Singmaster designates the faces as Up, Down, Right, Left, Front, and
Back. The names are chosen so that no two of the faces start with
the same letter. There have been some latter day efforts to rename
Up as Top so that all the faces have names beginning with
Yes, this is the main reason for using Top, because of the Rubiksong
introduced by Varga that I described (unfortunately with many typos)
on 22 Feb 90 (<ftp:://ftp.ai.mit.edu/pub/cube-lovers/cube-mail-6.gz>
is a URL that I hope works--anyone who is actually able to point and
click on this, please let me know).
But there's another reason. Remember the annoying feature that the
color assignments to faces were never standardized? The first cube I
bought had red opposite yellow, blue opposite white, and orange
opposite green (I think). Even though in later days most cubes are
manufactured with opposite faces ``differing by yellow''--red opposite
orange, blue opposite green, and yellow opposite white--there does not
seem to be a standard for the handedness of the coloring. This has
long been a problem on cube-lovers, where everyone starts out asking
``I've got my cube solved except a blue sticker on the white face, a
white sticker on the green face, and a green sticker on the blue
face,'' and the puzzle becomes trying to figure out where those faces
are. (This was fixed in Square 1, where they printed a full-color
instruction book coordinated with the puzzle).
My modest proposal is to define the Standard Earth-Tone Cube, which
has the faces in standard and easily remembered places. The colors
are taupe, dun, fawn, beige, loam, and roan. This supports the use of
Top over Up, because ``taupe'' is so much more evocative than
``umber''. ``Dun'' is also a major win, and I wish I had better names
for the other faces.
I have yet not tried painting such a cube, because I can't figure out
which color is which.