When my Inbox is empty, Yahoo now suggests videos I can watch, p’raps to distract me from the evident fact that no one wants to talk to me (sniff) or p’raps to reward me for being so organized. When did apps start feeling for or rewarding us?
Anyway, you know how it goes from there. In watching whatever forgettable video Yahoo suggested, I followed a link to another one. That’s how I came to watch a YouTube video of a fellow unscrambling three Rubik’s Cubes, blindfolded, on Britain’s Got More Talent. It was worth watching for the judges’ reactions alone. You’d think he’d turned into a snake. They were impressed, but not sure they should believe their eyes.
Well, I couldn’t leave it like that.
How do people solve Rubik’s Cubes blindfolded?
Bless Google: It isn’t so hot with formal responses, but it always comes back quickly and with lots of options.
If I want a basic answer to my question, there’s a site for that. Let me just give you the flavour of it, using the question Google figured was pretty close to mine . . .
Answer: Kind of. Ultimately, they have to memorize enough information to be able to recreate the cube state, but most blindfold methods have you memorize the sequences in which you solve pieces, and the method prescribes that the pieces are to be solved in a distinct way so that each piece you solve exactly sets up the next one appropriately. So what exactly needs to be memorized? Just the destinations of your pieces. (Ed’s note: Oh, is that all?) A typical example, taken from the site, would be memorizing something like FR – UL – FD – DB – DR – UF – LB – UB – DL – FL – BU – stop – UB – RD – UF – UR – DL – RB – FR – LD – BL (where F = front, B = back, U = up, D = down, L = left, R = right) or some color coded equivalent.
And much more in this helpful vein, along with tips for how to tackle eight grandmasters at chess simultaneously, just in case I’m looking for that.
If I want to read actual step-by-step impenetrable text instructions for solving it blindfolded, there’s a site for that.
If I want to read actual step-by-step impenetrable instructions for solving it blindfolded, written by Stefan Pochmann, the guy who developed the standard method that bears his name, there’s a site for that.
If I want to watch an impenetrable 36-minute video for solving it blindfolded, there’s a site for that.
If I want to motivate myself (or totally totally demotivate myself, depending on what kind of day it is) by watching a world record holder in blindfolded solving (28.80 seconds, way back in 2012), there’s a site for that.
If I want to explore how fast the official record for blindfolded solving is dropping (21.05 seconds as of 2015), there’s a site for that.
If I want to check out the difference it makes to the world record when you can, you know, see what you’re doing (and you’re a 15-year-old with just 5.25 seconds to spare), there’s a site for that . . .
If I want to check out a three-year-old solver, there’s a site for that.
If I want to check out a two-year-old solver, there’s a site for that.
If I want to get philosophical, there’s a site for that.
“. . . like most amazing things that people do it’s mostly a lot easier than it seems – or more like it appears even more difficult than it really is . . . it’s difficult, but it’s not super-human or “magic,” and it’s finely tuned to appear much more amazing than it is. . . . Like in programming, engineering, or doing anything complicated, you always break the problem down to easy chunks and scale it up, and at the end it’s amazing.”
Hey. I get that solving the Rubik’s Cube blindfolded isn’t magic. Solving it at all isn’t magic, although it totally eluded me when the Rubik’s Cube first came out in 1980. But I’d like to be amazing, too—at least as amazing as a two- or three-year-old—and I’d even be happy to look more amazing than I am. I’m OK to start as a beginner, and there’s a site for that, too.
Maybe that’s the real magic here.