What is a Square-1 Cube?

The Rubik’s Cube has long been an iconic puzzle that has captivated millions of people worldwide. Its complex structure and challenging nature have made it a favorite among puzzle enthusiasts. Over the years, numerous variations of the Rubik’s Cube have emerged, each presenting its own set of twists and turns, adding a new level of intrigue to the puzzle-solving experience. Among the diverse range of Rubik’s Cube variations, the Square-1 cube stands out as a fascinating and distinctive puzzle. Unlike the traditional Rubik’s Cube, it features a unique shape and mechanism that can be both intriguing and perplexing to those who dare to solve it. With its unconventional design and mind-bending moves, the Square-1 cube offers a refreshing challenge to puzzle enthusiasts seeking something beyond the ordinary.

Join us as we explore the Square-1 cube and discover the thrill of conquering this exceptional twisty puzzle.

What is a Square-1 Cube?

The Square-1 cube, also known as the Back to Square One cube, is a mechanical puzzle and a variation of the classic Rubik’s Cube. It was invented by Karel Hršel and Vojtěch Kopský in 1991 and gained popularity for its unique design and challenging solving methods. The name “Square-1” refers to the cube’s square shape when solved and its ability to return to that state after scrambling.

The Square-1 cube features a different shape and structure compared to the traditional Rubik’s Cube. It consists of two layers of movable slices: the first layer and the third layer, which can be rotated independently. The central piece connecting the two layers is fixed and does not rotate, creating the puzzle’s distinctive square shape. Each layer of the Square-1 cube is composed of several pieces, including corner pieces, edge pieces, and centerpieces. The corner and edge pieces have two faces, while the centerpieces have one face. The overall structure of the Square-1 cube results in unique movement patterns and solving strategies.

The mechanism of the Square-1 cube differs significantly from that of the traditional Rubik’s Cube. Unlike the Rubik’s Cube, which operates on a simple 3x3x3 grid system, the Square-1 cube moves on a skewed coordinate system. This means that the layers can rotate on different axes, allowing for more complex and varied movements. The combination of its unique structure and movement system makes it a challenging puzzle to solve. Solving strategies and algorithms specifically tailored for the Square-1 cube have been developed to navigate its intricacies, making it an intriguing, twisty puzzle for puzzle enthusiasts of all levels.

Solving the Square-1 Cube

When it comes to solving the Square-1 cube, several methods and approaches have been developed by puzzle enthusiasts. Layer-by-Layer and Advanced methods are used most commonly.

  1. Layer-by-Layer Method: This method involves solving the cube layer by layer, similar to the basic approach used in solving the traditional Rubik’s Cube. It focuses on solving one layer at a time, gradually building up to the complete solution. The Layer-by-Layer method is often recommended for beginners as it provides a systematic and intuitive approach to solving the Square-1 cube.
  2. Advanced Method: The Advanced Method is a more efficient and algorithmic approach to solving the Square-1 cube. It involves solving the cube in multiple stages, utilizing specific algorithms to manipulate and rearrange the pieces. The Advanced Method requires a deeper understanding of the cube’s movement patterns and involves memorizing a set of algorithms for different scenarios.

Basic Notation and Algorithms Used in Solving the Square-1 Cube

To effectively solve any cube, a basic understanding of the notation and algorithms used is essential. The notation for the Square-1 cube includes letter symbols that represent different types of moves. Here are some commonly used symbols:

  • U: Rotate the upper layer clockwise.
  • D: Rotate the lower layer clockwise.
  • R: Rotate the right layer clockwise.
  • L: Rotate the left layer clockwise.
  • F: Rotate the front layer clockwise.
  • B: Rotate the back layer clockwise.
  • /: Slice move, rotates both layers simultaneously in opposite directions.

In addition to the basic notation, various algorithms have been developed to solve specific situations encountered during the solving process. These algorithms consist of a sequence of moves that manipulate the cube’s pieces to achieve a desired state.

Step-by-Step Guide on Solving the Square-1 Cube

  1. Scramble the Cube: Begin by randomly rotating the layers of the Square-1 cube to create a scrambled state.
  2. Orient the Corners: Start by orienting the corner pieces correctly. This involves rotating the corners to match their adjacent edge pieces.
  3. Permute the Corners: Next, focus on permuting the corner pieces to their correct positions. This step involves moving the corners to their designated locations while maintaining their orientation.
  4. Solve the Middle Layer: Proceed to solve the middle layer of the Square-1 cube. This is done by manipulating the edge pieces to align them with their respective layers.
  5. Orient the Edges: After solving the middle layer, orient the edge pieces correctly by adjusting their rotations.
  6. Permute the Edges: Finally, permute the edge pieces to their designated positions, completing the solving process.

It’s important to note that this step-by-step guide provides a simplified overview of the solving process. Depending on the method used, the specific steps and algorithms may vary. Practice, patience, and familiarity with the cube’s movements are key to mastering the art of solving the Square-1 cube.

Beyond the Square-1 Cube

The Square-1 cube has inspired the development of several variations and modifications that offer new twists and challenges. Some notable examples include:

Super Square-1

The Super Square-1 is an extension of the Square-1 cube with additional layers and increased complexity. It features additional slices and pieces, making it a more challenging puzzle to solve.

Square-2 Cube

The Square-2 cube is a variation that combines the shape-shifting properties of the Square-1 cube with the layer-by-layer solving method of Rubik’s Cube. It features a square shape when solved and offers a unique solving experience.

These variations and modifications provide puzzle enthusiasts with additional opportunities to explore the Square-1 cube’s concepts and mechanics in new and exciting ways.


Solving the Square-1 cube offers unique challenges that differentiate it from other twisty puzzles. Its shape-shifting nature, intricate movements, and complex solving strategies provide a rewarding intellectual experience. Overcoming the challenges of the Square-1 cube fosters problem-solving skills, spatial reasoning, and patience, leading to personal growth and satisfaction.

In conclusion, we encourage readers to explore and engage with the Square-1 cube puzzle. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro solver, it offers a captivating and intellectually stimulating puzzle-solving experience. Join online communities, learn new algorithms, and challenge yourself to improve your solving skills. Embrace the unique challenges and rewards that come with solving the Square-1 cube, and let the journey of unraveling this captivating puzzle unfold before you.

Leave a Comment