BENGALURU : Bengalurean Krishnam Raju Gadiraju has just broken two more Guinness World Records — fastest time to solve a gear cube (3.79 seconds); and fastest time to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded (2.99 seconds) — on October 19 this year.He says that despite not being particularly good at mathematics in school, he was always fascinated with geometry, and started solving the Rubik’s Cube when he was 15 years old in an attempt to distract himself from ‘bad habits’, that a teenager could get into. “It also boosts special intelligence — ability to understand — of a person and sharpens one’s mind,” he says.
The 29-year-old also holds the title of first Indian to solve a Rubik’s Cube on a unicycle. “Solving the cube while balancing my body on a unicycle with just one tyre was tough. I got the unicycle from Korea for `50,000, but I didn’t have anyone to teach me,” he says.
Krishnam also faced several health issues and was hospitalised couple of times. “I used to practice at night to avoid questions from people. I was also vitamin D-deficient. I had swollen ankles and a ligament tear. I had bruises all over my body, but continued practising,” he says.
He took a break for six months, only to practice and break another record at the Indian Memory Championships, in which he ranked fourth in India. He missed the bronze by just 1 point. He later decided to break the records of a Spanish in speed solving two cubes under water. He solved them in one minute, 24 seconds. “I am left handed and hence, do not have any muscle training in my right hand. So, I had to mirror what I was doing with my left hand. I practiced for a year-and-a-half in pools and in 2017, broke the record by solving them in 53 seconds,” he claims.
While working on this record, he had a happy accident. He found a solution to solve the soma cube puzzle (soma cube is a 3x3x3 dissection puzzle, which is split into seven different pieces, made of 27 cubes. These pieces need to be organised into a solid cube).
He claims there wasn’t any official record broken in this puzzle. “People had put up videos online showing them solving the puzzle but they are all unofficial. I solved it in 2.93 seconds and broke the record,” he says, adding, “I was featured in the Guinness World Records 2018 edition and Limca Book of Records (Feb 2017 edition). I am the first Indian speedsolver and the first Indian unicyclist to ever set a Guinness World Record. As a competitive speed solver with the World Cube Association, I officially solved Rubik’s Cubes with two hands, one hand, with feet and also blindfolded.”
October 19 seems to be his lucky date. He broke all his records on the same date in different years. He broke the first record on October 19, 2014 by solving 2,176 Rubik’s cube with his left hand. “I had submitted my application to the Guinness World Records for solving the Rubik’s Cube in the speed category.
I told them I could solve with one hand but they rejected my application on health conditions, as one’s fingers start aching after 20 minutes into the task. But I sent them a video with me solving with my left hand and requested them to review it again. That’s how I broke the record. The target was to solve 1,000 cubes in 24 hours, but I solved 2,176,” he says.He says with puzzles, the sky is the limit. The real challenge here is that you’re competing with yourself, he concludes.