# Tips for solving this puzzle (ring, wood and string)

After 10 years and many, many hours spent on this puzzle, I'm slowly seeing it worn out more and more. I'm completely stuck and whenever I pick this up again I end up doing the same that I've already tried before.

First, has anyone ever solved this? I've had my doubts once in a while, but since it can be bought on This swedish puzzle-site it should be solvable. It is called "very difficult" on this page.

Can anyone help me to solve this puzzle?

Further info:

• The ring can pass the black loop.
• The white loop on the wooden handle that holds the black loop can pass the big heart tightly.
• The ring can pass the loop sitting on the big heart.
• The ring fits on either side of the wooden handle.
• Can you indicate which elements can pass through the others? Specifically, can the metal ring pass through the black loop? Can it pass through the loops holding the hearts? Can the small heart pass through the black loop? I assume the ring fits over either end of the wooden handle. Jan 22, 2019 at 19:32
• The ring can pass the black loop. The white loop on the wooden handle that holds the black loop can pass the big heart tightly. The ring can pass the loop sitting on the big heart. The ring fits on either side of the wooden handle. The small heart can pass through the black loop. (also added to the original post) Jan 22, 2019 at 20:01
• The aim is to remove the ring, right? Jan 3, 2020 at 0:39
• Yes, the aim is to remove the ring Jan 4, 2020 at 8:35
• Is everything as it seems? Could you by any chance unscrew the stick in 2 parts? Jan 9, 2020 at 22:27

Here is the solution (provided by Knep & Knäp):

It's hard to tell from the pictures how the strings are actually connected. I found this image on the shop's page you linked:

and it seems you might possibly be able to do this to separate the big heart, clearing the path for the ring.

(Warning: the video in the link spoils an extremely good puzzle.)

• That technique is not possible on the big heart since the string is attached at one point and cant move freely as in the big ring int the video you linked. That technique on the black loop instead, requires the black loop to go through the hole in the wooden handle. That works, but the black loop only get out about 10mm and I don't know what more I can do from there. Jan 23, 2019 at 16:19

Update:

I just saw a solution was published a few months ago. So I was wrong. And I am happy about it because it is the way it should be: to look impossible while being actually possible.

I suspect this puzzle to be impossible.

It wouldn't be the first time. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZqYxmbjvKc.

Let's name the elements from left to right on your 1st picture: A: big heart, B: white string, C: black string, D: white string, E: stick, F: white string, G: small heart.

CDEFG form a chain. The ring cannot escape between these elements. It has to get off one of the ends. Similarily, AB form a small chain. Since the ring cannot go over A or G, it has to get thru the knot between B and C.

B cannot go over G and C cannot go over A. Therefore B cannot get off the chain CDEFG and C cannot get off AB, you cannot take one of the chains AB and CDEFG out of the ring without pulling the other chain into the ring. There will always be either AB or CDEFG going thru the ring. This makes it impossible to get the ring off both chains.

I might be wrong. I would be really interested if there is anybody who can confirm he has actually solved the puzzle or seen it solved. If so I would buy it straight away. But for time being I suspect this puzzle is not solvable.

PS: My argument isn't airtight. In the second picture in the question, you can see that if the stick were shorter, you could just pull the black rope over the end and the small heart. What happens is that CDEFG could separate from AB if C goes back over CDEFG. But that cannot happen because C cannot go over the stick E. Therefore AB and CDEFG still cannot separate. I guess this fixes it.

Partial idea: your puzzle looks slightly different from the one in the linked catalogue:

There, the two white loops through the large heart and that end of the stick do not link: they are joined by the black loop. But in your picture they appear to be linked. Is there a clue in that?

The catalogue enlarged:

Looking at the catalogue picture: suppose the black loop will pass over the large heart, then the large heart can be separated completely. After that, the ring will slide off.

If so, it only remains to return your mangled puzzle to the factory condition.

• Must be bad angles on my photos, I've updated my post with more photos on different angles and positions. The black loop can not go over the big heart. Jan 23, 2019 at 16:22