Duncan Dicks

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Duncan Dicks
Background Information
Country: United Kingdom
Born: c.1962
Years Active: 1981 onwards
WCA ID: [1]
Claim to Fame: One handed solving; L2L method

Duncan Dicks is a British speedcuber, known for being the fastest one handed solver in the 1980s, as well as the inventor of the L2L method around 2004.

One-handed cubing

Duncan Dicks began one-handed solving during the Rubik's Cube craze of the early 1980s. He has stated:

In 1982 during the initial Rubik's craze a good friend of mine spotted that someone was claiming to be able to solve the cube behind their back in just two looks - and someone else was claiming a world record time for solving in one hand. We split the tasks and John White was soon the world record solver behind his back - one look in 20 minutes. I attended a competition where the one handed solver broke his own record (at around 80 seconds) and I then beat that in 52.7 seconds. The one and only competition I attended but that record stood until 2003! Sadly both records have been well and truly beaten by some fantastic speedcubers around at the moment.[2]

It is likely that Dicks actually began one-handed solving in 1981, since David Singmaster mentions John White's "behind his back" skills in late 1981. Furthermore Singmaster reports that the one-handed solver who inspired Dicks was "Richard Hodson, of Queen Mary's Grammar School, Walsall, [who] can do a Cube one-handed in 89 seconds."[3] The competition Dicks competed in was apparently a charity cube-contest which Singmaster attended in Birmingham on 15 May 1982. Singmaster reports that "Richard Hodson improved his one-handed time to 77.50 sec., but Duncan Dicks, a 2nd year student at Warwick University, did 59.32 and 53.29 sec."[4]

Blindfold solving

Dicks also used to solve blindfold in practice sessions with John White in the early 1980s although not to same performance level.[5]

L2Ln Method

Duncan Dicks was still actively cubing (including one-handed) in the 2000s. In 2004 he proposed a sequence of L2L (L2L1 through L2L4) methods on the Yahoo! speedsolving group.[6] The method is an extension and variation on the keyhole method. There are 4 substeps to be learned, each can be learned individually without knowledge of the others and provide a fast method, or all of them can be learned for the most advanced version: L2L4. Dicks found many algorithms, while Richard Carr also provided several.[7] Dicks himself credits Gustav Fredell for many "improved algorithms for L2L4 making it a much more viable strategy."[8]

External links

  • Cubert's Cubicle - Duncan Dicks' website, 2008 snapshot, at the Internet Archive