Cubing For Beginners – Understanding The Basics

The year 2005, I was in USA for a business trip specifically in Nashville Tennessee. It was the first time I was travelling outside of India, and to keep myself busy I took with me a normal looking Rubiks Cube, you know the 3x3x3 cube. It’s interesting to know, The Rubik’s Cube was created by Erno Rubik (Hungary) as a mechanical puzzle for his architecture students somewhere in the 1970s. He wanted to demonstrate 3D movement to his students and was inspired by seeing water moving around pebbles. He first created the prototype using wood, rubber band, and paper clips. It was only in 1974 that Rubik’s created a typical prototype and got a patent for the original 3x3x3 Magic Cube in 1975.When Mr. Rubik build the cube, it took him a month to solve his own Puzzle. Well, unlike Mr. Rubik, it took me almost 9 months to solve the cube. Yipee !!! were the words which I literally yelled, more in my mind though. From then on, I have tried to solve many different types of cubes. To name a few, 2x2x2, 3x3x3, 4x4x4 till a 9x9x9, a void cube (a cube with no centers), Mirror Cube (like a 3x3x3 but it comes in a different shape), Cuboid (2x3x3, ), Pyraminx (Looks like a Pyramid), a numbers cube. There are more but let’s leave that discussion for another day.

So, what am I doing here today? Let me think, what was I supposed to write? Oh Yeah, I thought I will share my way of solving the rubik’s cube, which is the 3x3x3 cube. I am hoping I can simplify it, and I am going to explain the simple method not the fast method. By the way the fast method in cube terminology is also called as speed cubing. Before we start solving a cube, we need to spend some time understanding the cube. If you kids paid attention in Geometry class, you would know a Cube has 6 sides. Yes, folks, not 3 or 4, it has Six sides 😊.

A 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube is made up of many cubies (each individual piece is called a cubie). By the way, the cubie is a 1x1x1 cube. A 3x3x3 cube consists of 26 such cubies. Additionally The Rubik’s Cube has six Faces and each solved cube face has a different color, viz, White, Yellow, Red, Orange, Blue and Green.

Now, these 26 the cubies, can technically be grouped into three different layers viz: The Top Layer, Middle Layer and Bottom Layer. Along with this, each side/face has three different types of pieces, The Center, Edge and Corner piece.

If you notice in an odd numbered cube like a 3x3x3 the centers are fixed, their position will not change. For now, we will leave this here and we will dwell into this more when we talk about cube movements.I will not be getting into the details of the Cube Movements in this article, we will look at that later. But just to give you an idea of what is coming in the other articles, I thought it would be good to share the Visualization of the Six main steps used to solve a cube.

We will go through the above steps one by one, until then have a great day !!