Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Speedsolving the Cube: Easy-to-Follow, Step-by-Step Instructions for Many Popular 3-D Puzzles Paperback – May 1, 2008
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
I don't see why a beginner should have problems understanding the "layer by layer method" described in this book. The beginner's method I learned was different, but I decided to study and understand this method after reading about it in this book. Now when someone asks me to explain how to solve a 3X3X3 cube, this is the method I refer to, because the book is a readily available, easy to understand resource. The author does a good job of explaining the necessary algorithms, as well as optional algorithms for more specific cases if the reader wants to be faster.
For 3X3X3 cubes, the author offers the following:
- a beginner's method, or, a layer-by-layer method
- CFOP: Cross, F2L, OLL, PLL
- Expert speedcubing techniques including advice about finger tricks and F2L, and VHF2L.
The author also provides 3X3X3 reduction methods for both the 4X4X4 and 5X5X5 cubes.
You can certainly learn as much from YouTube videos and online resources, but the book is to me, more convenient. I take notes in the margins of my book, which makes it obvious which algorithms I have learned and which ones I am working on. It fits nicely into one of the back pockets of my jeans so it is easy to take with me. I travel for work, and this book has been with me to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Delhi, as well as various places around the US.
Being a software developer, I wonder whether a mobile application might be a good companion to the book. ;)
The author is encouraging, and offers helpful suggestions about how to go about learning and improving. He peppers the pages with just the right amount of interesting facts, or tidbits of information about cubing to make it more interesting.
I spend most of my time in the OLL & PLL algorithms. I like how the author has grouped the algorithms. The first 7 OLL algorithms are the essential algorithms you must know in order to solve after completing the top cross. After that, algorithms are grouped into sections of related algorithms. In most cases so far, I have been able to practice one entire section at a time rather than just learn one single algorithm at a time.
There is a natural progression when learning these OLL & PLL algorithms:
- Become familiar with the algorithm; get to know the algorithm by muscle memory. All OLL & PLL algorithms, if performed enough times, will return the cube to the solved state, so you only need to perform the algorithm repeatedly. Once I can get to the point where I am able to perform the algorithm without referring to the book, I try to do so with my eyes closed.
- Recognize how to distinguish the algorithm from other, related cases. There are often 2, 4, or 6 similar OLL "shapes" you must be able to recognize. I often create a kind of "story" in my mind that helps me to recognize which case, and how to orient the top face for the algorithm. For example, cases 20 & 21 look to me like "paddles" that get "pushed back/down" to start the algorithm. I know that there should be two connected cubelets with the top color on the front face, and they get "split apart" when I begin the algorithm by pushing the "paddles" back/down. It is difficult to explain, but all this becomes a kind of "scene" in my head that I think about when I see these cases.
- "Polish" the algorithm by practicing it repeatedly hundreds, if not thousands of times, trying various hand positions or finger placements to speed it up or make it flow better. I know I am doing well when I can perform an algorithm nearly quietly, with minimal clicking and catching of corners.
- Perfect the transition into and out of the algorithm. I tend to practice by implementing each algorithm from the solved state, and then proceed from whatever state the cube is now in, with the appropriate OLL & PLL algorithms to return it to a solved state. It reminds me of Katas in Karate; it also looks good when people watch you practice. :) I have become extremely fast at various combinations of algorithms, which I think helps to be able to flow from one algorithm to the next. Each time I learn a new algorithm, I have, effectively, a new "kata" to practice as long as I know the OLL algorithm needed.
Speedcubing is a great hobby. Like so many things in life, there are always ways to improve, and a huge community of people who love to talk about it. In my opinion, you will not go wrong with this book.
The book is probably most appropriate for people moving from beginner to intermediate. Though you could certainly learn from the ground up here, I found online references (You CAN do the cube dot com) more than sufficient to learn the beginner's method where the tight binding of this little book is not fighting you physically why trying to wrap your head around your first solves. I also have benefited more from watching specific UTube video collections than from the book (badmephisto and crazybadcuber come to mind) but even still, I'm happy to have something that isn't a video device.
