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 Tags Rubik's Cubes

 6th March 2019, 04:20 PM #1 Minoosh Philosopher     Join Date: Jul 2011 Posts: 9,555 A question about Rubik's cube I keep a Rubik's cube on hand as a way to pacify hyperactive children, but it's counterproductive: They get so caught up in the puzzle that I can't get them to focus on reading, or whatever it is they're supposed to be focusing on. I had a very fidgety kid yesterday who wanted to "solve" the cube by peeling off the labels and rearranging them so the cube was solved. It got me thinking: If I had allowed him to do this, would it have compromised the puzzle at all? The combinations/permutations are in the quadrillions, I saw on YouTube. It would take a trillion years to make all of them at which point we'd all be dead anyway and there wouldn't be any light to see the colors. But: Assuming there is only one permutation that "solves" the cube, could I then make a few twists and still have the original puzzle? I would know it could be solved, and the quadrillion-something permutations would quickly reassert themselves. Would it be the same as having a new cube from the factory?
 6th March 2019, 04:24 PM #2 mgidm86 Philosopher   Join Date: Jan 2003 Posts: 5,526 It would not ruin the cube. The cube without anything "rotated" is physically the same no matter what has been rotated. If that makes sense. If not, see first sentence ETA: I used to be able to solve it in less than a minute. __________________ Franklin understands certain kickbacks you obtain unfairly are legal liabilities; however, a risky deed's almost never detrimental despite extra external pressures. Last edited by mgidm86; 6th March 2019 at 04:25 PM.
 6th March 2019, 04:28 PM #3 Skeptic Ginger Nasty Woman     Join Date: Feb 2005 Posts: 75,092 Like mgi said: it would just reset the starting point but it wouldn't be any different after that. __________________ That new avatar is cuteness overload. Restore checks and balances no matter your party affiliation.
 6th March 2019, 04:33 PM #4 sir drinks-a-lot Illuminator     Join Date: May 2004 Location: Cole Valley, CA Posts: 3,676 If I understand your question correctly, you're asking if you take a scrambled cube and peel off the stickers and place them to solve the cube whether the cube would be the same as an original unscrambled cube. If that's the question, the answer is yes! It is interesting to note that when you are solving the cube, the center square on each of the six sides is what determines what color that face will be. Your only job is to move the rest of the pieces (which are either two colored or three colored) into the proper orientations and positions. __________________ I drink to the general joy o' th' whole table. --William Shakespeare
 6th March 2019, 04:33 PM #5 BowlOfRed Graduate Poster     Join Date: Jul 2010 Location: Silicon Valley Posts: 1,592 For most cubes, it's easier to pop the cubes apart and put it back together correctly. If you take the stickers off, they get dirty and don't stick as well. In both cases, as long as you reassemble/resticker to a solved cube at the end, you're fine. If you put it back randomly, it may not be possible to solve just by twisting.
 6th March 2019, 04:34 PM #6 3point14 Pi     Join Date: Nov 2005 Posts: 17,991 I think you could ruin one by moving the stickers - just putting the same colour on two of the centre squares would do it, but not if the stickers were replaced with the cube solved. I do rather like the lateral thinking of the kid, he should get bonus marks. I didn't take the stickers off mine to solve it. You can lever them apart with a screwdrivver though... __________________ Up the River! Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]
 6th March 2019, 05:00 PM #7 Nowhere Man Critical Thinker     Join Date: Aug 2011 Posts: 252 Originally Posted by BowlOfRed For most cubes, it's easier to pop the cubes apart and put it back together correctly. If you take the stickers off, they get dirty and don't stick as well. This has been my experience as well. Disassembly is far better. Fred __________________ Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it." "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time." -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684
 6th March 2019, 05:07 PM #8 arthwollipot Observer of Phenomena     Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: Location, Location Posts: 63,089 Originally Posted by BowlOfRed For most cubes, it's easier to pop the cubes apart and put it back together correctly. If you take the stickers off, they get dirty and don't stick as well. In both cases, as long as you reassemble/resticker to a solved cube at the end, you're fine. If you put it back randomly, it may not be possible to solve just by twisting. Yeah, if you do that a lot, the stickers fall off, which makes the cube a lot harder to solve.
