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Why It’s Almost Impossible to Solve a Rubik’s Cube in Under 3 Seconds

via WIRED

The current world record for solving a Rubik’s cube is 3.47 seconds. Could it be faster? WIRED’s Robbie Gonzalez explores the mind-boggling math and finger-twisting world of speed cubing.

Zemdegs holds numerous cubing records, but he is best known as the most consistently swift solver of the 3 by 3: the canonical three-layered, Mondrian-colored cube. (The toy you’re probably picturing is just one of many mechanical riddles belonging to the genus of so-called twisty puzzles.) Last month, at a speedcubing competition in Brisbane, he set a new world record of 5.69 seconds in the Average of 5 event, wherein contestants each solve five cubes that have been scrambled according to computer-generated instructions. When they’re finished, competitors eliminate their fastest and slowest times and calculate the mean of the remaining three. Zemdegs’ 5.69-second average was an 0.11-second improvement over his previous best, which was also a world record. “Since 2010, I’ve broken the Average-of-5 record probably 10 times,” he says.

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