How to Solve a Wooden Oliver String Puzzle


The puzzle is simple: lift a ring off of a post. The Wooden Oliver String puzzle, also known as the Eureka puzzle, complicates this concept by running a string through the center of the post. On each side of the string are a wooden disk and a wooden ball that will impede the movement of the disk. You can solve this puzzle by working the disks and metal ring through the gap in the center of the post to effectively untangle the puzzle and free the ring.

  • Pull each wooden disc so that they are stretched out, with the rope that connects them passing through the center of the post. Rotate the post so the disk on the left side's string loops upward through the center, while the right disk's string loops downward.

  • Grip the left disk and slide it through the center hole of the post. The disk will slide through, while the ball on the left side will press up against the post.

  • Slide the metal ring up and over the post. The ring will now be on the right side of the post, along with your two disks.

  • Fit the metal ring through the center hole of the post and onto the left side of the puzzle. Continue to move the ring to the left until the left ball passes through the center of the ring. Use the string as a guide for the ring.

  • Bring the ring up to the top of the post and down, so the post goes through the center of the ring.

  • Push the wooden disk that began on the right side of the puzzle through the center hole of the post. The metal ring should be under the disk as it passes through.

  • Bring the metal ring up the post and tilt the top portion of the ring towards you as you bring it over the post. The ring should be parallel to the hole of the post.

  • Slide the ring through the post hole and to the right. Pull the ring over the ball on the right side of the post to free it from the puzzle, thereby solving it.


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