By: Darren Miller
The first step in solving the Rubik ‘s cube is coming to terms with the real reason you want to solve a Rubik ‘s cube in the first place. This wasn ‘t easy for me, and it may not be easy for you either. Take a minute to think hard about this. You may think it ‘s because you enjoy solving puzzles, meeting challenges, or passing the time with a tactile activity. And all that may be true. But that ‘s not why you ‘re here.
You ‘re here because those little mixed up colored stickers represent the chaos on your own life. Because sometimes it feels like everything is out of control, but this tricky little toy is the perfect metaphor that you can actually somehow figure out an answer to – that you can literally take in your hands and determine a series of steps that will lead to a definitive solution to this fucked up cube with different colors all fucking over the place just begging for someone to take control and finally bring some order, some goddamn peace to this doomed, tiny world for once. RIGHT!?
Okay, maybe we have different reasons for doing this. But we ‘re here now. So let ‘s figure this out.
There are a lot of YouTube tutorials out there. I highly recommend this one from how-to-solve-a-rubix-cube.com cause the website has a bunch of cool hyphens in it and the narrator has a fun accent. Neat, right?
Let ‘s break this down, step-by-step.
1. Figure out the white face
You can start with any color, technically, but for some reason every guide out there suggests you deal with the white side first. None of these guides seem to address that this blatant favoring of the white stickers might have something to do with what caused all this chaos on the cube in the first place. But then again, you ‘re not a sticker, so you shouldn ‘t presume to know what ‘s best for them.
The key here is that the pieces in the center are fixed, so those pieces define each face ‘s color. So you ‘ll want to maintain that as you go:
This is nice because in your actual life, when you try to clean the dishes and clear your head, it ‘s somehow completely impossible to avoid breaking a plate and two wine glasses along the way, creating a whole other mess.
Anyway, the tutorial above has what it calls “algorithms ‘ to create the series of moves to get you to the next step, using letters to represent “Front, ‘ “Back, ‘ “Right, ‘ “Left, ‘ “Up, ‘ and “Down. ‘ When I think of algorithms, I think about my uncontrollable addiction to the algorithms that drive my social media feeds, full of FOMO, trolls, sadness, and toxicity, so let ‘s go ahead and call these “cheat codes ‘ instead. Who wants an algorithm when you can have a cheat code? Here ‘s the first one:
If you ‘re like me, getting this first step will prove that you don ‘t need professional help for all your life ‘s stressors – you just need to solve this fucking Rubik ‘s cube. And you need to solve it quickly.
Next, you ‘re gonna need to solve the white corners. There ‘s a cheat code for this one too that you can just keep repeating til the puzzle is solved.
When you ‘re done, the cube should have a solid white side:
This step was extremely satisfying, because the definition of insanity is literally doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome, and here, you do the same thing over and over again, and it just keeps working. Incredible. I ‘ve spent the last five years buying various kitchen supplies and gadgets hoping I ‘d just magically get in the habit of cooking my own goddamn food, and now I have nowhere to put all these empty takeout containers when my fridge and trash fill up.
2. Solve the middle part
The middle part seems like a great place to go cause it ‘ll feel like you ‘re really getting your hands dirty.
There are two cheat codes here: a left and a right. The left one will take the edge piece from “front up ‘ to the left side. The right cheat code takes it to the right.
This is the kind of order and stability you ‘ll appreciate when you ‘ve spent all week mindlessly driving wherever your Google Maps app tells you to go just because you can shave two minutes
off your commute by driving in the opposite direction through a parking lot and three driveways.
When there ‘s no edge piece left, just do the cheat code twice, because we ‘re living in a fucking dream world now and whenever something doesn ‘t work you just try again and all of the sudden everything is fine:
3. Top yellow edge
The first thing we ‘ll do to solve the yellow side is to form a cross at the top of the cube. Here ‘s the cheat code:
If you ‘re religious, you can make this the moment where you connect with whomever your God is, to thank them for guiding you through this alternate universe where things actually work out, high five them, and move on.
If you ‘re not religious, then, I don ‘t know, maybe it ‘s a yellow version of the hospital cross, or an intersection or something. I don ‘t have to make everything significant for you – that ‘s the reason you ‘re not religious in the first place.
Next you ‘ll need to switch up the last edges. They ‘ve got a cheat code for this too:
If you get stuck, you should probably just watch the actual tutorial in the video, instead of my dumb pictures of it. I think it ‘s clear at this point that I simply do not have my shit together and cannot possibly be trusted to help you get your shit together.
In any case, it should look like this when you ‘re done with this step:
4. The final layer corners
Wow, the last step. You might actually solve this thing. Don ‘t worry about coming up with the rent money due tomorrow that you shouldn ‘t have spent on overpriced drinks with your out-of-town friend who ‘s crashing on your couch for “just a few days ‘ – worry about this. Because this, you ‘re about to figure out once and for all.
Use this cheat code to cycle the various corners around the Front Right Up corner as shown in the video, and again, explained by someone with a voice that is way cooler than this text looks.
Then, arrange the final layer corners:
And holy shit you did it.
You finished something! Wow! That ‘s amazing. And however long that took is the amount of time you successfully procrastinated too! Big win. All that time, you were able to feel what it would feel like if you had some kind of control over your actual life. Feels cool, right?
Good, cause now you have an extremely important decision to make: you can tackle the insurmountable task of successfully sustaining a flossing habit like a reasonably healthy adult, or… you could just jumble this whole thing up and start over.
Just sayin ‘… you solved it, but like, slowly. Maybe you could do it slightly faster, and pretend like you ‘re not only accomplishing something again, but that you ‘re accomplishing something even better than you did before. So now it ‘s not only fabricated control and accomplishment, it ‘s also fabricated progress. Cool.