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Cube visitors since 2004-March-26:

Cubing Terminology

Sorry if some of this is kind of confusing. I found it difficult to put much of this into words. Some day I'll get around to making images where it would be appropriate and beneficial. This is just the beginning of much more to come.

BBack face
Big CubesThis typically refers to cubes larger than the professor cube (5x5x5). These cubes are only available in electronic form, as there are physical difficulties with constructing a 6x6x6 or larger cube. For an example, visit
Blindfold CubingA method by which a person solves the cube without looking at it, after a period of preinspection and memorization.
Center PieceOne of the pieces that lies at the center of a face, having only one color. On a 3x3x3 cube, there are six center pieces that are in a fixed position relative to each other, and their only movement is rotations on their axes. These fixed center pieces define the colors of each face for a solved cube. This is true of any odd order cubes (3x3x3, 5x5x5, etc.).
Corner PieceAny size cube has exactly eight corner pieces. Corner pieces have eight colors and lie at a corner of the cube. On even order cubes, where there are no fixed center pieces, the colors of the faces can be determined by looking at the corner pieces.
CrossThe first step in Jessica Fridrich's method. The cross consists of the center piece and four correctly placed and oriented edge pieces around it on one face. For example, if you start with the blue face of your cube using her method, the cross is complete when the four edge pieces on the blue face match both the blue color and the color of the other face on which they reside.
DDown (bottom) face. It is referred to as the Up face for the sake of notation. In notation, faces are referred to using a single letter, and “B” is reserved for “Back,” and is therefore not used for “Bottom.”
Edge PieceOne of the pieces that lies on an edge of the cube, having two colors. On a 3x3x3 cube, there are 12 of these that can move to any of the other edge positions on the cube.
Even Order CubeA cube that has an even number of pieces along any edge of the puzzles (e.g. 4x4x4, 6x6x6, etc.).
FFront face
F2LShort for “First Two Layers,” F2L is the second step in Jessica Fridrich's system. Once the cross is solved, the F2L consists of the four corners on the first face (where the cross is), and the four edges in the second layer.
FaceA face is one side of the cube. For example, on a 3x3x3 cube, a face is made up of four corner pieces, four edge pieces, and the center piece between them.
LLeft face
LLShort for “Last layer,” LL is the last stage in the solution in both Fridrich's method and Petrus' method. The LL is solved in as few as two steps, orientation and permutation of all pieces.
LayerA layer is one level of the cube. For example, on a 3x3x3 cube, the center piece, four corner pieces, and four edge pieces that make up the top (U) face compose the first layer of the cube. The second layer would be comprised of the four edge pieces and four center pieces directly beneath the first layer, and so on.
Odd Order CubeA cube that has an odd number of pieces along any edge of the puzzles (e.g. 3x3x3, 5x5x5, etc.).
Orientation1. In the LL, correct orientation implies that the color on the last face is correct, regarless of whether or not the piece is in the correct location. For example, if the last face to be completed is the green face, and an edge piece has green on it, lined up with the green center piece, it is said to be correctly oriented. Likewise, if the front is the last face to be completed, turning the front face does not change the orientation of any of the LL pieces.

2. In blindfold cubing, correct orientation implies that the color of highest priority on a piece lies on the face of highest priority in which the piece resides. For example, because U and D are higher priority than any other faces, and F and B are higher priority than R and L, the edge piece belonging in the Front-Right position would be correctly oriented in the Up-Left position, if the front color (higher priority than the right color) lies on the top (U) face (higher priority than the left face). Likewise any corner having either the Up or Down color on either the Up or Down face is said to be correctly oriented.
PermutationPermutation is synonymous with position, or in other words, a piece is correctly permuted if it is in the correct location, or position, on the cube.
PriorityIn blindfold cubing, an order must be given to the faces, and the pieces therein. Given that the face priority is defined as (from highest to lowest) U, D, F, B, R, and L, the edge with highest priority is UF (the edge at the Up-Front location), and the corner with highest priority is UFR (the corner at the Up-Front-Right position).
RRight face
SliceA layer between any two faces (not just between U and D). A 3x3x3 cube has one slice between U and D, one between L and R, and one between F and B. A 4x4x4 cube has two slices for each one on the 3x3x3, a 5x5x5 has three slices instead of one, and so on.
Speed CubingSolving the Rubik's cube, such that low time is the main goal. The three main solution methods used are Jessica Fridrich's method, Lars Petrus' method, and the corners first method.
UUp (top) face. It is referred to as the Up face for the sake of notation. See “D” for more.

Last modified: Friday, 13-Feb-2004 08:23:56 PST