When I was young I got this puzzle as a gift to me.
The aim is to get the long piece out. I haven't yet found a solution, and I'm not sure if there is one
Does this have a solution and if so what is it?
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This puzzle is called a "Baguenaudier" which is French for "Time Waster".
This solution assumes that you are holding the handle end on the left. The rings are numbered from right to left starting at 1.
The solution to the puzzle involves a couple possible moves.
1) The first ring is always available to put on or take off of the bar. You take it off the bar by pulling it to the right and then dropping it through the center of the bar. You put it on by pulling it up through the bar and pulling it right and putting it on the bar.
2) To remove or put on any other ring, the next lowest ring must be on the bar and every other lower ring be off the bar.
Video Solution Here:
This can be solved in 16 steps. Lets use binary here, 0 is off, 1 is on the handle
You start with 11111
1 - Remove the first ring to get 01111
2 - Remove the third ring to get 01011
3 - Put back the first ring to get 11011
4 - Remove the first two rings to get 00011
5 - Remove the fifth ring to get 00010
6 - Put back the first two rings to get 11010
7 - Remove the first ring again to get 01010
8 - Put back the third ring to get 01110
9 - Put back the first ring again to get 11110
10 - Remove the first two rings to get 00110
11 - Remove the fourth ring to get 00100
12 - Put back the first two rings to get 11100
13 - Remove the first ring to get 01100
14 - Remove the third ring to get 01000
15 - Put back the first ring to get 11000
16 - Remove the first two to get 00000