There are many different methods to solve a Rubik's Cube. Theoretically, the shortest solution is 22 moves from a given combination of colors on a mixed-up cube. However, no one has come up with a solution this short that works for all possible mixed-up cubes.

The method I'll describe here is easy to remember, but requires a pretty good imagination, since I can't use pictures or colors. It was derived from Matthew Monroe's presentation of the solution at:
http://www.unc.edu/~monroem/rubik.html
I find his directions to be easier to follow (since he has pretty pictures) but purely mechanical - he doesn't really explain how the moves affect the cube, he just tells you what to do to solve it. My directions attempt to tell you how each move changes the cube, so you can understand how the solution works, but this makes it lots harder to simply follow my directions and get a completed cube. So it goes.

Preliminary stuff
When I talk about the colors of my cube, I'm talking about the standard Rubik's Cube - some of them have different colors, and if someone's taken it apart the colors might be in different places. On mine, the colors are white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow.

You have to realize that you can't really change the locations of the center pieces on each side. White is opposite yellow, blue is opposite green, and red is opposite orange. No matter how screwed up the cube gets, the center pieces of each side will always be like this. This is important - each face is defined by the center piece. If the center piece is green, that's the green side. If it's red, that's the red side. Your job is to move the edge pieces into place around those center pieces.

Look at one face of the cube. There are 9 ways you can move the cube - you can rotate one of the three vertical 'slices' (left side, vertical slice, right side), the three horizontal slices (top, horizontal slice, bottom), or the three stacked slices (front, middle slice, back). In these instructions, you will only need to move the front, left, top, and the horizontal and vertical slices. I'll write out moves in shorthand as follows:

<letter><number>
where <letter> is one of:
T, for Top
F, for Front
L, for Left
H, for Horizontal Slice
V, for Vertical Slice
and <number> is one of:
1 = "one quarter-turn clockwise"
-1 = "one quarter-turn counter-clockwise"
2 = "two quarter-turns clockwise", or "half a turn, either direction" since direction doesn't matter for a half-turn.

Examples:
L1 = "Turn left face 1 quarter-turn clockwise (towards you)"
T-1 F1 = "Turn top side 1 quarter-turn counterclockwise, then the front side 1 quarter-turn clockwise"

It's important not to change the orientation of the cube as you do these moves, because then you may forget which side is the left and which is the front and so on.

The solution, in 7 phases
I could have said "7 steps", but I dig the word phase.

Phase 1: Solve one side, with the edges correct (you should be able to do this yourself)
Phase 2: Position the corners of the opposite side
Phase 3: Orient the corners of the opposite side
Phase 4: Fill the edges of the opposite side (Keyhole phase)
Phase 5: Fill the keyhole
Phase 6: Position the 4 remaining edges
Phase 7: Orient the remaining edges (Rubik's Move)

RimRod says Thanks to your help, I was finally able to solve a goddamn Rubik's Cube. THANK YOU!
If RimRod can do it, SO CAN YOU!

There is a simpler way to solve the Rubik's cube and it involves different phases:

1. Solving one side
2. Solving the middle row
3. Getting the edges of the last row right
4. Getting the corners of the last row right

Much as I would like to divulge the formula here, it would take me *days* of work to represent it in a manner as well as Cow of Doom has. I'll admit my ability at ASCII art sucks.

I am not kidding. I know both this way and the way Cow of Doom described. It is also easier to learn for the absolute beginner (yes, I've tried) as it has fewer formulas to remember. However it is slower to perform - the fastest I could ever do with this method was about 3 minutes while I managed 45 seconds once with the 'standard' (Cow of Doom's) method (and could reliably do uner 2 minutes).

Having said all that, I only learnt how to solve a Rubik's cube when I was 16. My first Rubik's cube was given to me by my grandfather when I was 7 and I solved it, not by taking the stickers off, but by breaking it apart and putting it back together.

