3x3x3 Blindfolded Solution

 Difficulty: 3/5   Solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded is not nearly as hard as you think it is.  At first when I heard about solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded, I thought it would be impossible, but there are actually several methods to solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded using a clearly defined sequence of moves.  You absolutely must be able to do the 3x3x3 Beginner’s Solution before you attempt the 3x3x3 Blindfolded Solution.   There are only four steps: corner orientation, edge orientation, corner permutation, and edge permutation.  That’s it.  These steps probably sound familiar because they were the last four steps in the 3x3x3 Beginner’s Solution.  However, in the 3x3x3 Beginner’s Solution, you are only orienting and permuting the last layer of the cube.  For the 3x3x3 Blindfolded Solution, you are orienting and permuting every piece on the cube, AND you are doing all of it with your eyes closed.   It sounds impossible to do, but it is actually not that difficult.  The ONLY thing you ever do when solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded is move a certain piece to a certain spot, do a certain algorithm, and then move that piece back to its original spot.  The only problem is, you do that about thirty times (sometimes even more) each time you solve the cube blindfolded, and you need to memorize all of thirty of them before you close your eyes.   Before we get started, I am going to explain the difference between orientation and permutation.  Here’s a quick definition of each term.  Orientation is the way a piece is positioned in a certain location and permutation is where a certain piece is located.   Here’s an analogy to help you further understand the difference between orientation and permutation.  Let’s say you have a classroom with several desks all facing the front of the classroom.  Permutation is the location of the desk, and orientation is the way the desk is facing.  So for example, if you take one desk and move it all the way to the back of the room, but keep it is still facing the front of the classroom, then that means that desk has correct orientation (because it is still facing the front of the classroom) and incorrect permutation (because it is in the wrong location).  Similarly, if you take a desk and just flip it around to make it face the back of the classroom, then that means that desk has correct permutation (because it is still in the same location) and incorrect orientation (because it is not facing the front of the classroom).   This same concept works the same with pieces on a Rubik’s cube.  Below are pictures of pieces on a Rubik’s cube with correct permutation and incorrect orientation.  It should be easy to see that each piece is in the correct location, but facing the wrong way.

 Ok I think we’re now ready to get started. NOTE: For this entire guide, make sure you are holding the cube with the white face on top and the red face in the front, otherwise this guide will not work. Every picture I show will show of two views.  It will either show a view of the white face on the top, red in front, and blue on right, OR the yellow face on bottom, the red in front, and blue on right.  This is all shown in the images below.

