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3x3x3 Intro

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3x3x3 Last Four Edges

4x4x4

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LAST FOUR EDGES
The only remaining work to be done is putting the last four edges into place. There are no more than 3 algorithms standing between you and a fully solved cube.

The first step is to move the edge pieces so that they are on the proper faces. This means the red/white piece needs to be aligned with the red side, etc. We do this by applying an algorithm to move the pieces around the cube. The algorithm below moves the pieces around in a counter-clockwise direction, but similar to the algorithm for the top corners, there is one piece that is held in place. That piece is the one in the Front face. Let's take a look at example below.

Start

After Once

After Twice
V'_U'_V_U²_V'_U'_V

In figure 1 above we see that the orange/white edge is in the right place. We don't care about which side the colors face, only that it is in the proper position. Looking around the cube we see that the green/white edge is on the Right face, the blue/white edge is on the Back face, and the red/white edge is on the Left face. Being that this algorithm rotates the pieces around counter-clockwise, each piece is 2 rotations away from its target location. Figure 2 shows the cube after applying the algorithm once, and figure 3 shows the cube after applying it a second time. The best way to remember what to do is find a piece that is already in its proper position if possible and move it to the front face and apply the algorithm to move the others into their correct position. If one is not already in the right place, then apply the algorithm to move the pieces around until one falls into place and then bring that piece to the Front face. You shouldn't need to run the algorithm more than 2-3 times.

Here are the algorithms as shown in the java applet.

V'_U'_V_U²_V'_U'_V V'_U'_V_U²_V'_U'_V


Uh-oh, it looks like we have a problem. We have two sides solved but on the other two the edge pieces are flipped from how they should be. This particular pattern is known as the fish pattern. There is an algorithm to solve this. First, hold the cube so that the flipped pieces are on the Front and Right faces. Then all you have to do is run through this simple 22 step algorithm to move them to the right place (yes, a little sarcasm there).

Fish Pattern

H Pattern
F'_L'_R'_H_R²_H²_R'_U²
R_H²_R²_H'_R_U²_L_F
R'_H_R²_H²_R'_U²
R_H²_R²_H'_R_U²

One other possibility is the H pattern which is shown in the second figure above. The algorithm for that pattern is just like the fish pattern, but you leave off the first 2 and the last 2 moves.

Here are the algorithms as shown in the java applet.

F'_L'_R'_H_R²_H²_R'_U²
R_H²_R²_H'_R_U²_L_F
R'_H_R²_H²_R'_U²
R_H²_R²_H'_R_U²


Well, that's it, you now have a fully solved cube, congratulations!. Now why don't you try moving up to the 4x4x4
.