As a child of the 1980s, I’ve been fascinated by the apparent complexity of Rubik’s Cube–the world-famous puzzle toy designed by Hungarian architect Emö Rubik–but I could never solve one past peeling the stickers and placing them in the correct position (a trick my uncle taught me that could be used to “mess with the Cube nerds”). I’ve had a newer model sitting around for a few years, and as one of my “COVID Side Projects”, I finally learned the proper way to solve the Cube.
Building the yellow cross:
If you have no yellow edge pieces on the top face, then F U R U’ R’ F’
If you have a line of yellow pieces through the center, then reorient the entire cube so that the line is vertical to your perspective and F U R U’ R’ F’
If you have two yellow edge pieces making an “L” shape, then turn the top layer until the edge pieces are in the 12:00 and 9:00 positions and F U R U’ R’ F’
Solving the yellow face:
If there are 0 or 2 yellow corners showing, then R U R’ U R U2 R’
If there is 1 yellow corner showing (“the goldfish”), then turn the top layer until the yellow corner piece is in the lower left of the face (the “goldfish” will be diving to the left) and R U R’ U R U2 R’
Set up the top layer:
If there are no matching corner pieces on any faces of the top layer, then L’ U R U’ L U R’ R U R’ U R U2 R’
If there is a set of matching corner pieces on a face, then reorient the cube so that face is on the left and L’ U R U’ L U R’ R U R’ U R U2 R’
Continue until there are matching corner pieces on all 4 faces
Solve the top layer:
F2 U’ R’ L F2 L’ R U’ F2
Continue until the top layer is solved, then rotate the top layer to solve faces as necessary.