The Captive Ring (Magic Loops)

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 by Gabriel | 4 comments
Labels: , ,

(Click to Enlarge)
Disentanglement puzzles have become quite popular these days, mostly due to Hanayama and their Cast Series. There are many types of disentanglement puzzles: some of the hardest ones have a mixture of metal and rope, but I prefer the metal-only ones, for obvious reasons. Even though Cast Puzzles are more popular and usually of better quality, it doesn't mean that other metal puzzles out there are rubbish. A good example of this is The Captive Ring (a.k.a Magic Loops), which was first introduced in Europe and America in the 19th century.

If I didn't know all Cast Puzzles pretty well, I'd say this puzzle could belong to the beloved Hanayama brand. It's very well built with a thick and strong wire (6mm in diameter - 0.2") and has a length of 11cm (4.3"). It's also coated with a shiny and smooth surface, which is better for handling it.

The puzzle is comprised by two loops and two rings. One of the rings connects the two loops and can't be removed from the frame. The other ring, however, is free to travel across the length of the loops, but not entirely free, since the middle ring is blocking its path. Your task is to find a way to free the ring and then return it to its original position. Although this looks like a very difficult puzzle, it's actually moderately challenging. On the Hanayama scale of 1-6, a fair rating would be a 3/6.

The main ring starts out at the opposite end of where it's supposed to get out. To remove it, you need to go through the middle ring, but how? Both rings are cut and bent outwards in one spot, and that same spot is the key to the solution. If you tilt the rings at the right angle, you'll see that it's possible to overlap them. Doing this in the right way will enable you to pass the ring over the other and finally remove it. Now all you have to do is to put it together again...

(Click to Enlarge)
Closing Comments:

The Captive Ring was a very pleasant surprise for me. With a simple topology, an elegant design, and a challenging, but not frustrating solution, it's a great one to get you started on disentanglement puzzles.

Availability: You can get find The Captive Ring at PuzzlesdeIngenio.com for just €1.50.


Bob said...

Hi 'Gabriel'
Fairly easy puzzle IF you only need to disentangle ONE, i.e. the "outer" ring!

I've found a website where they sell this toy, and they say you need to disentangle BOTH (TWO) of the rings from the larger piece! Seems impossible to me. Maybe I am reading "The Goal" incorrectly, probably. :)

Here's their comments (see webpage link further below)....

Exercise your mind with this challenging, 3-D Big Nails Metal Circles Puzzle!

The goal: take the two metal pieces (I count THREE pieces!? - Bob K) apart and then put them back together.

Sound simple? Think again and try it out! Can you solve the puzzle without looking at the solution? Perfect for traveling or rainy afternoons, this Level 5 - Genius difficulty metal puzzle is sure to keep your mind engaged and entertained for hours!

Webpage Link: https://www.mastermindtoys.com/444-3-D-Big-Nails-Metal-Circles-Puzzle.aspx

Gabriel said...

Hi Bob. The description is correct, actually. If you separate the first ring from the frame you end up with two metal pieces. The other ring is impossible to remove, unless you use brute force. Cheers ;-)

Unknown said...

can you tell me the level of this puzzle ?>

Gabriel said...

It's explained on the review.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...