 Step 2 – Edge Orientation Now that you understand corner orientation, edge orientation should be a walk in the park.  In some ways, edge orientation is easier and harder than corner orientation.  It is easier because an edge can only have two possible orientations, correct (remembered by 0) or incorrect (remembered by 1), rather than three possible orientations on a corner.  It is also harder though because instead of remembering a pattern of seven (corners), you need to memorize a pattern of eleven (edges), and an edge is not as easy to recognize whether or not it is oriented.  Since there are only two ways an edge can be oriented, you only need to memorize one algorithm for edge orientation.  This algorithm uses new notation that I have not explained yet, so I will write the algorithm, and then explain the notation.   The algorithm is:  M’ T M’ T M’ T2 M T M T M T2 You are obviously familiar with T and T2, but not M.  M is known as a ‘slice’ move.  A slice is basically the middle layer.  The M slice is the layer between the left and right layers.  The difference between M and M’ you should know is that M is 90 degrees clockwise and M’ is 90 degrees counterclockwise.  But it is in the middle layer, so how do you know which way is clockwise and which is counterclockwise?  The answer is that M is 90 degrees clockwise relative to the right face, and M’ is 90 degrees counterclockwise relative to the right face.  Put simply, R is the same direction as M and R’ is the same direction as M’.   The algorithm switches the orientation of the TF (top front) edge and TB edge, as shown below.     Now I will explain how to recognize whether or not an edge is oriented.  These rules are quite a bit more complicated than corner orientation rules.  Here they are: An edge is oriented correctly if: -          It contains a yellow or white sticker in the top layer or bottom layer of the cube and the yellow or white sticker is on the top face or bottom face. -          It contains a blue or green sticker in the top layer or bottom layer of the cube and the blue or green sticker is NOT on the top face or bottom face. -          It contains a yellow or white sticker in the middle layer of the cube and the yellow or white sticker is on the front face or back face. -          It contains a blue or green sticker in the middle layer of the cube and the blue or green sticker is NOT on the front face or back face.   The concept of edge orientation is very similar to that of corner orientation.  This time you memorize a pattern with eleven edges, and the edge that you don’t need to remember the orientation of is the TF edge.  You can memorize the pattern in any order you want, but I think this is the easiest way to remember them: TR, TB, TL, FL, FR, BR, BL, DF, DR, DB, DL.  An example of a pattern you might get would be:  1     0     1     1    0     1     0     0      1      1     0 Each number corresponds to the orientation of each edge.   Since the TF edge is the edge that you don’t need to remember the orientation of, that is the edge that you won’t be moving for edge orientation, and when you need to orient an edge, you move that edge to the position of the TB edge, without affecting the TF edge.  I’m not going to explain edge orientation nearly as much as corner orientation because edge orientation should be much easier to understand if you already understand corner orientation.   It is still the same idea.  If an edge is oriented correctly, you simply skip that piece, but if it is oriented incorrectly, you need to do the setup move in order to move that edge to the TB edge slot without affecting the TF slot, do the algorithm, and then do the inverse of the setup move.  Here is a list of the setup moves and their inverses for edge orientation: -          TF edge – (not used) -          TR edge – R B                                inverse – B’ R’ -          TB edge – none (It’s already in the TB slot) -          TL edge – L’ B’                              inverse – B L -          FL edge – L2 B’                             inverse – B L2 -          FR edge – R2 B                             inverse – B’ R2 -          BR edge – B                                   inverse – B’ -          BL edge – B’                                  inverse – B -          DF edge – D2 B2                          inverse – B2 D2 -          DR edge – R’ B                             inverse – B’ R -          DB edge – B2                                inverse – B2 -          DL edge – L B’                              inverse – B L’   Some final thoughts on both corner orientation and edge orientation: My best piece of advice is to do it with your eyes open several times until you are comfortable with doing it with your eyes open.  Altogether, you will be memorizing a pattern with eighteen numbers (seven from corner orientation and eleven from edge orientation).  Try doing corner orientation with your eyes closed.  Then try doing edge orientation with your eyes closed.  Then try to do both with your eyes closed.  If you can do that, congratulations.  You’re halfway there.

 Step 4 – Edge Permutation This step is very similar to corner permutation; therefore I won’t be taking nearly as much time to explain it.  As mentioned before, this step uses the same algorithm as corner permutation.  I’ll type it here again so that you don’t have to keep on scrolling back up to see it:  R T R’ T’ R’ F R2 T’ R’ T’ R T R’ F’ This uses the same principle as corner permutation.  You need to memorize a pattern in the order of which the edges need to be permuted.  I suggest doing this pattern using numbers.  Here are the numbers I use: -          TF edge – 1 -          TR edge – 2 -          TB edge – 3 -          TL edge – 4 -          FL edge – 5 -          FR edge – 6 -          BR edge – 7 -          BL edge – 8 -          DF edge – 9 -          DR edge – 10 -          DB edge – 11 -          DL edge – 12 This time, coincidentally, the number 2 is never included in a pattern, just like the number 2 wasn’t included in corner permutation.  And this time, if an edge needs to be permuted, you do a setup move in order to move it to the TL edge (slot 4), do the algorithm, and then do the inverse of the setup move.  Literally everything else about edge permutation is like that of corner permutation.  Just like corner permutation, if you need to start a second pattern, just start the pattern right after the first pattern, and then put the first number in the second pattern at the end of the second pattern.  That’s basically it.  The only thing you need now are the setup moves and their inverses for edge permutation, which I have here listed below.  Before I do that, there is one type of notation that you haven’t seen yet, which I will first explain, and then have a list of the setup moves and inverses.   You now need to learn a new type of “slice” move.  This slice move is notated by E.  The E slice is the layer between the top layer and bottom layer.  The difference between E and E’ is that E is the same direction as T and E’ is the same direction as T’.   Now that you know this new type of slice move, here are the setup moves and their inverses: -          Edge 1 – F E L’ F’                      inverse – F L E’ F’ -          Edge 2 – (not used) -          Edge 3 – B’ E’ L B                     inverse – B’ L’ E B -          Edge 4 – none (already in the TL slot) -          Edge 5 – L’                                 inverse – L -          Edge 6 – E2 L                            inverse – L’ E2 -          Edge 7 – E2 L’                           inverse – L E2 -          Edge 8 – L                                  inverse – L’ -          Edge 9 – D’ L2                          inverse – L2 D -          Edge 10 – D2 L2                       inverse – L2 D2 -          Edge 11 – D L2                         inverse – D’ L2 -          Edge 12 – L2                             inverse – L2