Quite simply - this is just a supplement to all the videos I watch. It's a little dated. It's little in size. It's okay and very inexpensive.
If you're finding that the algorithms are incorrect on the 2x2x2 or the 3x3x3 odds are you're making an error with the notation. My favorite mistake when I'm tired is to start applying B's to the bottom instead of the back. Remember, D for Down, B for back! That said, there are some known errors, primarily concentrated in the 5x5x5 section. I'm including the complete list of corrections from the original errata page for your reference. I took a fine Sharpie and applied all the corrections in one pass.
A full set of corrections - From the Way Back Machine, as the original site is now gone:
Page 12 - Table 3.4 Move Notation Scheme - Cube Rotations
In the book: "...z2 means rotate the cube 180 clockwise so that the U-face becomes the D-face, and the R-face stays the same."
Correction: "...z2 means rotate the cube 180 clockwise so that the U-face becomes the D-face, and the F-face stays the same."
* * *
Page 31 - Table 4.5b Adjacent Edge Swap Algorithm
In the book: R U2 R' U' R U' R' 1 U2 1 R U R' U R U2 R'
Correction: R U2 R' U' R U' R' + U2 + R U R' U R U2 R'
The 1's should be replaced with + signs to indicate that the algorithm comes in three parts. First you do the Permute Edges Clockwise algorithm, then a U2, and finally the Permute Edges Counter Cockwise algorithms.
* * *
Page 36 - Table 4.8 Swap Adjacent Corners Algorithm
In the book: R' F9 L' F R F' L F R' F' L F R F' L' F
Correction: R' F' L' F R F' L F R' F' L F R F' L' F
F9 should be written as F'
* * *
Page 43 - Table 5.1
In the book: 0.00005
The % of total cross cases that can be solved in 0 moves is 0.0005, or 5*10^-4.
* * *
Page 56 - Tables 5.8 and 5.9
The table titles have been switched by mistake. Where it says "Counterclockwise" in the title of Table 5.8 read Clockwise, and vice-versa in Table 5.9
* * *
Page 125 - Table 8.3 Both Algorithms
In the book: Corner-Center at Front: (R r) U (R' r') U (R r) (U2 u2) (R' r') (R r)
Correction: Corner-Center at Front: (R r) U (R' r') U (R r) U2 (R' r')
In the book: Corner-Center on Bottom: (R2 r2) U (R2 r2) U (R2 r2) (U2 u2) (R2 r2)
Correction: Corner-Center on Bottom: (R2 r2) U (R2 r2) U (R2 r2) U2 (R2 r2)
Both algorithms are written slightly wrong, please study the corrections carefully to see how they should be written.
* * *
Page 126 - Table 8.4 Wing Edge in bottom layer, on the left.
In the book: Move: D F D' (D' d')
Correction: Move: D F D' F' (D' d')
An F' has been omitted in printing.
* * *
Page 127 - Table 8.5 Both Algorithms for Centre-Edge piece in the bottom layer, and Right-hand diagram
In the book: Colours on Front Face are Nonmatching: R' F' U F (U' u') (D d)
Correction: Colours on Front Face are Nonmatching: D F D' F' (U' u') (D d)
In the book: Colours on Front Face are Matching: R U' R (U' u') (D d)
Correction: Colours on Front Face are Matching: R' D R (U' u') (D d). Please note the Orange sticker on the D slice should be on the Center-Edge NOT the WIng-Edge
Some typing errors, please study corrections carefully.
* * *
Page 132 - Missing Sentence at end of page
In the book: "If you don't know how to solve the 3x3x3, "
Correction: "If you don't know how to solve the 3x3x3, please see the beginner method described in chapter 4 for guidance"
* * *
Page 151 - Second algorithm from top (Cube in cube in cube pattern)
In the book: U' L' U' F' R2 B' R F U B2 U B' L U' F U R F
Correction: U' L' U' F' R2 B' R F U B2 U B' L U' F U R F'
Final move should be F' not F.
The book also includes information to speed solve 2X2, 4X4 and 5X5....which is a good thing. Cubing events happen all over the world and there is probably a yearly local event near you if you have the interest.