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26 Years Later, Man Finally Solved Rubik's Cube

You've got to admire Graham Parker's persistence: after 26 year's worth of attempts, he has finally solved his Rubik's cube:

Delighted Graham, 45, from Portchester, Hants, has been tirelessly trying to solve the riddle of the Cube since he bought the toy in 1983.

Married dad-of-one Graham has endured endless sleepless nights and after more than 27,400 hours he finally managed to conquer his personal Everest.

Builder Graham said: "I cannot tell you what a relief it was to finally solve it. It has driven me mad over the years - it felt like it had taken over my life. I have missed important events to stay in and solve it and I would lay awake at night thinking about it. Friends have offered to solve it for me and I know that you can find solutions on the web but I just had to do it myself. I have had wrist and back problems from spending hours on it but it was all worth it. When I clicked that last bit into place and each face was a solid colour I wept."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4217732/Rubiks-Cube-finally-solved-after-26-years-by-avid-fan.html


Wow, that has to be the record for slowest Rubik's cube solution on record. Good for him.

Someone could have been a jerk and messed it up when they came across it as he was nearing completion :)
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He did well - anyone who designs their own set of solutions to the cube has done something impressive, no matter how long it takes.

There are some simple general strategies that he could have learned without having the solution given to him, though. Fairly simple moves for solving the whole cube can be built up using the idea of conjugates (see http://www.ryanheise.com/cube/conjugates.html), if you use a standard notation and write down what you're doing as you go. The cube is not actually as difficult as most people think. It's only difficult if you try to solve it with no particular method.
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Also, this typical statement (probably from the advertising) has always been misleading:

"there are an astonishing 43 quintillion different possible configurations and only one solution."

That makes it sound like solving it is finding a very small needle in a very big haystack. The truth is that the same general set of moves will solve any scrambled cube. There are really only about 6 or 7 different moves you need (more if you want to be more efficient at it).
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solving the cube with no help - in fact figuring out the 'moves' yourself, is quite an acomplishment.

Still, this has the halmarks of an unhealthy obsession. It would suck to have your life influenced so much by trying to solve that little cube.
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I love the idea that someone has wasted 26 years trying to accomplish something that so many others have accomplished more efficiently or at least faster, in the process missing "major life events," and this is considered "neat."

Is there an article soon planned for a man who spent 55 years buying 90 lottery tickets a week, just to never win?
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I started a rubiks cube when I was a kid. I have never finished it and I don't plan to. So when I die years from now without ever solving a rubiks cube will I have beaten this record?
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