Feb 8, 2015

Two Lovers

In December 2014, a fellow blogger Gabriel Fernandes organized  a puzzle photo contest. I won a gift certificate for BrilliantPuzzles.com with the picture I was participating with. "Two Lovers" is one of the three puzzles I chose to buy with this gift certificate. I was going for something classic, which I had not yet had in my collection.
Idea: 6
This puzzle is one of the many interpretations of a very famous concept. Before buying it, I have seen similar puzzles on other sites, but when choosing what to buy with the gift certificate I have won, I was wondering which version of this idea to get - there were three at that time in BrilliantPuzzles.com. At the end, I chose this one.
The goal is to put one of the two beads (or rings, or whatever based on the model) next to the other. I.e. they should come on the same side/loop/half of the string.
Implementation: 3
The puzzle consists of a string, an wooden stick and two beads. The two ends of the string are grounded to the two ends of the stick and they cannot be taken out. There is a hole in the middle of the stick. The string comes through that holes, twists around itself and then goes through the hole again. Thus, it makes that knot on itself. Two loops are formed on each half of the string and they come together in the middle, which keeps them locked between the stick and themselves. Each loops has a bead on it and the beads are bigger than the hole on the stick.
Experience: 4
At first I though that there is no solution to this puzzle. I considered it one of those which were created as a joke (I have heard of such) to be unsolvable. But then, when reading the description to this puzzle*, I was convinced there had to be a solution.
So, my initial idea was that the string should be un-knotted until one big loop is created and then knot it again by keeping one of the beads next to the other.
Difficulty: 3
It did not take me long to find the solution. It is truly an original idea, very clever and fun to figure out. The puzzle is pleasant to play with. I should definitely share it with my friends and family to see if they will be confused or not by it. It is suitable for beginners and if you happen to solve it by chance, you must be very lucky. Should you solve it with logic, though, then you have really mastered it.

Overall: My final rating for this puzzle is 4. I recommend it to everyone - be it a new or advanced player (who has not already solved a similar puzzle).

* The African ring puzzle was once used as magic by tribes living in the jungles of the Ivory Coast, and even today is still used for amusement in this part of Africa. However, the puzzle was not restricted to Africa. Variations were found in China where the most beautiful and elaborate puzzles were made.

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