Instructions on how to assemble a Rubik's Cube, it’s not difficult ⏱
The Rubik's Cube ( mistakenly, the Rubik's Cube; was originally known as the “magic cube”, Hungarian. Bűvös kocka) is a mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 (and patented in 1975) by the Hungarian sculptor and architectural teacher Ernö Rubik.
The puzzle is a 3 × 3 × 3 plastic cube (in the original version) with 54 visible color stickers. The faces of a large cube are able to rotate around 3 internal axes of the cube. Each of the six faces consists of nine squares and is painted in one of six colors, in one of the most common color options, arranged in pairs opposite each other: red - orange, white - yellow, blue - green. Rotating faces allows you to reorder colored squares in many different ways. The player’s task is to “collect the Rubik's Cube”: turning the faces of the cube, return it to its original state, when each of the faces consists of squares of the same color.
It is believed that the Rubik's Cube is the leader among toys in total sales: around 450 million Rubik's cubes, both original and various analogues, have been sold worldwide.
The puzzle “Rubik's Cube” (“Magic Cube”, “Hungarian Cube” and even just “Rubik”) attracted the attention, as they say, of “all population groups” and gained widespread distribution. We have already written about the merits of this wonderful puzzle, which both schoolchildren and academics began to play with pleasure, finding in it virtues that are consistent with the level of scholarship, education and a penchant for research ( see Science and Life No. 3, 1981 and No. 2, 1982 ) and even cited solution methods.
We will not touch upon either the mathematical theory of groups or quantum physics, for certain sections of which the Rubik's cube serves as an original visual aid. We will try to talk about how to put in order the confused cube, and those readers and readers who are very, very far from mathematics and from physics in general. Perhaps there will be some benefit in self-education, in broadening one's horizons: after all, one will have to get acquainted with mathematical symbols and drawings, although they are very simple. We hope that the desire to collect the cube will overpower their dislike for the exact sciences.
Therefore, we apologize in advance to more trained readers for the “unnecessary” details in the description: there are so many letters asking “to tell so that it is clear to everyone, everyone ...”.
💡 In square brackets [...] are our explanations and tips.
First of all, we recall the notation system adopted in the journal. The faces of the cube are indicated by the letters Ф, Т, П, Л, В, Н - the initial letters of the words Facade, Rear, Right, Left, Top, Bottom . Which face of the cube to consider the front - blue, green, etc. - depends on you and on the resulting situation.
During the assembly process, you will have to take several times for a facade a particular face that is convenient for this case. The central cubes determine the color of the face, that is, it can be said that even in a completely confused cube, the central cubes are already selected and 8 cubes of the same color remain attached to each of them.
The central cubes are denoted by one letter: f, n, l, c, t, n.
Edge cubes ( there are 12 of them ) belong to two faces and are indicated by two letters, for example, fp, pv, fn , etc.
Corner cubes - in three letters according to the name of the faces, for example, FPV, fln ...
Uppercase letters Ф, Т, П, Л, В, Н are the elementary operations of turning the corresponding face (layer, slice) of the cube 90 ° clockwise .
The designations Ф < , Т < , П < , Л < , В < , Н < correspond to the rotation of the faces 90 ° counterclockwise.
The designations Ф 2 , П 2 , etc., indicate a double rotation of the corresponding face ( Ф 2 = ФФ ).
The letter C indicates the rotation of the middle layer .
The subscript indicates which side to make this rotation from. For example, C p - from the right side, C n - from the bottom. C <A - on the left side, counterclockwise, etc.
The recording of the process (Ф < П < ) Н 2 (ПФ) means: rotate the front face counterclockwise by 90 °, the same as the right side, rotate the bottom face twice (i.e. 180 °), rotate the right side 90 ° ( clockwise), rotate the facade face.
Along with the alphabetic recording of processes, a matrix form of notation is also used, where elementary operations are depicted by a facade face pattern with corresponding arrows indicating the direction of rotation of the corresponding face:
As a result of some operations, the central cubes leave their place - the cube changes its orientation. But, as you know, the color of the face is usually determined by the color of the central cube. So that at the end of the task the orientation of the whole cube is the same as at the beginning, the rotation operations of the whole cube are indicated, denoted by the letter O :
- О П - from the side of the right side clockwise;
- О Ф - from the side of the front face clockwise;
- О В - from the side of the upper face clockwise;
- О <П - from the side of the right side counterclockwise;
- О <Ф - from the side of the front face counterclockwise;
- О <В - from the side of the upper face counterclockwise;
Now let's move on to the assembly of the cube. There are several different systems, but what we like most is layer-by-layer assembly, when one layer is collected first, then the second, and finally the third. In total, seven stages are obtained.
