I used to be crazy about the Rubik's cube, back in high school something like twenty years ago. We were running contests and I was able to solve it in a minute overall. Not stellar, but decent. There was one major difference, though: back then, we didn't have the Internet. I had gotten my solution in various magazines and I had added my own algorithms in an attempt to speed up the process and beat my classmates.
When I looked it up on the Internet, I wasn't really surprised to find a wealth of information. Much more than anything I had ever read on the topic. There are all kinds of methodologies out there and a lot of people who took the time to put up Web pages have used various ways to reach their own solution, often assisted by a computer (see the links section below for details).
But at this point, I'm not really interested in speed cubing. I just want a solution that's easy to memorize so I can revive the old feeling of beating the cube without reading a paper. None of the solutions I read were really aimed at easy memorization, so I created this page.
You will find out that the first half of this solution is simple common sense and even though I took the trouble of enumerating each algorithm for the sake of completeness, you only need to memorize the algorithms explained in the second part of this solution. I am confident that the first part will stick with you since I remembered how to get that part myself even after twenty years of inactivity.
Therefore, I split this solution in two parts: the easy one (in which you build the first two layers except for one edge) and the harder one, where you complete the cube using more complex algorithms that you need to learn by heart.
As as side note, I focused on providing the algorithms that you absolutely need to know in order to finish the cube (a total of eight algorithms). For every step of the second part, you can find on the Web similar algorithms that will solve this stage when the cubies are in different locations. I didn't include them in this solution so you are not overwhelmed or discouraged by the amount of what you need to learn, but once you are familiar with the algorithms below to the point where you no longer need to think, I strongly recommend you follow the links I provide at the end of this page: they will teach you more specialized algorithms that will greatly speed up your cube solving.
As a final thought, it is just amazing how finger memory works. It took me a couple of hours of practice to have this solution totally memorized in my fingers. No more thinking in terms of "U" and "R prime", it just comes automatically. Give it a try, practice these algorithms over and over (even on an unmade cube), and you will learn it in no time. Notation
I am using the popular notation that I found pretty much everywhere. Each side is represented by its initial: Front, Back, Left, Right, Up, Down. A letter by itself (e.g. "R") means "turn this side clockwise". A letter followed by a prime (e.g. "F'") means "turn this side counterclockwise. Finally, a letter followed by 2 (e.g. "L2", it should really be a square, not a 2) means "turn this side 180 degrees". If you have any doubts, the applets will clear up any confusion you might feel.
One last note before we begin: I shamelessly stole the slick cube applet from Lars, whose Web site you can find in the links section. Be sure to check out his Rubik's page, there is a lot of information contained there.
All four edges are in place, now we want to position three corners so that we end up with the first layer finished except for one corner. Move a corner under its final position and apply one of the three following algorithms:



Note that even though the third algorithm looks intimidating, it's actually quite simple: we can't place the corner directly in its final location if it's facing downwards, so we move the cube in order to reach one of the first two scenarios, which we can then solve.
At the end of this step, your cube will look like this:











In the cube below, we need to use this formula four times for the first corner. Then we bring the next corner in position with a U and we play the formula twice. Then we cancel the U with a U'
