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Rubik Remembered Review

Official Review

March 23rd, 2009 11:25am
Reviewed by Tracy Atteberry
Let's be blatantly honest. This trick won't be for everyone. If, however, you can see yourself solving the Rubik's Cube blindfolded for an audience in about two minutes, then this is definitely for you. That's exactly what this effect by Mark Elsdon promises and exactly what it delivers. Elsdon provides a very easy to understand explanation for solving the cube and some very smart tips for presentation and the use of the blindfold. Blindfold and Rubik's Cube are not included.

Fair warning! To give this DVD a more complete review requires that I geek out a bit and expose just how much of a cube nerd I really am... ummm... was. Anyway, if you want to skip the nerd talk just scan down to the last paragraph. Come to think of it, if you want to skip the nerd talk then this is probably not the effect for you.

In case you don't know, the Rubik's Cube hit the market in the early '80s and every nerd worth their salt had one and could solve it in less than ninety seconds. I was no different. The cube was invented in 1947 by Ernõ Rubik in Hungary and was originally called the "Magic Cube". Ideal Toys renamed it Rubik's Cube and introduced it to the market in 1980. It was wildly popular then and still remains popular today.

The solution described is essentially David Singmaster's solution using a layer by layer approach. Somewhat oddly, for a cube nerd anyway, he doesn't adhere to Singmaster's terminology. The standard cube notation (terminology when spoken out loud) that we use today was developed by David Singmaster and is known as "Singmaster notation". Of course, if you were never aware of Singmaster notation then it will hardly matter.

The nice thing about the Singmaster solution is that it requires remembering a minimal number of algorithms and solutions take only about two minutes — three to four if you're also chatting up the audience. While not the fastest methods for solving the cube, it is one of the easiest to learn, and Mark does a very good job of explaining it. Of couse there are other methods, more difficult to learn, that could bring your time down under one minute and even under 15 seconds if you really practice. The question is: would it be worth it? That's a whole lot of practice time for a 15 second puzzle effect. Also, one would have to handle the dramatic flow differently. No, I personally think that Mark's choice for a solution is probably the best one for this situation.

Just a few more tidbits before we turn off the geek mode. In international speed cube competitions there really is a category for blindfold solving. Now I would never condone cheating in such a competition, but I'll just point out that two minutes would be a really good time. :-) One last thing. Mark mentions on the DVD that the world record for solving a 3x3x3 cube is 38 seconds. Possibly after this DVD was recorded a new record was set by Erik Akkersdijk of the Netherlands at the 2008 Czech Open. His time: 7.08 seconds.

In summary, this is a very good DVD for teaching you to solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded. Whether this is an appropriate effect for your show, or just for showing your friends, is a decision you'll have to make on your own. (4.5 stars)
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Product info for Rubik Remembered

Author: Mark Elsdon
Publisher: Alakazam
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $34.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

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This is it!

The full work on Mark Elsdon's ground-breaking Rubik's Cube effect: "Rubik Remembered!"

Imagine being able to solve a genuine Rubik's Cube from memory, whilst blind-folded, in less than two minutes every single time!

Forget about all the other Rubik's Cube tricks you've ever seen: matching mixed cubes, predictions, 'magically restored' cubes, etc. When laymen see a Rubik's Cube, they are thinking just one thing - can the magician solve it? After you've studied this DVD the answer will be simple, "Yes!"

In the first part of this DVD, Mark teaches his full solution for Rubik's Cube. He covers every possible variation that you might encounter whilst doing the Cube. His brilliant 7-step solution is quickly learnt and was designed to offer ease of long-term recall. Once learnt, you will be able to solve any Rubik's Cube in less than two minutes, anytime you choose, for the rest of your life.

In the second part, Mark provides the full explanation of his reputation-making effect of solving the Cube apparently from memory, whilst blind-folded. Plus all the handling subtleties and psychological strategies that he has developed and honed over thousands of performances are thoroughly explained.

The instruction available on this DVD has previously only been available to a select group of private students at exclusive, expensive seminars. Now you, too, can learn this incredible piece of magic.

Whether you choose to perform this effect close-up or on stage, as an opener or a closer, 'Rubik Remembered' is the definitive work on using the world's best selling puzzle in your act.


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