What's the fastest you've ever finished a Rubik's Cube?
"18 seconds for a standard 3x3, but 7 seconds for a 2x2."
No, those aren't the answers submitted by viewers; they're answers you'd likely hear at Upstate Cubing 2018, the first event of it's kind in Western New York.
More than 100 competitors — mostly students — signed up for the contest at the Corfu Fire Hall, where they raced to complete one of five different styles of "twisty puzzles."
Along with the 2x2 and 3x3 cube styles, these competitors tackled the following puzzles:
- "Pyraminx," a pyramid shaped variation.
- "Skewb," a puzzle that turns its corners instead of its faces.
- "Square 1," a puzzle that shape-shifts and slows you down if you make a mistake, sending you back to square one. (Get it?)
"I thought it was impossible," said Eli Fox, one of the competitors and co-organizers of Upstate Cubing 2018, when asked about his first time "speed cubing" in such a short period of time. Let's just say he's gotten faster since then. "My personal record? I once did it in 8.68 seconds, but that's just a one-time thing."
Fox isn't alone. His dad Adam Cunningham helped create the idea, after the pair visited their first competition outside of New York State.
"It was just so nice to see what a sort of vibrant sub-culture there is of cubers, that we thought it would be cool to organize one of our own up here in Upstate New York," Cunningham said.
While the competition brings added support to cubers in New York, and gave Cunningham a chance to bond with his own son in a new way, he also admitted it harkens back to his own history with the cube.
"I learned how to solve the cube when it first came out in the early 80s. I could maybe do it in about 1:20," Cunningham laughed. "My time, it wouldn't even be fast enough to be allowed to enter the competition these days."
You and me both, Cunningham. You and me both.