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3x3x3 Top Edges

My method of solving is to go layer by layer starting with the top layer, then middle and finally the bottom. I have seen people start the top layer in 2 different ways, solving the corners and solving the edges. I think for a beginner it might be easier to solve the edges first. Edges are the pieces with only 2 colors and border the center pieces. To get started, choose which side (color) you want to have at the top. For this guide I'll choose yellow as the top since it matches the examples given in the notation section. Your goal when finished with this step is to have the cube looking like this:

TOP EDGES

In the image above and in future examples some squares will have a gray color. This simply indicates that it is not important to have those squares solved to any particular color, they are irrelevant at this point in time.

Holding the cube with the yellow center at the top, locate an edge piece that has yellow on it. Make note of the other color on the piece. I'll use the yellow/red piece for these examples. You need to rotate the piece to the Front face and preferably to the bottom layer. If the piece is in the top or middle layers on a side, rotate that side to move it to the bottom layer, then rotate it to the front using the D move.

There are really only 2 different orientations that the piece can have once rotated to the Front face, yellow side or red side facing you. I have shown 6 different examples below. The first four all have the yellow face out and are just rotations of the Front face different. The last 2 have the red side facing you are just 2 F rotations different.


F'_D_V_D'_V'

D_V_D'_V'

F_D_V_D'_V'

F²_D_V_D'_V'


U
For the first 4 examples where the yellow color is facing you, the easiest way to get the piece into the proper position is to move it to the bottom layer, then rotate that layer to move the piece to either the L or R side. Then you move the yellow center down, rotate the piece under it then bring the yellow center back up to the top.

Let's walk through the first example step by step.


F'_D_V_D'_V'

F'

D

V

D'

V'

Here is the example using the java applet. The buttons on the left are to rewind or play the entire sequence. The buttons on the right let you step back/forward individual moves. You can also click and drag on the cube to rotate it around.

F'_D_V_D'_V'


Now repeat this procedure 3 more times to put the 3 remaining edge pieces in place. Be sure to hold the cube so yellow is at the top and the center facing you matches the second color on the edge piece. If you rotate any faces which already have their edge piece aligned, you must put them back the way they were when finished. To further explain this, see the following example.


L'_V_D_V'_L

L'

V

D

V'

L

In this example we have to rotate the Left face (L') to bring the yellow side to the bottom layer. Now we can move the yellow center down (V), rotate the edge piece under it (D) and then rotate it back up to the top layer (V'). At this point we have to undo the rotation of the Left face to put the yellow/red edge back into alignment by moving L.

Again, here is the example using the java applet.

L'_V_D_V'_L


Now you can repeat these same types of moves to complete the remaining edge pieces. Once finished you can move on to Solving the Top Corners.