I figured out how to solve the Rubik's cube by myself, and I can tell you from my experience that I found it much more rewarding than by looking up the solution in some book or at www.rubik.com, where a nice graphical how-to is provided. (as a side note, the solution at www.rubik.com is the same as in the entry by alex.tan, and both of these are very similar to my solution as well) I suggest you also figure out how to do it on your own, but provide this crude outline so that you have half an idea of what you're supposed to be doing:

Step 1: Solve the top side completely, so that the center pieces of each of the sides match the sides of the top layer
Step 2: Solve the middle row (yes, with a little work, you can figure it out on your own).
Step 3: Finally, break off the remaining bottom-layer pieces and replace them in their proper positions.

The added bonus of this method is that if you work on your Rubik's cube in public, people will see you fiddling around with it for a few days or weeks, and so when you finally have it finished, they will think you are a genius for having solved it on your own. Plus, you won't waste countless months trying completely in vain to figure out the bottom layer, as I did.
I do it by finishing 1 side, leaving 1 corner 'unsolved'. This gives you a lot of freedom, since if the solved side is on the bottom, and the missing corner is in the bottom right, you can turn the front and right sides. This makes finishing the middle slice fairly easy, again leaving the edge piece above the space unsolved. You then make a T on the top face, leaving 1 edge piece on the top unfinished. If the unsolved piece is at the bottom/back/right, then the unsolved piece is the top /middle/right. You then fix the last 2 edge pieces, position the corners correctly, then rotate the corners, 2 at a time, one clockwise and one anticlockwise.

There are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 solvable positions the cube can be in. If you had 1 cube for every position they would cover the surface of the earth 250 times.

The last piece will be a corner piece and must be wriggled into position.

Once you have used this method a couple of times, dis- and reassembly become much simpler, as the cube becomes looser.

##### Note: I have been told this method not only fills lots of time (looking for the missing piece etc) but has the added benefit of totally frustrating anyone who tries to solve the cube in a more traditional manner.

I can't do decent ASCII art and obviously can't use real images, but here's how I solve the cube... it's pretty much the way alex.tan described, and it stems originally from the first way I learned (the instructions that came with my first cube, which I memorized in a day or so) but has been modified with quicker moves from a couple other methods. So, here is...

How A Brown Fuzzy Pokemon Solves The Rubik's Cube

I realize this is similar to rubiks.com's solution, but the way I do the last layer is different, so there.

This assumes you're familiar with the very basic properties of the Rubik's Cube, such as there only being one of each piece and the pieces, not stickers, moving around. Oh, and if I mention which way a piece is "facing", I'm really talking about the sticker that's the color of the face you're trying to solve.

If you want to memorize these moves and be able to solve the cube in a couple minutes, watch what your hands are doing. Most of these patterns are quite pattern-like and either easily understood or easily memorized.

Step 1a: Arrange the edges of the top layer. Pick the side you wish to solve first -- I usually use whatever's opposite white -- and call this the top layer for now. Find an edge piece with one side its same color. I'll refer to the piece you're trying to move as the target piece.

• If the target piece is already in position and oriented correctly, good.
• If the target piece is in position but flipped the wrong way, either give the side it's on a quarterturn so the piece ends up on the middle layer or pick another piece.
• If the target piece is on the middle layer... Turn the side that does NOT have the top color's sticker adjacent to its center. This should put the correctly colored sticker next to the top center piece.
• If the target piece is on the bottom layer facing DOWN, just give the side it's on a halfturn to put it in place.
• If the target piece is on the bottom layer facing OUT, give that side a quarter-turn either way to put it on the middle layer and go from there.
Repeat this for the other three edges, but be sure the egdes go in the correct order. If you need to, align the edges you already have with the centers on the sides so you can see where the edges are supposed to go.

Step 1b: Arrange the corners of the top layer. The concept here is what seems to stump most people who pick up the cube... every time you move a piece, you move others out of position. The trick is to figure out how to break up what you have, place the piece you want with one of the broken bits, and put it all back together. Doing the corners is one of the easiest ways to do this; in fact, go try it now. Or just find a corner you need, find the two edges it fits between, and...

