back to Phase 2 or
How to solve a Rubik's Cube

Move for this phase:
T-1 F2 T1 F1 T-1 F1 T1 F2

(see How to solve a Rubik's Cube for a description of the move notation)

What this move does:
Hold the cube with the solved face away from you. This move will rotate all the corners of the front face except the top-right clockwise.

How to use it:
In the last phase, we positioned the 4 corners of the yellow side properly. Now we want to orient them properly, so the yellow side of each corner is on.. well.. the yellow side. This move is a little harder to conceptualize so here's another spiffy ASCII diagram:

                      |
          green side                    green side        
         ____________                  ____________       
        /   /   /   /|  r             /   /   /   /|  r   
o      / O /   / R / |  e     o      / Y /   / R / |  e   
r     /   /   /   /  |  d     r     /   /   /   /  |  d   
a    |^^^|^^^|^^^| Y/|        a    |^^^|^^^|^^^| Y/|      
n  Y | G |   | G | / |  s     n  G | O |   | G | / |  s   
g    |___|___|___|/  |  i --> g    |___|___|___|/  |  i   
e    |   |   |   |  /|  d     e    |   |   |   |  /|  d   
     |   | Y |   | / |  e          |   | Y |   | / |  e   
s    |___|___|___|/  |        s    |___|___|___|/  |      
i    |   |   |   | R/         i    |   |   |   | Y/       
d  O | Y |   | Y | /          d  B | O |   | B | /        
e    |___|___|___|/           e    |___|___|___|/         
       B       B                     Y       R            
       blue side                     blue side            

You'll notice that the top-right (red-green-yellow) side didn't move at all, but each of the other corners has been rotated clockwise - picture grabbing the corner in your right hand and turning it clockwise (to the right) and you will see how it will move.

Doing this move is sort of a puzzle itself. I think of it this way - each corner has a certain number of turns (either 0, 1, or 2) it needs to be facing the right way. By doing the move, you subtract 1 from each of those values. Your goal is to get them all to 0. In the example above, the corners (clockwise from upper-right) were at 1, 0, 0, and 2. After performing the corner-orienting move, they were 1, 2, 2, and 1. At this point, you want to rotate both 2's twice and 1's once. So, you want move one of the 1's to the upper-right (luckily, it's already there). Why? Because that way, the 2's both get turned once, and when you do the move again, you can turn the face a bit and give the one in the top-right its one needed turn and both the 2's their second turns.

I know, this sounds horribly complex. It really isn't. Check the directions in the web page listed in How to solve a Rubik's Cube for a simpler explanation of how to do this, with pretty pictures to boot. Once you've gotten a hang of how to do it that way, this page will give you a deeper understanding of how it does what it does.

So you take your 1,2,2,1 and perform the corner-orienting move. Now it's a 1,1,1,0 - one corner on the yellow side is yellow (the 0). Put that corner on the top-right. Just turn the front face until it's there. Do the move one more time, and you're done with Phase 3!

In general, you will always have one face correctly oriented the move before you finally get all 4 in place. If all this weird pseudo-algebraic nonsense hurts your brain (and it didn't come easily to me), try just doing the move almost randomly - eventually you'll stumble on the position of having just one corner correctly oriented. Put it in the top-right and do the corner-orienting move, and if you're lucky, you'll be done.

Move on to Phase 4 or
go back to How to solve a Rubik's Cube

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