 6th March 2019, 05:22 PM #9 alfaniner Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Aug 2001 Posts: 20,189 Originally Posted by arthwollipot Yeah, if you do that a lot, the stickers fall off, which makes the cube a lot harder to solve. Well, not if they all come off... I have yet to solve one in the 30+ years I've been trying. __________________ Science is self-correcting. Woo is self-contradicting.
 6th March 2019, 05:29 PM #10 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Posts: 36,885 Originally Posted by alfaniner Well, not if they all come off... I have yet to solve one in the 30+ years I've been trying. Apparently the method is a simple sequence of rote gestures.
6th March 2019, 05:31 PM   #11
BowlOfRed

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,592
I can solve one, but only because of learning some rules several decades ago.

I never really understood how to make progress on such a thing on my own. But then I watched a Mathologer video.
 YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. I AGREE

I can't say that I've actually used it to solve anything, but I really liked understanding the concept he showed.

 6th March 2019, 05:33 PM #12 Myriad Hyperthetical     Join Date: Nov 2006 Location: A pocket paradise between the sewage treatment plant and the railroad Posts: 15,136 Yeah, the actual solution is tedious to execute. And it appears very few people actually figure it out for themselves. __________________ A zømbie once bit my sister...
 6th March 2019, 06:50 PM #13 Little 10 Toes Master Poster     Join Date: Nov 2006 Posts: 2,002 So if you remove stickers to "reset" the cube, then no, it will not affect the cube. If you randomly remove/replace stickers, it will mess it up. If you replaced the colored stickers of a cube and replaced them with numbers so it would look like a giant die, (like https://www.instructables.com/id/Mag...k-s-Dice-Cube/ ), you could make the puzzle unsolvable. You could have a middle edge piece showing 1 and 6. Since those two numbers will never share an edge, just like a real die, you just "broke" the cube. __________________ I'm an "intellectual giant, with access to wilkipedia [sic]" "I believe in some ways; communicating with afterlife is easier than communicating with me." -Tim4848 who said he would no longer post here, twice in fact, but he did.
 6th March 2019, 09:33 PM #14 shemp a flimsy character...perfidious and despised     Join Date: Nov 2002 Location: People's Democratic Republic of Planet X Posts: 31,130 The easiest way to solve the cube is to use six colors of paint and a small paintbrush. __________________ "Shemp, you are the one fixed point in an ever-changing universe." - Beady "I don't want to live in a world without shemp." - Quarky "Real name? Xavier Jorge Gladdius Horatio McShrimp. No wonder he goes by shemp." - wasapi "...just as a magnet attracts iron filings, Trump shemp attracts, and is attracted to, louts." - George Will
 6th March 2019, 10:58 PM #15 The Great Zaganza Maledictorian     Join Date: Aug 2016 Posts: 8,910 If you want to calm kids, there are fidgety cube toys that fit in one hand, leaving the other free to draw/write/turn pages. __________________ Careful! That tree's bark is worse than its bite.
 6th March 2019, 10:59 PM #16 The Great Zaganza Maledictorian     Join Date: Aug 2016 Posts: 8,910 If you want to solve a cube without a screwdriver, there are many programs where you put in the current constellation and it outputs the necessary steps. __________________ Careful! That tree's bark is worse than its bite.
 6th March 2019, 11:16 PM #17 lionking In the Peanut Gallery     Join Date: Jan 2007 Location: Melbourne Posts: 44,047 Originally Posted by Myriad Yeah, the actual solution is tedious to execute. And it appears very few people actually figure it out for themselves. Well I can honestly say I figured it out myself. I bought one soon after the craze started, and it took me months and a very sore wrist to solve it. After that I could usually solve it in about 3 or 4 minutes. If I were given one now, it would probably take me weeks as I have forgotten the strategy I used. __________________ A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. Sir Winston Churchill
 7th March 2019, 12:14 AM #18 arthwollipot Observer of Phenomena     Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: Location, Location Posts: 63,089 I've tried. I was able to solve two layers by following a formula, but couldn't internalise the formula for the third layer. I could do it step by step, but I could never do it without referring to notes.
