Rubik’s Cube

My two daughters each received a 3x3x3 and a 2x2x2 Rubk’s Cube. As smart as they are, they’re both a bit young to have any reasonable chance of solving either on their own. I will confess, I never did so as a child either … or even as an adult. Fortunately, there are tons of resources to help me learn how to do so now: videos and countless websites, all of which anyone can find with the obvious search.

After stumbling around those, I finally found two I thought were the most helpful for the 3x3x3 cube:

  1. To get used to the basic algorithms and when and how to apply them
  2. A handy list of basic algorithms, useful for after you know when and how to apply them

It seems there are far more efficient approaches, but these are enough to get the thing solved fairly simply. I found videos less helpful.

As for the 2x2x2, here are some links that seem appear useful:

  1. At Squidoo
  2. By StephanMDP

In both cases, I found solving the first layer simple enough to do without instruction. Even the 2x2x2 bottom layer is tricky for my brain to intuit. That I don’t have a head for this surprises some people, but not me. I appear not to be a gifted 3D thinker. Two-dimensions is a different story. I wonder if this relates to my affinity for Go but not chess. Yes, both are nominally 2D, but chess pieces move so irregularly it feels like a third dimension of complexity to me. That never appealed to me, whereas I find Go as beautiful a game as could possibly exist.

Given the rate at which my kids mess up their Rubik’s Cubes, I’m sure to be able to solve them without help soon. Then I’ll have more patience to teach them, unless they figure them out on their own. That would be a thrill!


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