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Cubing Glossary for the Rubik’s Cube

The world of cubing has more terms than you might assume. Although the Rubik’s Cube puzzle looks simple, there are a plethora of tips and tricks for solving the cube faster.

This has sparked the development of specific cubing terms. This guide will help you understand the different terms in the world of cubing.

Speed

The term “speed” refers to the ease of turning each of the cube’s faces. There are cubes with very smooth surfaces and joints that make it tough to control movement. These cubes are described as “very fast”, and ideal for advanced cubers. On the other hand, cubes that turn slowly and feel clunky are easier to manage and recommended for beginners.

Corner cutting

Corner cutting is a technique used by speedcubers by moving one side of the cube to push another side back into alignment. This technique allows cubers to save precious time in solves. Most modern 3×3 cubes on the market allow corner cutting since it is a must-have for speedcubers.

Watch this video with a demonstration of corner-cutting in slow motion.

Locking

The one downside to corner-cutting is that the cube can end locking up. This means that pieces get caught on each other and cannot go back to their position. Locking happens more frequently with cubes that have square pieces. It can also happen to cubes that are loosely tensioned since the pieces move too freely and can get stuck.

Corner Twists

The main feature of any speed cube is that it turns as easily as possible. However, too much looseness can lead to corners twisting in place. Cubes with very rounded corners tend to have this issue. The cube cannot be solved if even a single corner is twisted in its place. In order to finish the solve, the corner needs to be twisted back to its correct position.

Popping

Popping can happen when turning the cube at really high speeds. This means that a piece of the cube (usually a corner) will literally pop out. Popping can be caused by sharp turns, loose tension, or even the cube’s mechanism.

Florian Mod

The Florian mod is a cube feature that is tricky to spot unless you know about it. Cubes with the Florian mod have the corners curved so it is easier to move. The majority of speed cubes manufactured today have those curves built-in at the time of molding. Cubers used to manually apply this “mod” to their cubes by using tools like sandpaper or power tools.

Parity Error

Cubes that are bigger than the traditional 3×3, such as the 4×4, can have issues with their patterns. A parity error happens when edge pieces are paired up in a way that makes the cube unsolvable if using algorithms for a 3×3 cube. One type of parity error is called PLL parity (PLL stands for Permuting Last Layer). The only way to solve a parity error is to move the pieces with a special parity algorithm.

Score Terms

Here are a few simple terms used to solve scores:

PB – Personal Best

DNF – Did not finish

AUF – Adjusting “U” Face

Sub. – Under a certain time (e.g. “Sub 20” is a solution in less than 20 seconds)

As you can see, the world of cubing has a variety of special terms for different aspects of the hobby. With this knowledge, you will be able to understand practically everything related to cubing.

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