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Rubik's Cube solved in twenty moves, 35 years of CPU time

The term "God's number" refers to the minimum number of moves that it takes to solve a puzzle like the Rubik's Cube. Because, you know, if God truly is omniscient (and not a node in a vast satellite network, à la Philip K. Dick) you can bet your bubby that it would be able to solve such a puzzle in the minimum number of moves -- and it would have nothing better to do all day than solve puzzles. According to a team of engineers and some thirty-five CPU years worth of idle computer time (supplied courtesy of Google) it has been established that of any of the cube's 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 potential positions, a solution can be found in twenty moves or less -- making God's number twenty. And we're guessing that any of those solutions has to be more satisfying than our Uncle John's own Rubik's Cube solution (which he taught us in the early 1980s), removing the stickers and putting them back on in the proper sequence.

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