# Category Archives: String puzzles

Disentanglement puzzles with string

# Mortgage puzzle

Save yourself from your bank. The aim of this puzzle is freeing the rope and the wooden man from the card. This puzzle is my arrangement for classic “Red goose puzzle”. You can see a vintage example from here. This puzzle is very easy to make. Instead of wooden man you can use anything bigger than your holes. My puzzle holes are 10 mm.  This puzzle is also  very easy to solve (unfortunately mortgage problems are more complex) and a lot of string puzzle have same principle. But if you need to solution or more information about making this one you can watch this video.

# Cash transfer puzzle

The original name of this puzzle is “Five yen puzzle“. I saw this puzzle in an article written by Yutaka Nishiyama. You can read more about this puzzle from this article. The original puzzle was made with a wooden board and two 5 Japanese yen. I decided to make one for me with an old credit card.

The aim of this puzzle is to transfer both coin to the same side of the loop. Two coin and a credit card is a funny cash transfer theme. Rope arrangements are visible from photo. Red dashed line show the back side of the card. Holes on coins is about 6 mm and coins diameter is about 16 mm. Holes on credit card are 10 mm. I made this holes with a sharp wood drill bit by drilling same hole from both side but you can find also your own method. They must be smaller than coins. This puzzle isn’t different than “African ball puzzle” and solution is same. Another very easy to make puzzle. I hope you like this theme.

# African ball puzzle

African ball puzzle is a classical string puzzle. This puzzle has different names. African string puzzle or African ball and string puzzle names also used for this puzzle. There are different explications about the origin of the name of this puzzle. I found a nice article about this puzzle by Yutaka Nishiyama.  You can read full article from here.

The aim of this puzzle is taking four ball to the same side of the loop. This puzzle has also different variations. The fifth ball in the middle of the rope is optional. You can use also one ball on each side of the rope instead of two. Here another version of this puzzle that I made long time ago.

For this version the aim is taking the ring to the other side of the loop. If you decide to make this version I advise making two ball (balls at the end of the sticks) in different color. Because when you start to solve you can confuse starting and ending sides of the loop. “Sleeper stopper” is also a vertical arrangement of this puzzle. This is a very easy to make puzzle. You can find easily some beads and you can make this in a few hour. You can download PDF solution from here. Or you can watch this video for solution.

# Ariel puzzle

Another old puzzle from Victorian era. This puzzle was in my “do it list”. Finally I made this puzzle according the drawing from the book “Puzzles old and new” by professor Hoffmann. A nice but forgotten puzzle. You can see an original antique example from here.  The aim of this puzzle is to free the red rope and big bead from the system. If you are good about solving string puzzles, this puzzle may be easy for you. But for a lot of people may be very confusing.

# Super sleeper stopper

This puzzle is designed by Stewart Coffin too. The aim of this puzzle also moving one of the beads to the other loop and putting two beads on same loop.This puzzle is a more complex version of  “Sleeper stopper“. Rope arrangement is visible from photo but you can find also this puzzle in his 1985 edition puzzle craft book. Both end of the rope are fixed to the wooden block. For this you must drill a small hole according to your rope dimension and glue the rope ends into this hole. I made this puzzle from 20×20 mm ready stock. Wooden part dimensions 20x20x100 mm and rope hole is 10 mm. I advise making wooden block larger and holes bigger than mine. 20x40x100 mm wooden block and 20 mm holes may be a better dimension.  Wooden beads are from a craft store. I decorated wooden block by painting with acrylic paint. I rounded corners of wooden block by sanding. You can see original puzzle made by Stewart Coffin from here. This puzzle also looks impossible to solve.

# Sleeper stopper

This puzzle is designed by Stewart Coffin. The aim of this puzzle moving one of the beads to the other loop and putting two beads on same loop This puzzle is vertical arrangement of “African ball puzzle”. Rope arrangement is visible from photo but you can find also this puzzle in his 1985 edition puzzle craft book. Both end of the rope are fixed to the wooden block. For this you must drill a small hole according to your rope dimension and glue the rope ends into this hole. I made this puzzle from 20×20 mm ready stock. Wooden part dimensions 20x20x80 mm and rope hole is 10 mm. Wooden beads are from a craft store. I decorated wooden block by painting with acrylic paint.  I rounded corners of wooden block by sanding. You can see solution from here.  I like this puzzle because it looks as impossible to solve.

# Two ball string puzzle

I don’t know the name of this puzzle. The aim of this puzzle is to get both beads on the same loop. This puzzle looks like “African ball puzzle” but completely different. I saw this puzzle in an article written by Jerry  Slocum. In this article there are a few other puzzles to make and their solutions. You can find detailed instructions for making them and the solution of this puzzle from this PDF article. I used 20mmx20mmx120mm beech. I cut the center of the block only for a different look. Holes are 10 mm. For this kind puzzles, you can find ready wooden beads in craft stores. But if you cant find, you can make wooden cubes and drill them. Two end of the rope are fixed to small beads. A small and funny to solve puzzle. Thanks to Jerry Slocum for this article.