John White

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John White
Background Information
Alias(es):
Country: United Kingdom
Born: c.1962
Occupation(s):
Years Active: 1981-2
WCA ID: [1]
Claim to Fame: First 3x3 BLD

John White is a British cuber. He was the first person to officially (pre-WCA) solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded, in 1981.

He was a friend of Duncan Dicks at Warwick University in the early 1980s. According to Dicks, John White "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." They decided to split the tasks and Duncan Dicks became a one-handed speedcuber, and "John White was soon the world record solver behind his back - one look in 20 minutes."[2] Dicks also recalls that: "I used to solve blindfold with my friend John White in the early 80s ... we never used any [mnemonic] systems - just remember where each cubie was and followed it around as we planned our solve. John was pretty good and solved probably 90% of the time and in around 20 minutes as I recall."[3]

David Singmaster mentions John White in his Cubic Circular. In Issue 1 (November 1981) he states:

John White, 19, a second year mathematics student at the University of Warwick can do the Cube behind his back with one look. He demonstrated this for Mal Davies, taking 10 minutes to study the Cube first. Unfortunately it came out with two pieces wrong, which he then corrected behind his back, in a total time of 154 seconds.

In 1982 (Issue 3 & 4) Singmaster himself observed John White perform a successful solve at a charity cube contest, apparently in Birmingham on May 15. He states:

I saw John White do a cube completely behind his back (136 sec).

According to Dicks, John White demonstrated his skill on British television "probably on Nationwide or something like that - in about 1982/83."[4][5] John White is no longer an active cuber, although Dicks stated (in 2004) that "he still has a huge selection of cube type puzzles."

External links