Date: Fri, 07 Jun 96 15:09:45 -0500
~~~ ~~~ From: Norman Richards <orb@cs.utexas.edu >
Subject: Re: Speed cubing

I've heard about some pretty fast people who've claimed to
have averages in the low 20's, but I haven't seen them perform.

My buddy from high school, Scott Evans, now living in Austin,
averages about 25 seconds these days. He's the fastest active
cubist I've seen in the last 10 years. I'm at about 28 seconds.

Whenever I see posts like this I have to wonder what methods you guys are
using to solve the cube. My average casual speed is about 80 seconds and when
I get in blitz mode I usually can average below a minute. But, I never
get below say 45 seconds unless I get a really nice starting position and
things just fall into place. My personal best ever is about 32 seconds, back
when I was in high school.

Anyways, I am curious what methods people use. I've asked around and it
seems
most people prefer to go top/middle/bottom. In fact, all the published
solutions go that way. But, I learned to go top/bottom/middle because it is
MUCH easier. At the same time, I've seen that when solving a single face,
most solutions suggest doing edge and the corner pieces, but I do corner and
then edge. I think this has to do with whether you do the middle or the bottom
next because with the middle/bottom approach you can leave out one corner
piece to do the middle. But if you do bottom/middle then you can leave out
an edge piece to aid in getting the buttom edge pieces done.

Here is a quick overview of my solution (because it is different than most
peoples):

1. do the top face. 4 corners then any 3 edges. (intuitive)
2. align bottom corner pieces. (pattern)
3. rotate bottom corner pieces so the correct color is showing (pattern)
4. place the remaining 4 bottom edges and the missing top edge (intuitive)
5. put the 4 middle edge pieces in the correct positions (intuitive)
6. rotate edge pieces as needed (pattern)

Anyways, is there one technique that almost all speedy solutions use? I've
tried the top/middle/bottom solutions but they seem very uninuitive. Do
most speed people only use patterns? (or at least after the top layer?) How
many patterns do you use? When I go for speed, I tend to use two patterns
for step 2, and 4 possible patterns for step 3. Meaning that I use about
7 patterns max for speed and I use 3 patterns total when doing it casually.