Rubik’s cubes are something I always found kind of interesting but somehow I never bothered to learn how to solve them properly. Until a few month ago.

Somewhere I saw someone solving a Rubik’s cube and thought it might be time to figure out how that works. Couldn’t be that hard, right? Well I bought one and went to one of those websites where they explain in great detail how to go about it.

I mixed up my cube and then tried to follow the instructions to unscramble it and failed. It should not be that hard. The instructions clearly tell what to do in which situation and I tried to do that but somehow my fingers did something else and I just ended up with a cube that was scrambled in a different way. As you can imagine I felt quite stupid. But I did not give up and kept going.

It took a bit of time but with very consciously making the moves I managed to solve my cube. So the website had not lied to me. The next step was to actually learn the steps so I would not rely on the instructions. I took a piece of paper and wrote, or drew, the things down that I needed to learn and started mixing and solving my cube.

There are different methods to solving a cube. I choose the layer method which is relatively simple but it is not a method with which you can solve a cube really fast. The fast methods require you to learn a lot more moves and I figured learning the simple ones from that method would be good enough for me.

To solve the cube with the layer method there are a hand full of sequences which transform the cube from one state to the next. I tried to memorise the first sequence and used my notes to do the rest until the cube was solved. Once I had that working I moved on to the next until I could do the whole thing without taking a look at my notes. That process took me a bit over a week but I was quite happy when I was finally able to solve my cube without any help.

Now I almost always have a cube laying around on my desk and when I need a moment to think or just want to fidget with something I take it, mix it and solve it again. It is a great toy and I am still enjoying the process of solving it. I am never going to be as fast as those speed cubers but that is ok. It is also not a particularly useful skill but somehow I am glad that I learned it.