## Thursday, March 13, 2014

### 8x8x8

The 8x8x8 Cube is the next step up from the 7x7x7 Cube. The ultimate solution takes care of this cube in much the same way as the 6x6x6. The basic idea is to reduce the cube so it's essentially the same as a 3x3x3 cube. Once that's done, it behaves like a 3x3x3 cube, with the notable exceptions of a possible inverted edge when placing edges, and also two swapped corners at the end of the solve.

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The Basic Plot
1. Solve centers
2. Reduce edge hextets
3. Place edge hextets
4. Solve corners
Step 1: Solve Centers

This is similar to the Rubik's Revenge, in that there is no fixed center piece. Although you can solve any colour in any order, I'll begin by solving the white center. Next, solve the yellow centers, on the opposite side. The basic technique is to place a row of yellows, then turn the face, and then put back the displaced row of white centers.

Once the white and yellow centers are solved, complete two more centers. They don't need to be next to each other, and they can be any two of the four remaining colours.

The last two centers are harder than the others. But not much. Fortunately, a corner piece series will come to our aid here.

Step 2: Reduce Edge Hextets

All centers are now in place and it's time to match edge pieces to create edge hextets. You'll notice that instead of there being 1 edge piece joining two faces, there are 6. The goal is to first match 11 of the edge hextets. Once that's done, the last edge hextet will either be correctly matched automatically, or else will need further dealings. It's almost always not going to be possible to completely reduce an edge in one go, but the following is the general technique. Use the edge piece series as follows
1. Find edge pieces needing to be matched
2. Bring them together (centers will be disturbed)
3. Use an edge piece series to move the matched edge hextets onto a different face. Make sure that the replacement piece is not already a matched hextet.
4. Return the centers
It's a simple procedure, and will work nicely for most of the edges. However, since there are 6 edge pieces needing to be brought together, and only 4 faces to do it on, you'll often find that it's not possible to make a hextet straight away. For example, if you're making the green-red hextet, but there's one green-red edge piece next to another green-red piece which is inverted, you'll need a different strategy.

Before you know it, you'll be down to three edge quartets left to make and then two.

This video will show how to get down to the last edge.

Help! I Only Have One Unmatched Edge Hextet Left To Make.

While it's common to end up with a single unmatched edge hextet, this is not a problem on the V-Cube 8. We can fix the problem by turning either the bottom two slices one turn or the bottom 3 slices one turn, then resolving centers. After this, the edge hextets will match up without issue.

Step 3: Place Edge Hextets

Now treat each edge hextet as a single edge piece. Turn only the outer layers. Position the edges exactly as you would for the 3x3x3 Rubik's cube.

Help! My Last Hextet Is Placed But Inverted?!?

This will happen some of the time. The fix is the same as for this situation on the Rubik's Revenge. We turn the bottom 4 slices one turn, then re-solve centers and re-match edges. Once this is done we may place all reduced edges without issue.

Step 4: Solve Corners

This is the same as for the 3x3x3 Rubik's cube. Carry out corner piece series until you have only 3 corners remaining. Then carry out the end game.

Help! My Last Two Corners Need Swapping?!?

This will happen some of the time. The fix is the same as for this situation on the Rubik's Revenge.
1. Rotate the top half of the cube 180°
2. Remove the unmatched edge hextet using an edge piece series
3. Return that same edge hextet but inverted (make it piece 3)
4. Turn the whole cube 180°
5. Remove the unmatched edge hextet of the same colours as before using an edge piece series
6. Return that same edge hextet but inverted (make it piece 3)
7. Rotate the top half of the cube 180°
8. At this stage, your cube has some of the edge hextets out of position. Proceed as normal to re-place the edge hextetsand solve the corners.
It's a simple method, and it's much easier to understand by watching it happen.

And that's it. Your 8x8x8 Cube is now solved. I trust this site has been helpful. If you have any questions or want some clarifications, please use the comments to do so. To buy this puzzle, click here.