# Does this metal puzzle have a solution (Baguenaudier)

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?

• At any time, there's only two moves you can make, and one undoes the move you just did. Jun 20, 2016 at 9:50
• Find someone who knows how to knit. It's surprisingly similar... Jan 27, 2017 at 17:08

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:

Mine:

This can be solved in 16 steps. Lets use binary here, 0 is off, 1 is on the handle

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

• +1 but without the video @LeppyR64 gave in his comment on the op I will not understand your answer Jun 19, 2016 at 17:50
• @hazoriz, sorry to hear that, tried to make it as simple as possible, in 11111 the first one (the one furthest to the left) is the first ring and the one furthest to the right is the fifth, hope this helps Jun 19, 2016 at 17:53
• +1 This is an excellent way of looking at it. A lot of people who solve these puzzles in my circle of friends don't look at it this way. Brilliant! Jun 19, 2016 at 17:56
• @LeppyR64, thanks, this also broke my 3000 barrier! :) Jun 19, 2016 at 17:58
• @Jasen Beastly Gerbil shortcuts a couple moves in his answer. By my definition of a move it actually takes 27 moves and each move only changes one bit. Jun 20, 2016 at 11:10