The Eureka disentanglement puzzle


Originally published at:


I don’t know, I failed this disentanglement puzzle, and…

Hang on, I have to go change a diaper.


It looks pretty straightforward. Won’t the ring have to go through the slot, maybe twice?


Not sure, but I think I was smart enough to solve that without watching the video.
On the other hand, I watched it to the end anyway and of course, now I am smart enough to solve the puzzle.
Am I smarter for watching the solution, or would I be smarter for figuring it out? AAARGHH!!111

All I know is the stress-free version is to watch the video. Heck, now I don’t even have to go out and buy the puzzle.
Also, if anyone hands me that puzzle in the future, I can crack it right away and be thought a genius (which I am anyway ;P.

Is that cheating? I learnt something in a couple of minutes, what someone might take hours to do.
Maybe I AM smarter. Aah, jeez I dunno…


I used to have one of these. I think I still do, in fact. Although the version I have, as far as I remember, only has the string passing through the hole once. I don’t know what difference that would make.

I can remember the solution, not perfectly, but well enough that it wouldn’t take me long to complete it.

Maybe I’ll try re-tying it with the loop to see what difference that makes.


I’m always so delighted by these kinds of puzzles because I can do them (unlike riddles or other narrative logic puzzles). There are also a lot of similarities between these puzzles and psych tests for ADHD. Kind of interesting.


This video documents a Japanese man’s attempt to get help solving a similar puzzle, after trying for ten years’ worth of visits to his doctor’s office - which he finally did with the help of a member of the Japan Puzzle Ring Association.


I had one of these as a kid, although ti was shaped a little differently (it didn’t have the base, but the upright was tapered to keep the ring from sliding the whole way)…

Took me a few years of twiddling with it to solve it. So it was hard, but not Rubik’s cube hard (i.e., it was at least possible to figure out).


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