Twenty-six turns all that's required to solve Rubik's Cube

Two graduate students have proved that it requires no more than 26 moves to solve the iconic toy.

Could either of these Rubik's Cube prodigies solve the cube in 26 moves? Leyan Lo talks strategy with Shotaro Makisumi at a competition in January 2006. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Editors' note: This blog initially misspelled the name of a record holder for solving a Rubik's Cube. He is Leyan Lo.

Clearly, I've been doing something wrong.

Since the early 1980s, when I got my first Rubik's Cube, I've never been able to solve it. Oh, sure, I got one side done, and maybe even two. Or, I could break the thing open and put it back together in its original, solved position.

But now, according to the BBC, a supercomputer has determined that a Rubik's Cube is solvable in less than 26 moves, regardless of the starting position. So, boy, don't I feel dumb?

It turns out, thanks to research done by Northeastern University graduate students Daniel Kunkle and Gene Cooperman that that's all it takes to solve one of the famous toys. Duh.

Yet, I wonder: Could the computer that proved this beat the likes of Leyan Lo, who early last year set the world's record of 11.13 seconds? I sort of doubt it. After all, have you ever seen a supercomputer try to turn a Rubik's Cube?

About the author

Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.


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