dan > rubik's cube > my method

Most speed solving systems found on the Internet require nearly 100 (or more!) memorized algorithms to quickly solve the cube. I don't like to memorize, so I created a modified solving method with only 5 memorized algorithms.

Using only these 5 memorized algorithms, it should be possible to get down to 30-40 second solve times (my record is 37.93 seconds, but I'm sure I could improve on that if I had the interest). However, to improve beyond that, you'll have to use a more elaborate systems, such as Jessica Fridrich's Method. If you need assistance buying or maintaining a good speed cube, please see The definitive guide to buying, lubing, and maintaining a speedcube.

Overview of steps:

  1. First layer: Position the four edges (0 memorized moves)
  2. First layer: Position the four corners (0 memorized moves)
  3. Second layer: Position the four edges (1 memorized move)
  4. Third layer: Permute the four corners (1 memorized move)
  5. Third layer: Orient the four corners (1 memorized move)
  6. Third layer: Permute the four edges (1 memorized move)
  7. Third layer: Orient the four edges (1 memorized move)


Position means to place the cube in the right location and make sure it is turned the right way
Permute means to shuffle the relative location of cubes (in my method, this is without regard for the way they are oriented)
Orient means to twist or turn the cubes so they are facing the right way, without moving their locations

Each of the memorized moves also includes the mirror image. When solving the 2nd layer, for example, it doesn't matter whether the 2nd layer edge piece is flipped one way or another, since you could just do the mirror image of the move to put it into position.

First two layers (steps 1 to 3)

Please refer to Speedcubing.com's algorithms for the first two layers for an overview.

Step 1: Correctly positioning the four edges in step one will create a solved cross. I keep the cross on the bottom because it is faster, but it is probably easier to learn with the cross on top. You should be able to complete step one without memorizing any moves.

Step 2: Please see theoverview of all algorithms for corners of first layer and edges of second layer for codes I'll refer to in step two. You should also be able to complete step two without memorizing any real algorithms. For example, to move a corner into the first layer, it suffices to use a move like RUR' (see code b04), or the mirror image of that move, F'UF' (code b13). (Ignore the layer two edge cube shown in the diagrams, as these diagrams are meant to do my steps 2 and 3 together.) I don't consider RUR' a memorized move since it is so short and intuitive. If your corner cube doesn't look like code b04 (or code b13), then you may need to make a few moves to mix it up to make it look that way. For example, if it looks like code b21, then an intuitive move like U2RUR' will twist it so you can then do the sequence F'UF'. Same logic goes for situations where the corner cube is in place, but not twisted properly (code a11), in which case you take it out then put it back in right. When you finish step two, the first layer should be completely solved, without having used any memorized algorithms.

Step 3: Now choose one of the edges you want to put in place. It will be in one of three positions: 1. in the correct position and twisted right; 2. in the right place but twisted wrong (see code a01x); or 3. in layer three (see code a02, or the mirror image: code a05). If you are lucky and it is already in the correct position, you can obviously move onto the next edge. If it is in the correct place, but twisted wrong (as in code a01x), then take out the corner and edge piece with a move like RUR', and then put the corner back in (with U'F'UF'). Now the edge cube should be in layer three. To move the edge from layer three into the correct position, use the memorized algorithm URUR'U'F'U'F (see code a02). (You can, of course, use the mirror image algorithm if it looks like code a05.) Once you do all four edges, you should have the first two layers completely solved, using only one memorized algorithm. If you don't like to memorize, this is a big improvement over the 41 moves listed on speedcubing.com, although my method is significantly slower.

Corners and Edges on last layer (steps 4 to 7)

I'm unable to finish writing these instructions now, so please check back later. Basically, to get the corners in the right perumutation, do a 2 corner swap (or perform that move twice if the correct corners are diagonal from each other). Then use the 3 corner twist move as many times as necessary to orient the corners. In steps 6 and 7 use the three edge permute move as many times as necessary to get the edge cubes in the right place. Then use the two edge twist move as necessary to orient correctly and complete solving the cube. Again, email me or check back later for an update to this section if you need more details on steps 4-7...

Image of email address (to protect from spam)
Last update: 14 August 2004.