Bobby Seagull needs your help.

This maths teacher and TV maths educator; University Challenge alumnus; presenter of Monkman and Seagull’s Genius Guide to Britain (a new series is due back on our screens this autumn); puzzle setter extremo and Potential Plus UK Ambassador has taken on a summer challenge…

“One of my projects over the summer is to try and learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. As a child, I sometimes struggled with this and solved it in a long-winded manner. But I’d love to hear from you on any tips you might have so I can learn a proper method to solve them, and then get quicker. You’ll be helping Mr Seagull against some of my school students who can solve Rubik’s Cubes quite quickly!” [Bobby Seagull]

What tips would you give Bobby to speedily solve his Rubik’s Cube Dilemma?  Email them by August 30th to and we’ll pass them on to Bobby to see how he gets on!

Rubik’s Cube Fact File

  • Rubik’s Cube is a 3D 3x3x3 combination puzzle made up of twenty-six miniature cubes twisting around a central pivot.
  • There are 43 quintillion possible combinations – and one solution to the Rubik’s Cube.
  • The Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik.
  • To solve a Rubik’s cube each of its six sides must be twisted into a single colour of 9 squares: white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. When the cube was originally launched the colours were stickers – leading to a little judicious cheating by peeling them off a square and moving them if a person couldn’t work out how to solve the cube!
  • Speedcubing/Speedsolving involves solving a variety of twisting puzzles including the Rubik’s Cube.
  • The World Cube Association regulates and holds competitions for twisty puzzles. Up to February 2019, more than 118,000 people from around the world have participated in World Cube Association competitions.
  • Tim Wong holds the record for independently completing a Rubik’s Cube in the fewest moves – only 19! – in 2015.  This was later equalled by Marcel Peters, in 2016. The average number of moves to solve a Rubik’s Cube is 50.
  • Yusheng Du currently holds the record for solving the Rubik’s Cube with two hands in 3.47 seconds.
  • Feliks Zemdegs holds the record for the fastest one-handed solve of 6.88 seconds
  • Daniel Rose-Levine holds the record for solving the Cube with his feet in 16.96 seconds (example of him solving the cube with his feet )

Humans aren’t the only ones solving Rubik’s Cubes.

In 2019 DeepCubeA – an artificial intelligence neural network – which mimics how the human brain works – taught itself to solve the Rubik’s Cube in 1.2 seconds. While not as fast as min2phase (see below), min2phase was a purely mechanical algorithm dedicated to solving the cube only. DeepCubeA is a great development for artificial intelligence, as a machine  reasoning and learning for itself, this offers the potential of applying that reasoning to other problems. (algorithm: )  Read more about its success at:

In 2018 the record for a robot solving a Rubik’s Cube was created by MIT students Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo – the min2phase algorithm (algorithm: ) solved the 3x3x3 cube in 0.38 seconds!


If, like Bobby, you are trying to work out how to solve Rubik’s Cube, take comfort that it took its inventor, Ernő Rubik, a month to solve it – and if all else fails, watch the videos on how to solve a 3x3x3 cube on the official Rubik website