It’s been tormenting brains for going on 50 years now—the Rubik’s Cube. Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Emo Rubik invented the brain teaser in 1974. In the 1980s, the cube hit mainstream popularity. Around the world, “speedcubers” compete to see who can solve the cube the fastest. Since 2003, the World Cube Association has organised official competitions and records world records.
WIRED posted a video about these speedcubers and how they solve the puzzle so quickly. Now they’ve followed that video up with a tutorial video that teaches how to solve a Rubik’s Cube.
Robby Gonzalez from WIRED learned the art of solving the cube from Tyson Mao, one of the founders of the World Cube Association. Over the course of two weeks, Robbie dropped the time it took him to solve a Rubik’s Cube from 45 minutes to under a minute on average. In the video, Robby walks through his eight-step method. Those steps include making the Daisy, creating the White Cross, solving the bottom layer, solving the second layer, creating the Yellow Cross, positioning the corners, and finally, positioning the edges. Robby also provides insights into how to properly hold the cube and how to read the cube’s notations.
Robby also provides extra pieces of wisdom, such as solving for the pieces rather than the stickers. He also advises thinking of the cube as having three layers rather than having six faces. The biggest key to learning how to solve the Rubik’s Cube is what you might suspect—practice. Once you have an understanding of Robby’s approach, you just need to have time using the approach.
According to the World Cube Association, the current world record for solving the Rubik’s Cube is 3.47 seconds, held by Yusheng Du. That’s blazing fast—it’s 0.75 seconds faster than the previous record set by Feliks Zemdegs (4.22 seconds). Studying Robby’s approach may not get you to the world record status, but it should at least let you impress your friends.