For anybody who has a bit of a technical, problem-solving mind (I'm going to guess that's literally anybody reading this), there's a high likelihood that you have not only played with or owned a Rubik's cube but also attempted to solve one using a step-by-step guide.


Most guides are written using 'Singmaster Notation' where F denotes a clockwise rotation of the side facing the solver, U' is an anticlockwise rotation of the uppermost layer, and so on.

This notation is used to describe not only solving steps but also scrambles when applied to an already solved cube. The following scramble, for example:

L R' D2 U' B D2 F2 D F' L2 F2 R' D' L R2 D U2 L F' L' B2 D U R2 F' D' L' R D2 U

Produces this:

Kana Flick

In seemingly unrelated news, the standard way to type Japanese characters on a smartphone is using a Kana Flick Keyboard.

This style of keyboard groups characters together so that you essentially touch the key to select the consonant, move in one of four directions (or stay still) to select the vowel and let go to confirm. Put that way, describing it takes a lot longer than actually doing it.

Rubik's flickboard

This is a long preamble to say that I was thinking through a new game design the other day when I had an idea about a variation on the kana flick keyboard that could be used to enter Rubik's cube move notation:

Note: It doesn't yet include 'fat' moves (lowercase variations which denote moving two slices of the cube rather than just one), E, S or rotations (x, y, z).

It only works on iOS for now because it was a Sunday-evening sofa hack while rewatching Voyager on Netflix.

Rubik's Flickboard (iOS only)