Speed Blindfolded Solving: F2L Tips and Tricks
Solving a Rubik's Cube blindfolded using a regular F2L (i.e. Fridrich) method.
March 12-25, 2006
My current record: 20:43 memorization, 18.04 execution

IntroductionThe Basic IdeaExamplesCrossF2L: TracingFinishing up F2LF2L: Tips and TricksOLLCompound OLLPLL

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Miscellaneous F2L Tips and Tricks

The two lengthy preceding F2L sections, tracing and "finishing", should give you a pretty complete idea of how to handle the first two layers. However, there are a few things I've learned that can make F2L memorization, tracing, and execution easier and/or faster:

The "opposing corner" F2L is easy to execute well and quickly. More importantly, it affects only four pieces. This makes tracing a lot easier, so use this F2L when you can, from any angle.

(R' F R F')x3

Try to see if you predict any static non-slot blocks, to avoid some tracing. This actually happens a lot during F2L.

The back right in R U R'The front right in U R U' R'The back left in R' F R F'

This is an analogue of the opposing corner commutator for edges; it only affects three pieces. This nicely leaves EO unharmed; I used it to complete F2L in the first example. If a corner ever incidentally gets placed correctly, this can finish off F2L nicely. Even if some edges on LL are flipped, it helps faster tracing.
You can actually remove the last U turn, but be careful...

2-gen edge inserter:
R' U' R' U' R' U R U R U

Just as it was useful to trace all the F2Ls, it is often also useful to "pre-trace" the last layer edges up to the last slot. I do this because my main speedcubing method for a long while involved Mini-ZB. However, you'll have to trace these edges anyhow, so you might as well do most of the tracing earlier and see if there's anything nice or if you can tweak the last F2L for a nicer LL. In this case, the corner is placed and the edges end up oriented, so there is (I used the two-gen edge inserter). If there's not anything useful, just continue tracing each piece through the last F2L

(R' F R F')x3

F2L: Tracing Finishing F2L