Thursday December 04, 2014
A mind-boggling 80’s puzzle has become the center of interest for Frederick H. Tuttle sixth grader, Brady MacKay. Bored during February vacation, Brady decided to go online and see if he could learn to solve the Rubik’s Cube. He discovered that “cubing” was much more than matching colors, but instead a series of algorithms. MacKay wrote down the patterns to the algorithms, and within days had them memorized.
MacKay explained that “cubers” use Speed Cubes, not the traditional Rubik’s Cubes with stickers. Speed Cubes are all plastic which means no fading, peeling or chipping. The Rubik’s Speed Cube’s mechanism has faster movement, amazing corner cutting and zero pops. A cuber will lubricate their cubes often and set the core tension to their own specifications.
MacKay began solving many types of cubes, his first being a 3x3 (the original cube). Brady uses a stack mat (an official speed timer) to time himself, and practices 1-2 hours every day. “At first, my solve time was about 90 seconds. With lots of practice, I’ve gotten my solve down to 13 seconds.”
In August, MacKay entered the US Rubik’s Cube National 2014 Tournament in New Jersey. After learning to cube only 6 months earlier, he faced over 600 competitors of all ages and placed 300th in the 2x2 and 3x3 cubes.
Last month, MacKay competed in a smaller competition at Harvard University with times of 23 seconds (3x3 cube), 8 seconds (2x2 cube) and 11 seconds (pyraminx – a special structure in the shape of a pyramid). MacKayhopes to compete blindfolded at his next competition. He would also like to start a Cubing Club at FHTMS. His ultimate goal is to design his own puzzle
SOURCE: Jennifer Savas, Contributor