 7th March 2019, 01:58 AM #19 Dave Rogers Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles     Join Date: Jan 2007 Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD Posts: 29,434 Originally Posted by arthwollipot Yeah, if you do that a lot, the stickers fall off, which makes the cube a lot harder easier to solve. FTFY. Originally Posted by BowlOfRed In both cases, as long as you reassemble/resticker to a solved cube at the end, you're fine. If you put it back randomly, it may not be possible to solve just by twisting. It's possible, if I recall correctly, to reverse the orientation of any two side cubes without changing anything else; there are therefore two possible arrangements of the side cubes that are not equivalent. Similarly it is possible to rotate any two corner cubes in opposite directions without changing anything else, so in effect there are only three possible arrangements of the corner cubes that are not equivalent. Multiplying those together indicates that, if you take a cube apart and then reassemble it completely randomly, there is a 1/6 probability that this will result in a soluble cube. I bet you all wanted to know that. Dave __________________ Inspiring discussion of Sharknado is not a good sign for the audience expectations of your new high-concept SF movie sequel. - Myriad
 7th March 2019, 02:55 AM #20 Guybrush Threepwood Trainee Pirate     Join Date: Jun 2007 Location: An Uaimh Posts: 2,682 Originally Posted by Dave Rogers FTFY. It's possible, if I recall correctly, to reverse the orientation of any two side cubes without changing anything else; there are therefore two possible arrangements of the side cubes that are not equivalent. Similarly it is possible to rotate any two corner cubes in opposite directions without changing anything else, so in effect there are only three possible arrangements of the corner cubes that are not equivalent. Multiplying those together indicates that, if you take a cube apart and then reassemble it completely randomly, there is a 1/6 probability that this will result in a soluble cube. I bet you all wanted to know that. Dave Actually the cube will always be 100% as soluble as before you started. There is probably only a 1 in 6 probability of it being solvable though
 7th March 2019, 03:05 AM #21 Dave Rogers Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles     Join Date: Jan 2007 Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD Posts: 29,434 Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood Actually the cube will always be 100% as soluble as before you started. There is probably only a 1 in 6 probability of it being solvable though From Wiktionary: Adjective soluble (comparative more soluble, superlative most soluble) 1.Able to be dissolved. Sugar is soluble in water. 2.Able to be solved or explained. That mystery should be easily soluble. Dave __________________ Inspiring discussion of Sharknado is not a good sign for the audience expectations of your new high-concept SF movie sequel. - Myriad
 7th March 2019, 03:35 AM #22 Guybrush Threepwood Trainee Pirate     Join Date: Jun 2007 Location: An Uaimh Posts: 2,682 Originally Posted by Dave Rogers From Wiktionary: Adjective soluble (comparative more soluble, superlative most soluble) 1.Able to be dissolved. Sugar is soluble in water. 2.Able to be solved or explained. That mystery should be easily soluble. Dave Indeed, I did not know that
 7th March 2019, 04:48 AM #23 Shankly Scholar   Join Date: Sep 2011 Location: Liverpool, UK Posts: 114 I could never work out how to solve it myself, but used to have a book (in the days before the internet) that gave a strategy for solving and I learned how to do it and could do it in 2-3 minutes. I have no recollection on how to do it now.
 7th March 2019, 04:53 AM #24 Dave Rogers Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles     Join Date: Jan 2007 Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD Posts: 29,434 Originally Posted by Shankly I could never work out how to solve it myself, but used to have a book (in the days before the internet) that gave a strategy for solving and I learned how to do it and could do it in 2-3 minutes. I have no recollection on how to do it now. Same here. But I think people who solve it really quickly have a very different strategy, which I just can't fathom. Dave __________________ Inspiring discussion of Sharknado is not a good sign for the audience expectations of your new high-concept SF movie sequel. - Myriad
 7th March 2019, 08:35 AM #25 phunk Illuminator     Join Date: Aug 2007 Posts: 4,011 If you do want to mess up a cube so it's unsolvable, just swap two of the stickers on just one of the corner or edge pieces (or pop the piece out and put it back in a different orientation).
