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1. Solve side pieces (part 1)

The goal of this section is to arrange the side pieces so that each 9 side pieces on one side have the same colour. Since this order, however, would be destroyed again by solving of the edge pieces, solving of the side pieces will be completed only in section 3. At first, the colours of side pieces, which would be exactly opposite on the solved Cube, will be regarded as the same colours.


1.1 Solve side pieces on 2 opposite sides

Select now two colours, which would be exactly opposite on the solved Cube, e.g. red and orange. Which colour will be opposite on the solved Cube you can see on the center side pieces, since these pieces won't change their relative position to each other, even by mixing up the Cube. If the red center side piece would be opposite to the orange center side piece on the unsolved Cube, it would be the same on the solved Cube. The colours on your Cube can differ from those on my site, because there are Cubes with different colour schemes.

1.1.1 Order side pieces to 3-piece-combinations

Turn the whole Cube so, that as little as possible side pieces in the chosen colours would be on the top and on the bottom side. Especially the center side pieces mustn't be above or below. Try to get 3-piece-combinations (consisting of 3 side pieces in a line) along the remaining 4 sides.
You can get 4 of these combinations with the side pieces in the selected 2 colours:

Applets 1a to 1c show the principle way to do it:
Start with the 2 combinations, which are including one center side piece (Applets 1a, 1b):
Turn, if necessary (see applet 1b), one edge side piece by a 90 turn on a horizontal outer middle layer to a side with no center side piece in the selected colours. By turning at the corresponding outer layer you can move the edge side piece up or down and then by turning at a horizontal outer middle layer you can move it next to a center side piece in the correct colour. Do the same with a second edge side piece. On this way you'll get a vertical line, which you should turn horizontal. Proceed with the second combination on the opposite side just the same way.

Applet 1a
Applet 1b
Applet 1c

The remaining 4 combinations can be ordered in the same way (see applet 1c): At first you must form a vertical line with 3 side pieces in the selected colours, and turn it then horizontal. To form a vertical line, an edge side piece has to be turned so that it is positioned left or right. After that, corner side pieces on a different side have to be turned so that they would be positioned direct above or below the edge side piece, when they're finally turned to that side. The reason for turning the 3-piece-combinations horizontal is to avoid that they'll get unordered by turns on the horizontal outer middle layers (which are necessary to order the remaining side pieces). At the necessary 90 turns at the outer layers you have to take care that they'll be only made on sides with no already ordered 3-piece-combinations. By specific positioning of the already ordered 3-piece-combinations (see point 1.1.3) it is possible at any time to find a free side, on which a 90 turn can be made without any problem.
The following combinations of turns can be helpful for ordering of the 3-piece-combinations:

Applet 1d
Applet 1e
Applet 1f

Applets 1d - 1f show combinations, at which the positions of the already ordered 3-piece-combinations don't play any role, because - apart from the side, on which the side pieces should be solved - at no side 90 turns have to be made. In the case of combinations 1e and 1f you have to take care, though, that on the position, which is marked with 3 dark grey side pieces, no ordered 3-piece-combinations are. The combinations 1e and 1f are only then meaningful, when there's no more "free side" (a side with no ordered 3-piece-combinations). Otherwise it's better to turn the single corner side piece to a free side and take it there with a 90 turn to its correct position (standard procedure as described above), because this procedure needs less turns, especially in the case of Applet 1f.

1.1.2 Turn side pieces away from top and bottom layer

Sometime you come to the point, at which you'll need the side pieces, which are still on top or on bottom, because you can't get more 3-piece-combinations without them. In this case, however, there are now enough "free lines" (3-piece-combinations with no side piece in the chosen colour). Along this free lines you can turn the side pieces away from top and bottom without bringing other correct coloured side pieces back to top or bottom simultaneously. This "free lines" are marked dark grey in the following applets.
The procedure when collecting the side pieces from the upper and lower side is the following:

  1. turn free lines so that they are placed on two opposite sides (see also point 1.1.3)
  2. turn free lines vertical
  3. if necessary, make 90 turns on the top and on the bottom layer, so that all side pieces if possible get away from top and bottom
  4. make 90 turns of the middle layers along the free lines to turn the side pieces away from top and bottom
  5. if there are already ordered 3-piece-combinations on those sides, where the new correct coloured side pieces have arrived, turn these combinations horizontal again

Continue with solving of the side pieces as described in point 1.1.1
In most cases it should be possible to get all side pieces in the correct colours away form top and bottom. But if there remained some side pieces on top or bottom, continue with point 1.1.1 and then carry out point 1.1.2 once more again.

Applet 1j
Applet 1k

At applet 1j step 1 is incomplete to demonstrate all 5 steps as described above. Applet 1k shows the same initial position, but step 1 is done complete. Through this the steps 2, 3 and 5 can be discontinued. In step 4 the whole Cube is turned and then the outer layers are turned back. This has the same effect as if the 3 middle layers had been turned.

1.1.3 Order 3-piece-combinations to 2 sides with each 9 side pieces

Try to place the 3-piece-combinations in a way that each of the 4 combinations without a center side piece (in the following called "outer 3-piece-combination") is placed on another side (but not on top or on bottom). The two combinations with a center side piece (in the following called "middle 3-piece-combination") are inevitable on two opposite sides, so that altogether two 3-piece-combinations are now on these sides. Make 180 turns on well-chosen sides, so that on each 2 opposite sides the outer 3-piece-combinations are placed below and on the other 2 opposite sides above. Now you'll only need a 90 turn on the correct outer middle layer and you've reached the goal of section 1.

The following listing contains all possibilities how the Cube can look like before point 1.1.3. After that you'll find for each possibility the matching applet.

The outer 3-piece-combinations can be spread over the 4 sides as follows:

Applet 1l
Applet 1m
Applet 1n
Applet 1o
Applet 1p
Applet 1q

Hint: Therewith your Cube looks exactly like on one of the applets above, some sides may need a 180 turn. Furthermore it's possible, that the whole Cube must be turned by 180 (so that the top side changes place with the bottom side).

Below you see on an example of the complete solving of the side pieces as described in point 1.1:

Hint: Play the applet step by step for a better understanding of what happens by each turn.

1.2 Solve side pieces on the remaining 4 sides

Turn the whole Cube so that the already ordered side pieces (in the example red and orange) are above and below. Then you choose the next pair of side pieces, which are placed opposite, for example green and blue, and order them as described in point 1.1 (point 1.1.2 lefts out, because all side pieces in the chosen colours are already on the 4 remaining sides). Thereby the remaining 2 sides have ordered themselves automatically.

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