The desired cube is lowered down by turning the corresponding side face ( P, T, L ) and displayed on the front face by the operation H, H < or H 2
The operation ends by mirroring ( reverse ) the same lateral face, restoring the original position of the affected rib cube of the upper layer.
After this, operation a) or b) of the first stage is carried out.
In case a), the cube went onto the facade face so that the color of its front face coincides with the color of the facade.
In case b), the cube must not only be moved up, but also deployed so that it is correctly oriented, falling into place.
On the [color] drawings, the
dots mark [the arrows indicate] the place where the desired cube should stand, first drawn on the facade of the lower face.
Result: the cross of the upper face is assembled.
The desired corner cube is found ( having the colors of the faces Ф, В, Л ) and in the same manner as described for the first stage, it is displayed in the left corner of the facade face you have chosen.
There can be three cases of orientation of this cube. Compare your case with the picture and apply one of the operations of the second stage a) , b) or c) .
The dots indicate [arrows indicate] the place [on the top face] , on which the cube you need to stand up.
Find the other three corner cubes on the cube and repeat the described technique to move them to their places on the top face [taking the front, right, left, and back sides as alternate for the facade] .
Result: the top layer is matched.
The first two stages cause almost no difficulties for anyone: it’s pretty easy to follow your actions, since all attention is paid to one layer, and what is done in the two remaining is completely unimportant.
The processes shown in the figures are easy to remember if you apply the mnemonic rule. To move the cube brought to the front face to the left, the beginning of the process coincides with the initial letters NL - Left , and to the right - with the initial letters Na Right .
And here, as you see, the desired cube is found and first displayed down to the front face. If it is at the bottom, simply turn the bottom face to match the color of the facade, and if it is in the middle belt, you must first lower it down to any of the operations a) or b) , and then combine the color with the color of the facade and perform the operation of the third stage a) or b) .
Result: two layers are collected.
Cross of the lower face [initial designations of the faces - Ф, В, П in fig. 6 are given for the current task, but it is understood that the cube is upside down and its two upper layers, which are now below, are already assembled] .
Operations that move the side cubes of one face that do not ultimately disrupt the order in the assembled layers lead to the goal. One of the processes that allows you to select all the side cubes of a face is given in the figure. It also shows what happens with other face cubes.
Repeating the process, choosing another facade face, you can put in place all four cubes.
Result: edge cubes are in place, but, as a rule, two of them are incorrectly oriented.
Orientation of two side cubes according to D. Conway.
A very simple, easy-to-remember process, but it was here that some readers had difficulties. It should be noted here: the expandable cube should be on the right side, in the figure  it is marked with arrows.
Figures a) , b) , and c) show possible cases of the location of incorrectly oriented cubes (marked with dots). Using the general formula, in case a) it will be necessary to perform an intermediate rotation of B in order to bring the second cube to the right side, and in cases b) and c) , respectively, B < and B 2 .
Many were embarrassed by the fact that after the first part of the process (PS n ) 4, the cube turned out as it should, but the order in the collected layers was disturbed. This was confusing and forced to throw half-assembled almost assembled cube.
Having made an intermediate turn, - not paying attention to the breakdown of the lower layers, - perform operations (PS n ) 4 of the second part of the process, and everything will fall into place.
Result: the cross of the last layer is assembled.
It is possible to put the corners of the last face into place using (...) an 8-way [process] , convenient for memorizing, - a straight line, rearranging three corner cubes in a clockwise direction, and a reverse one, rearranging three cubes in a counterclockwise direction .
After the fifth stage, as a rule, at least one [corner] cube sits in its place, albeit incorrectly oriented.
Turn the cube so that this cube is in the far left corner, and repeat the process one or two more times until all the cubes fall into place.
Result: all the corner cubes took their places, but two of them ( or maybe four ) are oriented incorrectly.
Orientation of the corner cubes of the last face
The process is very easy to remember - it is a repeatedly repeated sequence of turns PF < P < F .
Rotate the cube so that the cube you want to expand is in the upper right corner of the facade. The 8-way process ( 2 × 4 turns ) will turn it 1/3 turn clockwise . If the cube has not yet been oriented, repeat the 8-move again ( in the formula this is reflected by the index “n” ).
Do not pay attention to the fact that the lower layers will become disordered: the situation is similar to that done in the fifth stage, it is also paired, it is divided into two identical halves with an intermediate operation of turning the upper face. The execution of the right-hand side of the process automatically tidies the broken harmony.
Figure  shows three cases of the location of “bad” cubes (they are marked with dots).
- intermediate turn required B
- turn B <
- turn in 2
Result: the last facet is collected.
Now it remains only to rotate it and that's it - the cube is assembled, clap your hands!
Here is a time-tested, old Soviet instruction. Then they were not mistaken or fooled - this is an article from the journal "Science and Life" from 1982.
Via Science & Life Magazine & wiki