I always wonder how Rubik’s Cube puzzle can be solved. I tried so many times to solve the puzzle and did not make it. Every time I do, it gives me a headache and frustrations. There are other people in the world who are very much expert in solving the puzzle within a fraction of time. I wondered and curious how these people could solve this tiny little 3D combination of puzzle and set a Guinness Book of World Record.
This tiny different color pattern puzzle has a lot to explain.
History of Rubik’s Cube
Rubik’s cube was first invented by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik in 1974 as a purpose of teaching his students to understand 3D objects. But he never knew this puzzle could make a revolution in the arena of the toy world. After his invention, the toy became so popular that today we see it in almost every household, offices, schools, and colleges and is a baby for all age groups from toddler to old age to play around. As of 2009, more than 350 million cubes had been sold worldwide and was the best-selling toy in the world.
How I started
One evening, I went to the market with my 8 years old son for shopping. While billing at the counter, my son saw a new piece of Rubik’s Cube packet in a brand new cover which is written “Rubik’s Cube 3×3,”
“Papa Rubik’s Cube, I want it,” my son asked surprisingly.
The moment I saw the box packet hanging on the wall behind the biller, my mind went to the flashback point where I failed solving this tiny puzzle so many times in my teenage years.
I returned to the present when the biller handed over me a bill along with the cube packet as my son had already asked the biller to add Rubik’s Cube along with others. I was not okay with my son for adding this toy with other items.
But still, I paid the bill and headed back home.
Enroute, he asked me to solve the puzzle after reaching home.
I said, okay.
At home, first I prayed for help. It was a big task for me and thought that being a father, I need to gather some ideas to solve just for the sake of my son. He wanted me to do it right away but I was just ignoring him and diverting his mind by playing other sorts of games at the time.
Out of the dark, I told him, “tomorrow morning you will see the solved piece of color in front of you. That’s my promise, my son.”
In the night, after he went to sleep, I got up from the bed thinking how I would prove it. Questions after questions started coming to my mind. Nothing was helping me out at that time. My one part of the mind says you can do it, just give a try and the other part says, it’s not at all possible, you tried before and failed. The two different minds were struggling with each other to convince me to do the task in their own terms.
I was helpless.
The father and son relationship is very emotional. It is attached to your heart and generates love. And this time there is no different story than any father and son relationship in the world that we share. I always try to become a good dad and make him feel proud. As far as our relationship is concerned, I do not want to let him down by not solving this puzzle.
I felt the challenge that could turn our relationship more strong and loveable.
Suddenly, my positive mind charged up and said, “try on YouTube!! This may help you out. I opened the YouTube app and searched “Rubik’s Cube puzzle.”
Because I have to prove him!
Yes, it was there. I felt happy to see many entries about solving Rubik’s cube puzzle. I had selected the easiest method to solve the puzzle. Again, I was happy with the video and the guy, who explained the puzzle.
Immediately, I took a pen and a paper and started jotting down the algorithms.
There are algorithms behind every puzzle or secret code. You need to decipher each and every code to get the result to be proved.
For example, everyone’s favorite Google has a bunch of algorithms to run the process or virtual currency, Bitcoin runs only on algorithms. Algorithms give strong, safety, and security to the world to process their data or any mathematical calculations.
Similarly, this Rubik’s cube also has algorithms to solve its puzzles.
If you hook to it… then VOILA… you are done.
So believing in the codes, first I wrote the movement of the pieces and learned every direction of the piece and its opposite directions. The opposite direction is called dash. Suppose if it is ‘R’ then the opposite will be ‘R’ dash. There are 12 movements of each position and can be named as follows:
R – Moves right upwards.
R’ – Moves right downwards
L – Moves left downwards (opposite to R move)
L’ – Moves left upwards (opposite to R’ move)
U – Moves clockwise (towards the left side)
U’ – Moves anticlockwise (towards the right side)
D – Moves anticlockwise (down towards the right side)
D’ – Moves clockwise (down towards the left side
F – Moves clockwise (front)
F’ – Moves anticlockwise
B – Moves anticlockwise (back)
B’ – Moves clockwise
As I finished writing all the movements with these letters, I checked the clock, it was 11:30 PM and looked at my son, he was still in deep sleep.
The Rubik’s cube is in my hand and I started moving the pieces accordingly. Before solving the cube, there are some color positions that you need to learn and be extra careful about holding the cube as a whole.
Generally, in the 3×3 cube, there are 6 variations of color. In Rubik’s cube, the center color will never change its position. It always is there in the center. Solving Rubik’s cube makes you easier when you hold the cube vertically by selecting any middle piece of color without switching the pieces.
And importantly, you start solving the cube in layerwise: first layer, second layer, and the third layer.
I had watched the video 2 times before I started solving the cube myself. It was 12.45 AM when I finished solving the two layers.
Encouraging myself, yes I can do too.
I was quite happy solving the two layers. This gave me more confidence to go ahead and solve the third layer also. As the video guy on YouTube was telling that the third layer is a bit more complicated than the two layers and needs more focus on the algorithm to solve the layer completely.
Actually, it is very difficult. In this stage, you need to pay more attention and concentration to complete the part, by chance if you miss a single code you will need to start over again.
I took a sip of water from the bottle next to me and checked the notebook for the final algorithm to solve the puzzle. The final one is really complicated to finish the puzzle as it has 4 algorithms to complete the puzzle.
Note: Before starting the final layer, first you need to do a small task and the task is to change the position of the cube as downside up without disturbing the matched layer pieces. For example, if your top color is green and the opposite down color is blue, then blue comes to the top and green goes down by just changing position of the cube from down to up.
Now use your algorithms for final layer as follows:
- F R U R’ U’ F’ This algorithm is for making the color in PLUS sequence. You have to keep using the formula unless you get the PLUS of that color on top. In this, you can ignore the pieces at the edge.
- R U2 R’ U’ R U’ R’ This algorithm is for matching the middle color in the right, left, front, and back sequences. You have to keep moving the pieces unless you get those matching colors in the middle from all sides (U2 means 2 times U)
- L’ U R U’ L U R’ U’ This algorithm is for color alignment in between the top corner cube. For example, if your top color is blue, and the right and left middle colors are white and orange, the corner on top should be the colors like blue, white and orange irrespective of its position. You have to keep moving the pieces unless you get the result.
- R’ D’ R D This is the final algorithm to match the color on top as well as your final step to solve the puzzle. While doing this formula, the other side of the piece may disturb, but you just ignore and keep matching the color of the edge piece at every corner.
I used all the algorithms given above and the result is crystal clear. It worked.
Hurray! I did it! I did it!
Felt proud of me and also for my son.
I thought this would definitely make my son happy. As I promised him, I made it.
Once again, I checked the time and it was 1.30 AM. I felt a cool breeze coming through the window and relaxed for a few seconds experiencing the breeze.
I wanted to wake up my son from sleep but as I promised him he could see the solved puzzle in the morning. So I placed the solved Rubik’s cube on the table and went to sleep.