This page is a glossary of some of the most common speedcubing terms and acronyms.
The standard time penalty in WCA competitions, plus two seconds.
2-Generator Last Layer. These algorithms are used for the ZBLL cases which require only edge permutation and corner orientation.
2 Look Last Layer - solving the last layer in two steps or 'looks'. For the CFOP method, this generally refers to OLL and PLL.
3 Look Last Layer - solving the last layer in three steps or 'looks'. For the CFOP method, this generally refers to 2 Look OLL and full PLL.
4 Look Last Layer - solving the last layer in four steps or 'looks'. For the CFOP method, this generally refers to 2 Look OLL and 2 look PLL.
An algorithm is a sequence of moves designed to achieve a particular outcome on a puzzle.
The inverse of the Sune algorithm, the Anti-Sune algorithm re-orients 3 corners anticlockwise.
Adjust U Face. This is a move generally performed before or after an algorithm to align the U face to a desired position. It could either be U, U', or U2.
A beginner's method refers to speedsolving methods designed for beginners, which often have many steps to simplify the process.
Blindfolded speedcubing - refers to solving cubes blindfolded.
Brooks' Last Edge. These algorithms insert an edge into your your last F2L slot and orient the corners of the last layer.
Blockbuilding generally refers to inuitively solving blocks of pieces around the cube, in contrast to algorithmic speedcubing approaches.
Refers to the middle piece on each side of a Rubik's cube. For bigger cubes, it refers to the pieces with only one colour.
Cross-F2L-OLL-PLL. The most commonly used speedsolving method.
Corners of Last Layer. These algorithms solve the corners of the last layer, as their name suggests.
Corner Last Slot. CLS algorithms solve the last F2L corner and orient your last layer at the same time. They are used when the edge of your final F2L pair is already solved, and the last layer edges are oriented.
Corners and Orientation of Last Layer. COLL algorithms are used to orient and permute the corners of your last layer at the same time.
A sequence of moves of the form A-B-A'-B'. Example: (R' D' R) (U) (R' D R) (U')
A sequence of moves of the form A-B-A'. Example: (R U2 R') (R' F R F') (R U2 R')
Refers to the corner pieces on the Rubik's cube, which are the pieces with three different colours.
The cross generally refers to correctly solving 4 edge pieces around a center piece, to form a 'plus' or 'cross' out of the center and edge stickers.
Rotating the cube in place without turning any of the sides. The three rotational axes used in cube notation are x y and z.
Did Not Finish
Did Not Start
Refers to the edge pieces on the Rubik's cube, which have two different colours.
Intentionally orienting last layer edges whilst solving the first two layers.
Edges of Last Layer
Solving the cross and one F2L pair at the same time, also referred to as 'X-Cross'
First 2 Layers
A single surface of a Rubik's cube.
Fewest Moves Challenge
Also known as CFOP, the most common speedsolving method, which solves the cube in the following sequence: Cross-F2L-OLL-PLL
Any 180 degree turn of the Rubik's cube.
The time used to inspect the cube before starting a solve. In WCA competitions, the maximum inspection time is 15 seconds.
Refers to all of the pieces which make up one rotational side of a Rubik's cube.
Layer By Layer
Planning future stages of a speedsolve whilst executing moves to solve the pieces of the current stage.
The number of moves used in a Rubik's cube solve.
Intentionally inserting F2L pairs in a manner which influences subsequent F2L pairs in your favour.
The algorithm R U' L' U R' U' L, which re-orients 3 corners clockwise.
One-Handed speedcubing - refers to solving cubes with one hand.
Orientation of Last Layer
Orientation of Last Layer + Corner Permutation
Parity in a speedsolving context generally refers to additional steps required to solve a puzzle in cases where there are (or appear to be) an odd number of piece swaps on a cube. For a more technical explanation, see here
Permutation of Both Layers, a step used in some common 2x2 methods which permute the top and bottom layer corners.
A 3x3 speedsolving method developed by Lars Petrus which has a strong emphasis on blockbuilding.
Permutation of Last Layer
When pieces 'pop' or fall out of a cube during turning.
Any 90 degree turn of the Rubik's cube.
A common big cube solving method whereby the cuber solves the center pieces into place, followed by pairing up edge pieces to effectively 'reduce' the big cube to a 3x3.
A 3x3 speedsolving method developed by Gilles Roux in which 1x2x3 blocks are built on the left and right sides of the cube to begin the solve.
Refers to the move sequence R U R' U'
Refers to the move sequence R' F R F'
On a 3x3, a slice move refers to the notated moves M, E, and S.
The algorithm R U R' U R U2 R'
Turns Per Second
Unofficial World Record
Valk Last Slot. VLS algorithms solve the final F2L slot and OLL at the same time, in the cases where you have a connected F2L pair.
World Cube Association
Winter Variation. These algorithms are used to orient the corners of your last layer whilst you insert your final F2L pair, in the case where the pair is connected.
A big cube speedsolving method proposed by Robert Yau, whereby the cross is solved before the cube is fully reduced to the 3x3 stage.
Zborowski-Bruchem First 2 Layers. These algorithms solve the final F2L pair and orient the edges of the last layer to set up for ZBLL.
Zborowski-Bruchem Last Layer. These algorithms solve the entire last layer in 1 step, when the last layer edges are oriented.
A 3x3 speedsolving method created by Zbiginiew Zborowski in which the first step involves orienting all edges on the cube.