Time Waster Tuesday: The Secret to the Rubik’s Cube

It is the end of the semester for a few of our writers (namely, our beloved time-waster Tuesday girl Dawn) and so we haven’t got a good game to play this week. However, since I’m filling in briefly (as in, writing this in about 10 minutes), I’ve decided to play with my Rubik’s cube and take some pictures. This isn’t a guide to solving a Rubik’s cube, many of those exist online and are extremely hard to follow. Just a little fun to convince you to go out there and try to learn!

First of all, my dad’s one major rule to solving a Rubik’s cube that he taught me when I was about 13: Everything you do, you have to then reverse.

Meaning, that if you get one side of the cube and go try to do the other side, you are going to lose everything you did, unless you find a way to reverse all your moves. Get it? Of course not, but it makes sense.

The second rule of solving a Rubik’s cube is to think spatially. You aren’t moving blocks next to each other, you are filling a hole in space. If I want the red side at the bottom front to be at the top back, I need to bring the top back space to that red side and pick it up. Easy! More or less.

My dad, by the way, got together with a buddy back in the day when these first came out and figured out how to solve it. All my moves are my dad’s originals. My dad is very smart, and very geeky, and has three smart, geeky children. Coincidence?

Anyway, everyone has different ways of starting. I like to do one whole side, the opposite side, and work toward the center. I take between 5 and 10 minutes to solve depending on how focused I am and how many mistakes I make. However, the real fun is when you are finished, you can make pretty designs on your cube.

Like changing the centers, I use this one around Christmas

Making crosses


Different things on different sides

And a more difficult one, lines

Okay. Now you’ve seen my fun time-wasting skills. What kinds of puzzles can you solve? Ever tried a Rubik’s Cube? Want to try one now?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruth
    May 11, 2010 @ 15:24:25

    I have tried Rubik’s cubes but although I’ve got decent spatial-reasoning abilities I never had the focus to actually go through with it. 😦


  2. Aradia
    May 17, 2010 @ 19:38:18

    Same here, Ruth. My mom designated me the family car-packer since I was 5 (she’d struggle with the trunk for an hour, then set out all of the luggage in the driveway and put things where I told her to, and it would always fit), but I can’t solve one of these. I just don’t have the patience for it.


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