 7th March 2019, 09:24 AM #26 Trebuchet Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Nov 2003 Location: The Great Northwet Posts: 22,233 I've seen Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman solve them, one using his feet and the other while blindfolded. They started with solved cubes, messed them up, and ran the footage backward. Even had people walk backward through the set behind them to make it look better. __________________ Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
 7th March 2019, 09:26 AM #27 Dave Rogers Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles     Join Date: Jan 2007 Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD Posts: 29,434 Originally Posted by phunk If you do want to mess up a cube so it's unsolvable, just swap two of the stickers on just one of the corner or edge pieces (or pop the piece out and put it back in a different orientation). Or swap two adjacent face centres. Dave __________________ Inspiring discussion of Sharknado is not a good sign for the audience expectations of your new high-concept SF movie sequel. - Myriad
 7th March 2019, 09:49 AM #28 BowlOfRed Graduate Poster     Join Date: Jul 2010 Location: Silicon Valley Posts: 1,592 Originally Posted by Dave Rogers Or swap two adjacent face centres. Dave If you do that to me, I might notice quickly that its wrong (because the orientation won't match some of the corner cubes). But if you flip an edge, I have to wait until the end to realize that it's wrong.
 7th March 2019, 11:45 AM #29 pgwenthold Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Sep 2001 Posts: 18,183 Originally Posted by Trebuchet I've seen Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman solve them, one using his feet and the other while blindfolded. They started with solved cubes, messed them up, and ran the footage backward. Even had people walk backward through the set behind them to make it look better. My favorite is the kid (from Japan, I think) who solved three Rubik's cubes simultaneously - while juggling them. It took him about 10 minutes. So he was juggling them, and while the cube was in his hand, he would make a turn or two. The dumbest thing about it was that he "broke the record" for the fastest time to solve three Rubik's cubes while juggling them, which means that...someone had already done it, albeit in a slower time. Then again, it may have been his own record that he broke. __________________ "As your friend, I have to be honest with you: I don't care about you or your problems" - Chloe, Secret Life of Pets
 7th March 2019, 04:39 PM #30 arthwollipot Observer of Phenomena     Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: Location, Location Posts: 63,089 Originally Posted by Dave Rogers FTFY.
 8th March 2019, 02:22 PM #31 Minoosh Philosopher     Join Date: Jul 2011 Posts: 9,555 Originally Posted by Trebuchet I've seen Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman solve them, one using his feet and the other while blindfolded. They started with solved cubes, messed them up, and ran the footage backward. Even had people walk backward through the set behind them to make it look better. I like this! It mimics the scenario I proposed. I've been following YouTube instructions in my free time for a couple of days now, but I'm stuck.
 8th March 2019, 02:40 PM #32 Segnosaur Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Jan 2002 Posts: 13,481 What's square and covered in hair? Pubics cube. __________________ Trust me, I know what I'm doing. - Sledgehammer I'm Mary Poppin's Y'all! - Yondu We are Groot - Groot
 8th March 2019, 07:33 PM #33 Minoosh Philosopher     Join Date: Jul 2011 Posts: 9,555 It's really bothering me that I can't seem to understand various online tutorials. If there is such a thing as "spatially challenged" I may qualify. Oh well. I am quite stubborn so I'll figure it out eventually. Maybe it can be a brain-builder.
 9th March 2019, 07:48 AM #34 alfaniner Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Aug 2001 Posts: 20,189 Originally Posted by phunk If you do want to mess up a cube so it's unsolvable, just swap two of the stickers on just one of the corner or edge pieces (or pop the piece out and put it back in a different orientation). You know, I'm beginning to suspect that one of my visiting nephews did this several years ago which is why I haven't been able to solve it. Maybe I should buy a new one. __________________ Science is self-correcting. Woo is self-contradicting.
