Around Cubes: Snake Pattern

Rubik’s Cubes are on the rise again within the new generation. Speedsolving and twisty-puzzle wrangling are becoming more commonplace hobbies. To help you keep up to date, I detangle this seemingly impossible puzzle for you in “Around Cubes”.

I think anybody who likes to solve Rubik’s Cubes as a hobby, whether as a competitive speedsolver, or a higher-order puzzle lover, likes to play around with patterns. Even those who don’t know how to solve the puzzle know they can rotate the middle layer of each axis 180 degrees and get a cool fireworks pattern.

In my pattern ‘repertoire’ is the snake pattern; it’s one of my favorite patterns to do, and to look at. It’s relatively less well-known, and a bit more complicated to remember, than, say, the flower pattern, but it’s definitely a rewarding pattern to have in your toolbox of impressive tricks.

On your 3x3x3 cube, perform this algorithm:

R U F’ U’ L2 F’ L2 U’ F U’ R U2 F R2

You can now trace the line all around the cube as it snakes around. Yes, it does create a topologically complete circle!

The snake pattern on my 3x3x3 cube.
The snake pattern on my 3x3x3 cube.

To reset your cube, hold the cube so that one of the two faces with a line on it is the F face, and the line is horizontal. Then, just invert the algorithm. Here’s the ‘undo’ algorithm:

R2 F’ U2 R’ U F’ U L2 F L2 U F U’ R’

Using your favorite algorithm memorization methods, it’s a relatively easy sequence to remember. Naturally, as is with most other algorithms, it’s just as easy to forget. Keep it in practice if you’d like to keep it around.

The snake pattern is a really pretty pattern, as well as fun to look at, and I’d wager very few of any cuber-acquaintances of yours know how to do it. Nothing works as well as a fresh new trick that they can’t do to impress your friends! Good luck.

Around Cubes: Snake Pattern

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