Rubik’s Cube – Solving Second Layer Edges

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 161,330
    Rubik’s Cube expert Bob Burton demonstrates how to solve second layer edges of a Rubik’s cube.

    Bob Burton

    Bob is a math teacher at a high school in New York City. He received his B.A. in mathematics from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a M.A. in mathematics education from the City College of New York. He also has a great interest in the sciences, especially physics and chemistry. Bob has been solving Rubik's Cubes since 2001 and competed in over twenty official contests all over the world. He has held several world records and national titles for Rubik's puzzles, including the Rubik's Magic and Square-1. At Rutgers University, Bob founded the RU Rubik's Cube Club, which hosted official competitions twice each year, attracting competitors from all over the country in addition to several international competitors. He has also developed several fingertricks for Rubik's Cube algorithms that are used by some of the fastest speedcubers in the world. Bob is also the webmaster for, a site designed for speedcubers to learn new tricks and become faster. He currently averages about twenty seconds to solve a Rubik's Cube with a personal best of 13 seconds. He has even solved the puzzle blindfolded in several official competitions. Bob currently lives with his family in Kearny, New Jersey.

    I am Bob Burton, Rubik's Cube Expert, and I am teaching you how to solve a Rubik's Cube. Now that we have completed the first layer we are ready to move on to the second layer of the Rubik's cube, which is the middle edges. First step, once we've reached this point, is to turn the Rubik's cube upside down, we want white on the bottom. This allows us to find the pieces that we need more easily. To solve this step, first we look for any edges that are lined up with the center that belongs with them. We want these edges to not have yellow on them, because yellow pieces belong in the last layer. For example, this orange, blue piece we can place, because it belongs in the second layer. To do so, first we move the orange, blue piece towards the side of the orange. This is because the blue is on the right and orange is on the left. Since the piece itself is on the left, we push it further to the left. We take the corner that it belongs with, which is the orange, blue corner, move it up, away and down. Now weve formed a block of two pieces. We can now move this block to the right, turn the Rubik's cube slightly, move the layer up that has the orange on it. Put the block in place so that the corner and edge are matching with the edge and center of the orange, and place it down. Now we have completed the first middle edge of the Rubik's cube. Next, we want to find another middle edge. For example, this red, green one. Since it lines up with the red and not the green, we look at the red face. Red is on our left so we push the piece to the left. We take the corner it belongs with, put it up, push it away, and bring it down. We now face the green. Move the block so that its in front of us, place the left side up, put the block in place, and put the block down. We have now completed the second edge of the Rubik's cube. We look for another piece. This time we have the green, orange edge. We look at the green face because thats where it lines up. Move the green edge towards the left, take the corner it belongs with, move it up, away and down. Move the piece to the right so that its now in front of the orange. Now we take the layer, put it up, put the pieces in place, and bring them down. There is still one more edge to be completed, it lines up with the red. Red would be at the right of these two colors, since this is the red and the blue, and blue would be on the left. Since its on the right, we push the piece to the right, take the corner it belongs with, bring it up, away from us, and down, look at the other face, which in this case is blue. Put the block in front of us, bring the right side up, so that we can place the two pieces, and bring them down. Sometimes we get a case where the piece is already in place, but its put in backwards. To solve this, we take any arbitrary piece. For example, I will take this yellow, orange one, and pretend it belongs in this place. Since I pretend it belongs to this place, I move it to the left, the corner that it would belong with, up, away, and down. Move the block to the right, look at the other face, up, over and down. What that did was it replaced the piece that was in wrong with a piece that doesnt belong there, that brings the piece that does belong there to the top layer. Its now ready to be solved as if that never happened at all. Since red is on the left side of the two colors when it lines up, I move it to the left, take the corner it belongs with, go up, away, and down. Look at the other face, put the block in front of us, move the left side up, place the two pieces and bring it down. We have now solved the entire first two layers of the Rubik's cube, and we're ready to move on.