My name is Eric Limeback. I am 21 years old and a 4th year Business student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

On October 4, 2014, I created a large-scale Rubik’s cube artwork for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto - comprised of over 3,000 Rubik’s Cubes solved on the spot. It took over 12 hours and a team of assistants to complete the project.

Image of the art.

A year ago, I broke the Guinness World Record for most Rubik’s Cubes solved in 24 hours (which has since broken again).

Video of the record breaking solve.

I'll begin answering questions at 1pm! Proof

Comments: 98 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

DonnyTheBowler9 karma

Who provided almost 5,000 random Rubik's cubes in 24 hours for you to solve?

eLimeback13 karma

We only used ten cubes throughout the attempt! Each time I solved a cube I handed it off to a volunteer to be rescrambled, and received a newly scrambled cube from the other end of the table. As per Guinness requirements, we had to use a program to generate 6,000 unique scramble algorithms, to ensure I wouldn't get the same solution twice.

As for the cubes, my sponsor was a company called Lubix. They provided me with ten of their best cubes to use. Check them out if you're looking to get a good one :)

jumpup8 karma

how long did it take you to learn and how much did the rubik cubes cost you?

eLimeback10 karma

It took me about a week to learn, one step at a time. I was following an online guide which showed me the correct algorithms to solve the cube. By the end of the week I was able to solve the cube without referencing the website. From then on, I learned more algorithms along the way and more efficient methods for solving certain cases.

I've invested a few hundred in rubik's cubes alone (different brands and sizes - 4x4, 5x5, etc). Fortunately, it's a relatively inexpensive hobby. Traveling to competitions in the US or overseas can be pricey.

chris5523934 karma

Have you ever used your title to pick up chicks?

eLimeback8 karma

Not directly, no. But it has definitely helped me meet people. I like to think I'm a pretty alright guy, too ;)

kmcgaire3 karma

Do you even ZBLL?

eLimeback6 karma

No, I don't even ZBLL :(. Many other cubers would make fun of me for this. I probably only know a few of the most basic and easily-recognizable cases.

Whats_gravity3 karma

pb's? all events

eLimeback2 karma

To be honest, I haven't a clue what my unofficial PBs are. I stopped keeping track quite some time ago! For 3x3, it's definitely a low 5.xx. 2x2 is sub-1. 4x4 would be a 31 or something. Blind is also 31.

Deathranger9992 karma

How could you muster up enough mental and physical endurance to solve for 24 hours? I could go for 3 on a good day, but that's just insane.

eLimeback3 karma

Believe it or not, the mental endurance was much more challenging than the physical. While my hands/wrists/forearms did get sore, I was struggling more with keeping focused, staying awake, and not throwing up near the end of it. My body and mind were so exhausted, and the anticipation of completing the event was making it hard to eat at times, so near the end I was feeling a bit nauseous.

Luckily, I was provided with ten fantastic cubes to use that were fine tuned and adjusted before the event to make sure they turned really nicely and wouldn't put much stress on my hands.

Hotpeanut2 karma

What is your favorite part about Waterloo, Ontario?

eLimeback3 karma

I've only lived in Waterloo for as long as I've been enrolled at Wilfrid Laurier University. I haven't explored much beyond the campuses here other than the immediate area. Still, I love the city. I visit uptown often as well as Conestoga and Fairview mall on occasion, and I worked in Kitchener during my second year. I really like how close everything is, and there are plenty of neat shops or places to get food. This past summer I was introduced to Geocaching which led me to explore some sweet places in Waterloo :)

playerhayter2 karma

Loved your art at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche this year in Toronto! Don't your fingers get sore and crackly after solving so many cubes at once?

eLimeback6 karma

Thanks so much! Glad you were able to come by and check out the art.

Fortunately, we had been loaned the 3000+ cubes for the night and they were all somewhat loose and easy to twist. It wasn't too bad creating the Nuit Blanche piece, but I've made other Rubik's Cube art in the past with very cheap cubes that were difficult to turn and put a lot of strain on my fingers and wrists. I was definitely sore during a good amount of the 24-hour cube solving record last year.

