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In article <19920611213942.5.ACW@PALLANDO.SCRC.Symbolics.COM> ACW@riverside.scrc.symbolics.com (Allan C. Wechsler) writes:

While I'm reminiscing, I should confess that my standard corner operator

is still the same as it was then: (FUR)^5, which exchanges two corners,

leaves the rest of the corners alone, and fucks the edges completely.

(Prudes, do not hassle me. This has been a technical term in cubing

around MIT since The Beginning.) Because of this property of "furry

five", I have to home and orient all the corners first, before I touch

the edges. It's the kind of quirky algorithm you don't see among

younger cubers, because everybody these days learns how to solve the

thing from a book. In the Beginning, there were no books, and I proudly

state that I solved the cube from scratch, by brainpower. Later I

discovered that there were easier ways to do things than (FR)^105! I

had pages and pages covered with little cube diagrams with arrows

showing how the stickers were permuted by a particular sequence.I'm interested in hearing other reminiscences from people who actually

solved the cube -- you're disqualified if you learned how to solve it

from somebody else, or from a book.

I also solved the cube alone at first. I solved the top and middle first,

then spent some time pondering the final face. I realized that manipulating

the corners was trickier than the edges because there were three faces rather

than two, so I solved the bottom corners and then got the bottom edges in

place.

I eventually got Singmaster's book, and found that my method of solving two

layers was faster than his. I don't quite remember now, but I think it was

because I had found a quick method for flipping a piece on the middle edge

around if necessary (i.e., if it was in the correct position but flipped the

wrong way) without disturbing anything else on the top or middle of the cube.

Still, Singmaster's book had many patterns that were fun to go through and

see evolve.

I've long since lost my copy of Singmaster's book (one move too many); is it

still available?

--Paul

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