I think that, if you were to do ribbon, you should learn TOLS, but with pseudoslotting it's easier to force good cases. It's certainly something to be pursued.

#### OreKehStrah

##### Member
I think that, if you were to do ribbon, you should learn TOLS, but with pseudoslotting it's easier to force good cases. It's certainly something to be pursued.
Yeah I get that. What I’m trying to convey though, is that I’m trying to think of ways CFOP can evolve and improve in the future, and I think one thing that can slightly improve efficiency and good cases is using TTLL, by way of pairing the last edge with any corner such that you do normal OLL and then either PLL or TTLL depending on which corner pairs with the last edge. Pretty much the only learning curve would be learning the TTLL cases, which is closer to recognizing PLL than ZBLL is. Doing this gives you five different pairs you could potentially do for last slot. You could then choose the corner based on ho EO would be affected, or if it pairs naturally, or what pair is easiest, etc. I definitely think this has potential so I’m going to start learning the TTLL algs and start implementing them.

#### UnnecessarilyUniqueGreek

##### Member
Hey everyone, this is my first post on these forums and I thought I might as well say hey and ask a question.

So, I've recently started learning TTLLs for ZZ-CT or Ribbon Method. I can't decide, although I'm leaning towards the Ribbon Method despite the slight higher alg count. Are the skip chances with Ribbon Method the same as ZZ-CT? I'm unsure how to calculate it. And I know they are both highly unresearched methods, especially Ribbon, but are there are any things that make either method superior? Or is there a better method than both of these. I don't want to use any of the big 3 methods, I've tried all three and I feel the Ribbon Method and ZZ-CT would suit me better, even if they aren't as good.

Cheers

#### sqAree

##### Member
I think everyone agrees that ZZCT is bad.
Ribbon however should basically be just like CFOP so you can't go wrong with it.

#### OreKehStrah

##### Member
Hey everyone, this is my first post on these forums and I thought I might as well say hey and ask a question.

So, I've recently started learning TTLLs for ZZ-CT or Ribbon Method. I can't decide, although I'm leaning towards the Ribbon Method despite the slight higher alg count. Are the skip chances with Ribbon Method the same as ZZ-CT? I'm unsure how to calculate it. And I know they are both highly unresearched methods, especially Ribbon, but are there are any things that make either method superior? Or is there a better method than both of these. I don't want to use any of the big 3 methods, I've tried all three and I feel the Ribbon Method and ZZ-CT would suit me better, even if they aren't as good.

Cheers
Ribbon is essentially a variant of CFOP and as a result the chances to get a skip are way lower than ZZ-CT since you won’t always have the edges preoriented. That said, ribbon is probably easier to get fast at than ZZ-CT. Also, I’m slowly generating better TTLL algs for a CFOP technique I proposed called free slotting

#### PapaSmurf

##### Member
If you're gonna do ZZ, don't do CT. If you really want a TTLL finish, do Ribbon.

#### Pyjam

ZZ-CT ? Is it this method with Winter Variation but with 81 cases instead of 27, then PLL but with one hundred cases instead of 21?

#### PapaSmurf

##### Member
I can smell the sarcasm.