When it comes to day-to-day solving, I use more 'professional' grade Rubik's cubes that are super smooth and cause no strain whatsoever :)

nosaJ42972 karma

Do you think we've hit the end of speed-cubing? I dont mean that it's going to die off, but the best in the world have gotten so fast that i dont think there will be many improvements. The world record for 3x3 is currently 5.55 seconds. It seems that the only way to beat that would be if one of the best speed-cubers in the world got lucky. Sure, feliks zemdegs managed to beat the record (i'm sure you've seen the 5.33 second corner twist). But i kind of doubt he'll get a solve that fast any time soon at a competition.

So, what do you think? Has the community hit a wall, and wont see much improvement, aside from getting lucky once in a while?

eLimeback3 karma

This is something I've always been keeping in mind. To be fair, years ago I had thought we were approaching the human limit, even before Feliks starting throwing down sub-6 times. I do agree though, it's going to be crazy hard to improve on the times these guys are getting now. As for me, I've already accepted that although it may be possible for me to improve a good amount still, the time commitment is something I'm not willing to go through.

I definitely think there is still a possibility that the 3x3 single WR could end up being something completely ridiculous on a really, really, really, lucky scramble.

musicalboy21 karma

I have no idea if you remember me, but we met at NCR2014. (I was that guy from Alberta in the bright blue Worlds hoodie that helped scramble)

1) Did you ever figure out what happened to that one face of your Lubix Fangshi that was turning somewhat weirdly?

2) I learned BLD from your tutorial, and use an edges letter scheme similar (though not quite identical) to yours. How do you apply your lettering scheme (or any non-speffz scheme) to big BLD?

3) What are your thoughts on cross-on-left?

eLimeback1 karma

Oh boy, NCR was way back. I might remember you if we meet again!

1) Not a clue, sometimes cubes do that. I probably just ended up switching to another one :P 2) I use the same letter scheme for big BLD (midges and wings), but it might be hard to explain through text. 3) I've never tried cross on left (other than just messing around with it for fun), but I can totally see the potential in it. It makes sense why it can be fast, but it's not for me!

smartin20141 karma

Why did you start solving Rubik's cubes? Most people try once (or many times) and give up.

eLimeback2 karma

I first started when I was 14 years old, in my first year of high school. I had seen a classmate solve the cube in two minutes, but he didn't have the time to teach me the solution. So, I purchased my own and looked up the solution online. I quickly became addicted to timing myself and trying to improve my personal bests. I learned more efficient algorithms and methods along the way which helped drop my times quite a bit. Five months after I started, I attended my first competition and placed 24th in Canada. That was pretty impressive to me, so at that point I took the hobby a bit more seriously.

Big props to those who have figured out the solution on their own. It is quite difficult if you're guessing your way through it, so I have always found that to be extremely impressive and not something I would have been able to do (or had the patience for).

crispycheese1 karma


eLimeback5 karma

Thanks so much, fellow Goldenhawk :)

AndrewSeven gave some great resources! You can also try searching on YouTube for a specific video to follow along with. Enter something like 'How to solve a Rubik's Cube beginner'.

Also, if you haven't heard of the Laurier Rubik's Cube Club, you should check it out! You should be able to learn how to solve the cube (if not, most of it) by the end of the first meeting you go to. Look for the club on the WLUSU website.

smartin20141 karma

You clearly possess some great skills in order to solve Rubik's cubes so effortlessly, what else can you apply these skills to? Is it something you can make a career out of?

eLimeback3 karma

I'm not certain whether or not this is something I could make a career out of (or that I would want to, for that matter). I've always enjoyed doing presentations and demos at local toy stores and schools. I don't want to dedicate my life to solving a puzzle; I'm always trying to figure out how I can best use my skills and experience for finding work I'm happy with!

To give a more straightforward answer: solving the Rubik's Cube has helped improve my dexterity and memory, so I suppose I would benefit from any type of work or learning that draws on these!

kmcgaire1 karma

As an up and coming speedcuber, at what point do you start learning new algs, or simple try and get those fingers moving faster?

eLimeback5 karma

If you're learning how to solve a Rubik's Cube with the intent of competing or becoming fast, I would say to skip the beginner ('layer by layer') method of solving the cube and consider learning a more advanced method like the Fridrich method right from the start. Alternatively, learning the beginners method can give you a better understanding of how the cube works, and how certain moves affect certain pieces.

Regardless of which solving method you learn, you can always start by improving your turning speed with the use of 'finger tricks' - turning each side of the cube with the tips of your fingers, rather than your whole hand. You can also practice some helpful turning techniques like doing U2 (double turn of the top face) in one motion, with two fingers. Also, learning to optimize your solution by mirroring moves and algorithms in the front vs. back of the cube.

