Planning in inspection

Planning EOCross in Inspection

By yoruba

Here you will learn how to consistently plan EOCross in inspection (15 seconds or lower). We recommend first practicing these techniques untimed to avoid forming bad habits.


Before learning to plan EOCross, your EO recognition needs to be well-practiced and only take a few seconds. The rules of recognition are no longer rules, but something you can see without conscious effort. In addition, some "training wheel" habits given in the EO tutorial should no longer be used:

  • Placing fingers on bad edges.
  • Keeping track of only good edges when there are more good than bad.

Intermediate approach

  1. If you're colour neutral, pick an option with an easier EO.
    a. Check the available EO axes. For x2y, there are two axes.
    b. Check the available cross pieces. For x2y, there are two sets of cross pieces.
  2. Find an efficient EO+2 solution (EO plus two cross edges).
  3. Track the two remaining cross edges while executing the EO+2.

How to inspect faster

General focus is important during inspection, especially with EOCross. It can be difficult to maintain at first.

Practice EO recognition with the goal of recognizing all bad edges in 1 second. Then you can save more time by merging steps 1a and 1b: checking EO will be second nature, so just check cross pieces while searching for EO. This can save 3-4 seconds.

How to select EOCross with CN

As you practice efficiency, you may naturally start identifying better, more efficient EOCross cases. However, it helps to also have a general guide.


One strategy is to choose based on the n-flip (number of bad edges).

Here’s the tier list of possible EO n-flips:

  • Best: 0, 2, 4
  • Medium: 6, 8
  • Worst: 10, 12

This is a decent strategy, but it doesn't take into account the cross edges.

Easy starts

To account for cross edges, scan for an easy start:

  • lower n-flips: easy EO+2s.
  • higher n-flips (6 or more bad edges): partial EO+2s

For the majority of scrambles, there's an EO+2 which can be done in 5-7 moves at most on average. In comparison, the average movecount of EO alone is 4-5.

Now, not every scramble will have an easy start. This might be partially an issue of not practicing EOCross enough, but sometimes there genuinely won't be a way to solve EO+2 efficiently. In these situations, still check the EO+2s, even if they have less efficient solutions. For a few of them you might find that after that EO+2, you will only have 0-2 moves left to finish (or just generally a very quick finish). Go with that option if you see it.

However, if the scramble still has no such EO+2s (very rare with x2y, and if you practice your efficiency more), then it's one of the hardest ones, which have the longest solutions. There are 2 ways to handle these:

  • Turn very quickly through EO>Cross with only minor influencing.
  • Practice these scrambles beforehand by going on crystalcube (opens in a new tab), and practice for the 8-9 mover max cases.

You’ll have to look at your EOCross as a whole step, instead of 2 intermediate steps, as well as understand solving EO and cross at the same time, which is a very worthwhile skill that can get your solutions to a new level, so to say.

Planning the solution:

Step 2 of the Intermediate Approach will be the most time consuming. To get better at it, practice it a lot through the Movecount Drill. Once you get efficiency down, you want to be practicing this for how fast you can spot a good EO+2.

Step 3 is only a step if you only plan EO+2, where you search for the first EO+2 you can find and stick with it, and track the rest afterwards. Once you will be planning full EOCross you will be tracking the last 2 edges on the fly to find the best for your EOCross.

So, if we optimize the process, we will be left with just 2 steps:

Advanced approach

  1. Check your EOs and cross pieces.
  2. Scan for an easy start that influences the other 2 edges the most.

At the highest level, this will take on average 4-6 seconds. This leaves you 6-8 seconds to plan first pair, which is also enough time to be searching for your second pair.

Detailed plan of action:

Check your EOs and cross pieces

Saw an obvious/easy case? For example:

  • best tier EO and the cross pieces close to solving
  • an obvious and easy to execute EO+2
  • a less than 6 move EOCross

Yes: choose that case and plan the solution.
No: go to the next step.

Scan for easy starts that influence cross edges

Look for EO+2s (or partial EO+2s for 6 and higher flips) that influence the last 2 cross edges the most, and are fast to execute.

Saw something to that extent?

Yes: Go with that.
No: consider an EO+2 that does not influence the last 2 cross edges well. If it's fast enough to compensate for a worse last 2 edges case, go with it.

As a last resort, do EO then Cross with minor influencing.