Wetten, dass..? vom 5. November

My record average for solving the 4x4 cube is 1 minute 20.78 seconds, that's 19.57 seconds slower than the current world record (see 4x4 at SCC). Most of us first solve the centers, then pair up the edges, then solve like a 3x3. Compared to the fastest guys I lose time in the latter two steps, but my centers solving is fairly fast with a record average of 13.82 seconds (see 4x4 centers at SCC). I came up with my own method for this, and the people I showed it so far liked it. It's quite easy yet very effective. You could call it a "layer-by-layer" method:

  1. Solve white center
  2. With white on the left side, solve the l-slice
  3. With white on the bottom side, solve the u-slice

This will of course automatically solve the yellow center as well. Note that sometimes with "center" I mean a single piece (of the 24), other times I mean the set of four pieces of the same color, but it should always be clear from context what I mean.

Maybe I'll add applets and a better video later, for now have a look at this slow demo video where I somewhat try to point out what I'm doing. I suggest to watch it now just to see it in action, and watch it again after reading the description below.

Step 1: Solve white center

This should take about 5 moves. The idea is to build two pairs of adjacent white centers on separate faces and then match the two pairs. Usually it goes like this:

  1. Build a pair. Sometimes there already is one, most of the time though it takes one move.
  2. Adjust a third center so that it can be connected with the fourth in one more move. Sometimes I do this before step 1.
  3. Build the second pair.
  4. Adjust a pair so that it can be connected with the other in one more move.
  5. Connect the two pairs.

Once you decide on the first two steps, the last three are just straightforward. But you often have choices for the first two steps and you can combine or reverse them. So use your preinspection time to consider several possibilities and choose the overall best one. Take 5 moves as a goal. I just did a 4.4 move average-of-10, using Jaap's scrambler. Single results: 5 4 5 5 (6) 4 5 4 (3) 4 5 3.

Step 2: White on L, solve the l-slice

Rotate the cube so that the white center is on the left side. Now we solve the l-slice, using only U, (Ll) and (Rr) turns and x-rotations of the cube. Ok, sometimes maybe also an F turn. You have to know the relative order of the four colors for this. The idea here is to build pairs and put them into the l-slice where they belong. Very often you'll already have one piece already solved and you build the pair with an (Rr) turn and then finish the pair into the l-slice with U or U'.

Step 3: White on D, solve the u-slice

Rotate the cube with z' so that the white center is on the bottom side. Now we solve the u-slice. The idea is to "shoot down" center pieces from U into their correct face (determined by the d-slice). Each shot is either (Rr)' F (Rr) or (Ll) F' (Ll)'. If there's a center of your current F-color on U, then shoot it down into F. If not, rotate the cube so that one of the colors currently on U becomes your F face.


Some of these have been influenced or directly suggested by fellow cubers, thanks a lot guys!

Stefan Pochmann
Last modified: March 20 2007, 21:33:34