DonnyTheBowler1 karma

Did you know that it would take you almost exactly 300 times as long as the time that has elapsed between the Big Bang and now, to shift a Rubik's Cube into every single possible combination, assuming each move took one second. No? Well you do now, Eric.

Anyway, are you going to re-break the 24 hour record? And how many Rubiks cube do you estimate you've solved in your life?

eLimeback4 karma

Haha, that's pretty neat. I know there are over 43 quintillion configurations - that helps put some perspective on it!

I have been thinking of attempting the record again since it was beaten this past June. I'm considering the idea of doing a 24 hour race with my friend Anthony Brooks. We're very close in terms of speed, so it would be interesting to see who could out-perform in 24 hours!

I would estimate that I've solved around 20,000 - 30,000 (with the 5,800 in one day contributing quite a lot). I don't practice nearly as much as I used in when I first started. Nowadays, I might only pick one up as a way of taking a break from studying, or to show a friend.

vektonaut1 karma

Is there any way to get a checkerboard pattern on every face of a cube?

Edit: sorry, I meant crosses on every face.

GreenGreeneryIsGreen1 karma

Turn every face twice in opposites from a silver position. So turn front face twice, back face twice, left face twice, right side twice, bottom face twice and top face twice. (f2 b2 l2 r2 U2 d2)

Edit: *solved not silver

eLimeback2 karma

^ This exactly! To see it in action, check out the beginning of this video

Stewy_1 karma

should feet be removed as an official event?

eLimeback2 karma

I don't think so! Although I don't compete in it myself, and those outside the sport may think it seems ridiculous, it's an event that many people love to compete in. Also, it caters to those who would like to compete but may have a physical disability to do so with their hands.

coniform1 karma


eLimeback1 karma

Yes! Blind is actually my favourite event. I've held the Canadian record for the fastest blindsolve for many years, on and off (currently, I'm ranked 2nd with a time of 38.42 seconds).

It's a really fun event. I think anyone could learn how to blindsolve with the right teacher.

kmcgaire1 karma

Who continues to inspire you to become faster, and learn more. Don't you hit a limit at some point?

eLimeback4 karma

I'm good friends with some of the top in the world, and they will always continue to impress and inspire me to become faster. At the same time, I know well enough how much time I would need to invest to drop even a tenth of a second, and I'm not sure that it's something I want to dedicate myself to. Being in University has - obviously - changed my priorities quite a bit, and as a result I haven't put as much time in to practicing as I had in high school.

Still, I love attending competitions wherever and whenever I can, and will continue to for quite some time. The worldwide speedcubing community is fantastic and it's always great to meet new people with a similar interest.

danger_in_delay1 karma

Loved your 24-hour solve! And now there's that artwork project, which again is special. Are you generally a person with crazy ideas? And do you have any plans for future projects?

eLimeback3 karma

Thanks :) I don't have any other Rubik's Cube projects in mind, but who knows! Maybe I'll come up with something creative. I've always thought it would be fun to try skydiving while solving the cube...

Bosaapje1 karma

You said that Lubix sponsored you but which cube did they gave you? Dayan, MoYu ?

eLimeback1 karma

I used ten Lubix Fangshi cubes :)

RamsesThePigeon1 karma


eLimeback3 karma

That is pretty cool, thanks for sharing :) I can't say I've tried the same thing with writing, but I do have a few 'picture cubes' in my collection, that achieve the same effect. When solved, each face of the cube resembles an image (hockey team, super hero, etc).

No cube signature for me! Although, I do know a few other speedcubers who have ordered their own custom center logo to brand their cubes with.

iwasnotshadowbanned1 karma

How many Cubes do you have?

eLimeback2 karma

I own around fifty speedcubes in different sizes (2x2, 3x3, 4x4, 5x5...). Most were prizes from competitions, others were just picked up along the way! I've also got some other Rubik's cube themed puzzles in different shapes, like a four-sided pyramid puzzle ("Pyraminx").

Urkelsderp0 karma

Have you heard of cubeCANADA? Are you involved with them at all?

eLimeback2 karma

I haven't! A google search didn't lead me to anything...could you be referring to CanadianCubing?

The CanadianCubing website is where I go to stay updated on competitions in Canada and my area. I've been competing for seven years, and I know the organizers very well :)