• If the target corner is on the top layer but oriented incorrectly or just in the wrong spot, give one of the sides that share the corner a quarter-turn so the corner ends up on the bottom layer, give the bottom layer a quarter-turn either way, and turn the side you moved back where it was. Try to keep the target corner from facing downwards.
• If the target corner is on the bottom layer facing DOWN, either pick another corner (please) or do this: Turn the bottom layer so that the corner is directly below where it belongs. Give the bottom layer a quarter-turn either way. Half-turn the side that contains both the target corner and its home so they switch places. This moved one or two pieces out of position. Now, turn the *other* side that now contains the target corner so the corner moves AWAY from the side you just turned. Give that other side another half-turn, and restore the target corner. You may have moved a corner out of place; fix it if you did.
• If the target corner is on the bottom layer facing OUT... well, this only requires three moves, and is left for you to figure out ;)
You should now have an entire layer complete, meaning that you have an entire side one color AND that the three squares on each side that touch the completed one are the same color. Turn the top layer so that these sets of three squares all match the centers on the sides, and turn the entire cube over so the solved face is now the bottom. Now it gets fun :)

Step 2: Finish the middle layer To complete the middle layer, simply find the four edges that go around the center one at a time in the top layer. Turn the top layer so your target edge's side color matches the side center it touches, and using this side as the front...

• If the target's home is on the right, perform the moveset `U R U' R' U' F' U F`.
• If the target's home is on the left, perform the moveset `U' L' U L U F U' F'`.
• If the target is in its correct location but twisted incorrectly, or several edges are switched, use one of the above sequences to move a piece out and put it back in correctly.
That wasn't hard, was it?

Step 3: Orient the edges on the top layer Looking down at the top this time and using it as the front, this step hinges on the simple sequence `R' F' D' F D R`. You'll need to use it a maximum of three times, usually only once. If NO edges are facing upwards, just use it. If two OPPOSITE edges are facing upwards, turn the top/front so they're oriented horizontally and then use it. If two ADJACENT edges are facing upwards, turn the top/front so the corner between them is in the upper-left and use it. Now all four should be face-up.

Step 4: Position the corners Turn the top layer until the colors on *exactly* two corners match the colors of the sides that share them. If they're adjacent corners, turn the cube so they're both on the left side and again using the top as the front, perform `L F' R' F L' F' R`. If they're opposite each other, perform the same sequence, then find the now-adjacent corners and do it again.

Step 4: Orient the corners You'll need two sequences here. Again, the top is considered the front for ease of explanation.

• To twist the corners CLOCKWISE, except the one in the lower-left corner, use `R F R' F R F² R'`.
• To twist the corners COUNTERCLOCKWISE, except the one in the upper-left corner, use `R' F' R F' R' F² R`.
You may have to use these sequences a few times before you get the hang of them. When you're done with this step, the top *face* should be complete, and the only pieces in the wrong places should be the four top edges.

Step 5: Fix the top edges The cube may be complete now, but odds are it isn't. Most of the time you'll have three edge pieces shuffled around, in which case you should use one of these two sequences. In both cases, the front is the top and the edge you don't want moved is on the bottom.

• To shuffle the edges CLOCKWISE, except the bottom one, use `U² F R L' U² R' L F U²`.
• To shuffle the edges COUNTERCLOCKWISE, use `U² F' R L' U² R' L F' U²`.
If all four edges were swapped, use either sequence with any edge on the bottom. Now only three are switched.

Congratulations! You have just solved the Rubik's Cube.

This method is a bit redundant at times, but I've found it has very few sequences to remember while not being very complex. If some of the above is incomprehensible, I apologize; describing the cube is difficult in words. Please tell me what you don't understand so I can clarify.

I can get a consistent two minutes using this method, although there are a couple other slightly sequences I use when I can remember them. If you want to be an utter maniac and do the cube in under 20 seconds, search Google for speedcubing or something similar and have a LOT of free time. Then come laugh in my face because you're faster than me.

thus ends Eevee's Cube Method v1.0

addendum: yes, taking the cube apart DOES bother me, but not nearly as much as people who casually babble on about how they "solved" the cube by TAKING THE STICKERS OFF AND REARRANGING THEM. At least disassembling the cube requires some effort and thought; taking the stickers off accomplishes nothing but making the glue less gluey, especially since the person who does it will probably have the cube rescrambled within three minutes.

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