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I haven’t done one of these posts in a while. Unfortunately, I don’t have too much to say about the Rubik’s Cube appearance in Overlord, as we only get brief glimpses of it. As I said in my post on the episode, the cube looked pretty good from what I could see. I didn’t see any obvious inconsistencies as I did way back when I last wrote one of these posts.
I didn’t really have enough information to replicate the position seen in the episode this time. It’s probably possible, but the position seemed mostly random (like someone had just scrambled up a Rubik’s Cube for reference). It might have helped if I got a more continuous view of the cube, but the scenes mostly jumped to different shots of it. Oh well…
I want to talk a bit about the statement about the difference in difficulty between solving a single side and solving two sides. It’s a fairly intuitive aspect of solving a Rubik’s Cube. You can only make progress on a second side by messing up the first solved side.
This idea is why it’s generally more efficient to line up as many pieces as you can before you solve a side. If you watch me solve, I generally don’t solve the first side for the first 10 or so seconds, which is a bit more than halfway through the solve.
So what exactly does it mean to “solve” a side? You just need to get all of the colors on one side to match, right? That’s certainly what we see in the episode. The cube’s appearance ends when all of the orange pieces are lined up.
I want to draw your attention to the bottom of the cube, though. Although, all colors on top are orange, the pattern adjacent to the orange side is yellow-blue-yellow. In a “true” solve, those colors would all match as well.
When solving a Rubik’s Cube, we have a concept of “orientation” and “permutation”. When you make all colors on one side match, you’re solving those pieces’ orientation. If the colors on the adjacent sides also match, you’ve solved the pieces’ permutation. You can think of orientation as making sure the pieces are facing the right direction and permutation as making sure the pieces are in their correct locations.
An example of the same side correctly permutated.