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Solving Rubiks Cube lightening quick

Lakeridge's Matt White hopes to get others hooked on the puzzle

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Matt White competed this summer in the National Rubik's Cube competition in Las Vegas. He hopes to get others hooked on solving the puzzles, which come in many types, by forming a Rubik's Cube club at Lakeridge High School.Matt White has nimble fingers and a quick mind, which must come in handy when he is pursuing his hobby of solving the Rubik’s Cube.

The cube is a 3D puzzle, with each of the six sides covered in colored stickers. The goal is to make each side a solid color by twisting and turning sections of the cube.

White is fast - he’s been clocked taking as few as 18 seconds to solve the puzzle — but the humble Lakeridge senior, who is the school’s student body president this year, said he is “no good” compared to some of the competition he faced in the Rubik’s Cube U.S. Nationals 2012 held in Las Vegas earlier this month.

White competed in several competitions at the championship, including the standard 3x3 speed solve, the 3x3 one-handed solve and the pyraminx, which he explained is a variation of the Rubik’s’ Cube that only has five sides, thus the solving times are much faster than the six-sided cube.

There were competitions to solve different sized cubes from 2x2 to 7x7, as well as different shapes including the pyraminx and the megaminx (12 sides). Competitions are also held to solve the puzzle by using feet, with the fewest moves and blindfolded.

“I am in the process of practicing blindfolded solving for my next competition, although I’m not very good at it yet,” White said. “The way blind solving works is the cube is scrambled and then delivered to the solver covered. As soon as it is uncovered the timer starts and the competitor must fully memorize the complete position of the cube and then develop a method to solve it before putting on a blindfold and solving it. The world record for this is 28 seconds, which includes the time to memorize, the time to develop a method to solve it and the time it took to solve it.”

White has been playing with the Rubik’s Cube for about six years and competed in his first national championship in 2010 on the MIT campus. He explained that usually the championships are held on college campuses and sponsored by students in Rubik’s Cube clubs. Most of the competitors are college aged, though both younger and older people also compete.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - There are many kinds of Rubiks Cubes.“The most impressive event is the multi-blind, which is a blind solve but repeated for multiple cubes,” he said. “The record for that is an astonishing 26 cubes solved out of 29 attempted in 53 minutes. Time includes the memorization for every cube, then donning the blindfold and solving every cube without looking at them in between.”

White hopes to encourage others to start playing with the Rubik’s Cube and plans to form a club at Lakeridge this fall. To get started he suggests that people look at the cube as more than just colors.

“Rather than look at the cube ‘sticker-wise,’ pairing up the colors, think of it as individual pieces. And just keep working things out with it, I guess,” he said.

To learn more about joining Lakeridge’s club, contact White at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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