Cube kid thinks outside the square
A 13-year old Rubik’s Cube whizz kid has set himself a challenge: to become the fastest in the world at solving the iconic 3D puzzle.
Sam Rae from Blenheim taught himself how to solve any configuration of the cube in just a few days. He now hopes to break his best time of just 21 seconds to one day join the elite ranks of global record-holders.
The Bohally Intermediate student was busy putting in the practice as he prepared for his next competition in Wellington.
The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture ErnQ Rubik. The colourful cube has gone through many mutations since and comes in many shapes and sizes.
Sam, who uses a series of algorithms to solve the chal- lenge, became hooked after he bought his first one last year.
Since then he has taken up a paper round to pay for his puzzle habit which can see him train up to three hours at a time.
‘‘I searched-up how to solve it up on You Tube and it’s just gone from there.
‘‘I do it most days to keep my speed up and I taught my sister Gemma how to do it too,’’ he said.
While the cube craze has yet to catch on at school, Sam said pupils and even a teacher had brought in their own cubes for him to solve.
He has even created his own unique cube by blending two together.
‘‘I have about 20 cubes and each has a different feel to it. When I’m trying to solve one I kind of do it on auto pilot as I’ve memorised all the algorithms - so I kind of look ahead in my mind and see what I need to do next.
‘‘I would like to break the record one day if I could as it would be a real achievement,’’ he said.
Sam was so committed to the game he even set his mother, Melissa Rae, the challenge of creating a Rubik’s Cube cake for his 13th birthday.
‘‘Sam’s always had a really good memory,’’ said Rae, who runs her own cake business from home, Sweet Creations.
‘‘When he was two-years-old he used to watch Word World on TV and would then spell out the words using his wooden puzzle.
‘‘He really enjoys the Rubik’s and can’t walk past one that’s not finished,’’ she said.
The world record to solve a standard 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube is 4.22 seconds which was set by Felix Zemdegs at the Cube for Cambodia 2018 competition.
Rubik’s Cube whizz Sam Rae, 13, taught himself how to solve the puzzle by memorising algorithms.
When it came time to choosing a cake for his 13th birthday, it was no surprise when Sam Rae opted for a Rubik’s Cube design.