Nail Puzzle

Someone I know handed me this puzzle, I have seen a couple of solutions for it that follow the instructions and don’t involve bending the nails, etc.

Can you figure out how to balance the 6 nails on top of the stationary nail? If nobody figures it out within a week, I will post the answers I know (one of which was my idea, another was known by a relative).


You can build a structure something along the lines of a da Vinci bridge, where the weight of the structure itself keeps it from falling apart:

(view from above)
enter image description here

It's easiest to build on the tabletop; you can then pick it up by the bottom nail, watch how gravity locks the structure into place, and then balance the whole on the vertical nail.

  • $\begingroup$ This is the answer I got from a relative, so I will accept this one. $\endgroup$ – Cotton Headed Ninnymuggins Jul 1 '20 at 6:21
  • $\begingroup$ This is not quite right. I'm pretty sure the 2 green nails pointing to the right should be over the blue nail and under the black one. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Jul 1 '20 at 13:44
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @DarrelHoffman well, as long as it works, it cannot be all that wrong. :-) $\endgroup$ – Bass Jul 1 '20 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ @DarrelHoffman The drawing is correct, the layout is actually different from the Da Vinci bridge. $\endgroup$ – Florian F Jul 31 '20 at 23:57

Well here's 2 ways I thought of...

1. If they are a made of iron then a magnet at the bottom magnetizes the stationary one and the other 6 kinda stick to it

2. If the bottom base (where instructions are written) can be raised to the top and 6 nails placed there...

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting ideas, these would work since the instructions don’t say you can’t use outside objects. The base doesn’t move however (it’s one piece and the holes on the wood don’t go all the way through, and the one on the left and right just holds the rest of the 6 nails). $\endgroup$ – Cotton Headed Ninnymuggins Jul 1 '20 at 5:46

Here is my smart aleck solution:

My solution

The nails are on top of the nail in the middle once you flip the whole thing over


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