 9th March 2019, 09:07 AM #35 p0lka Graduate Poster   Join Date: Sep 2012 Posts: 1,544 Originally Posted by Minoosh It's really bothering me that I can't seem to understand various online tutorials. If there is such a thing as "spatially challenged" I may qualify. Oh well. I am quite stubborn so I'll figure it out eventually. Maybe it can be a brain-builder. I found this one to be relatively simple compared to other tutorials, I didn't watch the vids though, just followed the instructions. https://www.youcandothecube.com/solve-it/3-x-3-solution Last edited by p0lka; 9th March 2019 at 09:08 AM.
 9th March 2019, 11:40 AM #36 WhatRoughBeast Graduate Poster   Join Date: Apr 2011 Posts: 1,385 Originally Posted by Minoosh I had a very fidgety kid yesterday who wanted to "solve" the cube by peeling off the labels and rearranging them so the cube was solved. It got me thinking: If I had allowed him to do this, would it have compromised the puzzle at all? ...... But: Assuming there is only one permutation that "solves" the cube, could I then make a few twists and still have the original puzzle? I would know it could be solved, and the quadrillion-something permutations would quickly reassert themselves. It is perfectly possible to relabel the faces to produce a "solved" cube which cannot be manipulated to recreate the original. If you swap any two adjacent faces' colors, the original geometry cannot be recovered. Let's say you have one face red and the opposite face blue. If you swap the blue face with any of the other four faces, it is "pinned" to the red face by the edge and corner faces and cannot be solved to return it to the opposite face.
 9th March 2019, 12:54 PM #37 jimbob Uncritical "thinker"     Join Date: Jan 2007 Location: UK Posts: 21,149 Originally Posted by BowlOfRed For most cubes, it's easier to pop the cubes apart and put it back together correctly. If you take the stickers off, they get dirty and don't stick as well. In both cases, as long as you reassemble/resticker to a solved cube at the end, you're fine. If you put it back randomly, it may not be possible to solve just by twisting. Indeed, putting, say a white on each centre point, or on both/all sides of an edge/corner would do that. __________________ OECD healthcare spending Expenditure on healthcare http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm link is 2015 data (2013 Data below): UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
 9th March 2019, 01:09 PM #38 Minoosh Philosopher     Join Date: Jul 2011 Posts: 9,555 Originally Posted by WhatRoughBeast It is perfectly possible to relabel the faces to produce a "solved" cube which cannot be manipulated to recreate the original. If you swap any two adjacent faces' colors, the original geometry cannot be recovered. Let's say you have one face red and the opposite face blue. If you swap the blue face with any of the other four faces, it is "pinned" to the red face by the edge and corner faces and cannot be solved to return it to the opposite face. Yes, this occurred to me when I made my first serious effort to solve the puzzle (this week). Knowing white is opposite yellow from the factory, I could see that the common algorithms found online would no longer work. But it did seem to me it would still be solvable, just not by using step-by-step instructions that assume that yellow is opposite white as in a newly minted cube.
 10th March 2019, 06:21 PM #39 arthwollipot Observer of Phenomena     Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: Location, Location Posts: 63,089 Douglas Hofstadter devoted two whole chapters to the Cube in his book Metamagical Themas. If you want serious full-on cube nerdery, I suggest picking up a copy.
 10th March 2019, 06:56 PM #40 WhatRoughBeast Graduate Poster   Join Date: Apr 2011 Posts: 1,385 Originally Posted by Minoosh Yes, this occurred to me when I made my first serious effort to solve the puzzle (this week). Knowing white is opposite yellow from the factory, I could see that the common algorithms found online would no longer work. But it did seem to me it would still be solvable, just not by using step-by-step instructions that assume that yellow is opposite white as in a newly minted cube. Sorry, no. Please reread my answer. In the case I gave, the blue face is fixed to the red by 3 pieces which share red and blue. Therefore, any solution must have red and blue adjacent, and red and blue can never be on opposite faces.

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