Mar 15, 2015

Secret Of The Butterflies

"Secret Of The Butterflies" is how I call my first two puzzles. Here, by my first two I mean the first two created by me.

Easier version

Harder version

The two puzzles have similar ideas, that is why I am reviewing them at once. One is an easier version, which is intended to familiarize the puzzler with the main feature of the puzzles, while the other is a more complicated version, which uses the main feature as well, but has several additional moves needed in order to implement it.
The idea of both puzzles is to take the string out of the butterflies. The ends of the string are two beads, which are intended not to pass through any openings on the butterflies. So, in order to take the string away, its movement around the wire is required. Then, the more complex version has two approaches: put the string back to start place, or put it on the same place, but reversed (see below).

Harder version - initial state

Harder version - reversed string

While the wire of the easier version is pretty straight-forward (it does not twist around itself and there is only one place where it comes between itself), the one of the more complex is more elaborate - it twists around itself on two places, namely where two "wings" on one side of the butterfly are linked. This is the main difference in the two puzzles, which is enough to make the solutions for them quite different.
If you are presented with the more complex butterfly, then I am sure you will find the solution very, very hard. As other wire and string puzzles, you can go into some wrong directions at many points, you can twist the string unnecessary times around the wire and you can even strive to put it out at a wrong place. I don't say that there is only one solution. I am sure there could be many solutions, depending on the exact steps performed. But the intended solution would be very hard to get. Of course, even with the easier butterfly, things might not be that bright. I gave it to two people, but they could not solve it. It is true they were not concentrated enough and did not have that much time to experiment, but this just calms me down by the fact that this puzzle could not be solved that quickly.
If you find the secret of the easier butterfly, then you can use it for the more complex one, but still some more digging and experimenting will be required to complete it, too.
Personally, for me, it is easier to put the string back to the butterflies than to take it out, even for the easier version. Maybe other people will find these two puzzles not that difficult, or, on the contrary, close to impossible. I would be glad to share them with anyone interested.

Here is how I would rate the two puzzles (although, being mine, it might not be such an accurate rating):
Idea: 4
Implementation: 3 (Currently, I use a 3 mm aluminum wire, which is pretty soft and could easily bent, but if I find a way to make the structures more robust, I think I will be able to supply people with copies of the puzzles.)
Experience: 5 (At first, I started with the idea of the assembled version for the complex butterfly; I experimented a lot with a starting position for the string, with the string itself - be it a closed one or with free ends, and finally, when making the easier version, I found out the desired solution to the complex one as well.)
Difficulty: Let's say 3 and 6 correspondingly.
Overall: 3.75 and 4.5

In conclusion, it was fun making a puzzle on my own. I have many other ideas and I would definitely try to implement some of them for real. Coming soon (hopefully) will be another puzzle of mine.


  1. I'm impressed at you designing a puzzle! Looks good too - well done!


  2. Thanks, Kevin. Soon (hopefully) I will share another creation of mine.