Rubik’s Cube in 26 Moves
Julie Rehmeyer reports that Northeastern University computer scientist Daniel Kunkle has “proved that 26 moves are enough to solve any Rubik’s Cube, no matter how scrambled.” Amazingly, “Most researchers believe that just 20 steps are enough to solve any Rubik’s Cube, but no one has proved it yet.”
I got a standard 3×3 cube during the toy’s heyday in the early 1980s and learned to solve it layer by layer in a variation of what I now see is the method touted by David Singmaster. I eventually got bored with it after solving it dozens of times but never got faster than 3 minutes or so.
That makes me a piker, indeed, compared to those who compete in international competitions. The current world records is 9.86 seconds for a single solution and 11.76 seconds average (middle three of five solutions).