Saturday, March 2, 2024

The world of Rubik’s Cube solving

Written By Vaanika Gupta (Grade 5)

The journey in the world of Rubik’s cube solving is full of bumps and has its own share of excitement. It starts off seeming very easy, however, soon turns out to be tough. Rubik’s Cube comes in different shapes and sizes; the ones that are pyramid-shaped are called Pyraminx. Starting with a simple cube can kindle interest and get one to start and lead to solving complex puzzles in the future. 

A standard Rubik’s cube that we refer to is a 3x3x3 cube, also called the 3×3. The typical colours on every cube are white, yellow, green, blue, red and orange – one on each face totalling 6 faces. White is on the opposite face of yellow, green opposite to blue and red opposite to orange. A cube is called solved when each face has all smaller cubes of the same colour. While there is a 2x2x2 cube available, my personal advice is to start learning with a 3x3x3. Learning 3×3 is helpful because this cube has a centrepiece that is fixed and works as a guide to getting the same colours on the respective faces. Whereas, in a 2×2, one will need to solve the first face without any colours guiding them. 

After mastering the 3×3 and the 2×2, one can proceed to solving the more complex ones like the 4×4, 5×5 and also venture out to solving other shapes like Pyraminx, Gigaminx (pentagon-shaped)etc. There is also a cube called mirror cube, typically a 2×2 or 3×3 which has silver or golden pieces and each piece is of a different shape and size. The solving method is similar to the coloured cubes, however, in this case, the shape and size of each piece provide guidance for solving as opposed to the colour. When solved, it looks like a perfect cube; when jumbled up, it looks like anything but a cube. 

My journey to solving the Rubik’s cube was full of challenges. I started with a 2×2 (first mistake) and found the puzzle to be quite easy. I moved on to a 3×3 hoping it would be a walk in the park but soon turned out to be a nightmare. I started to lose interest because solving a 3×3 needed a completely different strategy as compared to a 2×2. My mother intervened and helped. We wrote notes of the steps and very soon I mastered the 3×3 and was able to solve the mirror cube all by myself; though it took a while. Pyraminx needed a completely different method and I made use of online resources to learn it. I can solve a 3×3 in under 56 seconds. I also learnt how to solve a 4×4 and now I am trying my hand at 5×5. 

It is a scientifically proven fact that solving Rubik’s cube is relaxing, reduces stress and increases concentration apart from getting bragging rights. It is the most common puzzle in the world. The largest Rubik’s I know of is a 21×21 and I am wondering if anyone has been able to solve it yet. 

Good luck to all of you out there in your journey to the world of Rubik’s cube. I assure you this will be fun-filled and it is definitely not rocket science. 

Featured Image Courtesy – The Indian Express


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