Tonight, I needed something fast to doodlewash as I’m still running short on time. For some unknown reason, this made me think of Rubik’s Cube as I remember people competing to see how fast they could solve it, also known as speedcubing. For my version of the speedcubing challenge, I had to see if I could doodlewash wash one in less than 20 minutes and this is what came out. Invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik, the little cube reached the height of its mainstream popularity in the 80’s.

I mentioned in a previous post that I actually did solve the Rubik’s Cube a few times, but I neglected to mention that I also had a little book that walked me through the concept. David Singmaster developed a notation to denote a sequence of moves, referred to as “Singmaster notation”. Its relative nature allows algorithms to be written in such a way that they can be applied regardless of which side is designated the top or how the colors are organized on a particular cube. So yeah, I was a big geek.

Regardless of the help of this particular book, it was still ridiculously complex. This caused many of my friends to discover that you can also carefully peel off the colored stickers on the side and just jab them into the correct spot, alleviating hours of frustration. Of course, this was cheating, and had none of the incredible satisfaction that comes with actually solving it, but that didn’t stop them. And honestly, this was a maddeningly disturbing “game” so I can’t really blame them for searching for a quick fix.

I haven’t tried to solve one of these since the 80’s and I doubt I could still figure it out today. My brain got older and less patient for such grueling endeavors. Either that or I’ve simply gotten dumber over the years and can’t grasp things with this level of complexity. Either way, I have fond memories of that moment years ago when I briefly mastered what is now called the world’s most popular puzzle.

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Teal, Azo Orange, Azo Yellow, Permanent Green Pale, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

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41 thoughts on “Rubik’s Cube

  1. Looks like you’ve mastered the puzzle once more in your doodlewash, Charlie! 😄👍 Looks great! 🌟🌟🌟 I was never had the patience for this puzzle or maybe it was my short attention which seems to be getting shorter each year…lol! 🙄🎨💜

  2. Ok – I couldn’t read anything past the fact that you did this in 20 minutes. Oh Charlie! How do you do it? I tried painting this evening. Wanted so much to create beautiful skies and landscapes. Argh! NOT! And, in 20 minutes, you create this??….!!! …. SIGH! Good think I love you! 🙂

  3. Brilliant choice! My dad still has the one that my sister and I played with but I was never able to work it out. My engineer cousin could do it really well. I’m actually not sure why I can’t work this because I am really great with changing Transformers from robot to vehicles and back.

    Despite your saying you did this quickly, it really turned out fabulously! And I loved your story to go with it, as usual! <3

  4. I loved my Rubik’s cube! Omg I was so addicted! Lol we really are siblings hehe. This is a wonderful rendering, Charlie! I love how it’s in motion too, not just a cube. Really love this, it may be my favorite of all of the toys! 👏🏻🎨🖌🙇🏼😊

  5. I can’t believe you got such neat angles in under twenty minutes! Ridiculous! I remember forcing my father to buy me a Rubik’s cube when I was a child – I had no idea what it was, I just liked the colours. Needless to say, I never came anywhere near solving the thing, but I had fun just twisting it about and hoping for the best. It was much the same more recently when I had a Rubik’s cube app on my iPod. I guess I just don’t have the brains!

    I love the idea of peeling the colours off – haha! How adorably desperate!

    1. Hehe…the angles weren’t need at all as you can see from the ink sketch underneath. Lol I just smoothed them as I painted. 😊 the sketch looked like a madman attached the page but I was able to sort it out with paint. Lol Yeah… I liked the colors too! Hehe… But so maddening!! Ugh!! 😉

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