What is this Tavern Puzzle Called? How is it Solved?
November 4, 2017 8:28 AM   Subscribe

A coworker gave me this tavern puzzle. I'm not very good at these, but he thinks I'm very clever (I do ID/Desktop Support) and assumed I was up to the challenge. I have three specific questions:

1. What is this specific puzzle called? Or, who makes it? A google image search for tavern puzzles did not turn up any that look like this.

2. What is the objective? The coworker didn't know. I'm assuming it's to remove the single ring in the bend on the right.

3,. What's the solution? I've fiddled around with it but really don't know the trick. Hints, suggestions, or the full answer is welcome.
posted by jazon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I’m pretty sure you are right about the goal, and I’m pretty sure this, like many related, is just a fancier version of the classic horseshoe. I can’t quite see the full solution, but I think at some point you will use similar moves, e.g. when passing the horseshoe bit at top of your picture. If I’m right in my assumptions and guesses, the ring will come off by traveling up the left then across right, down, then right.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:37 AM on November 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Solution is: drink a beer and mess around with it. These things are meant to be confounding and intriguing so embrace it. One day maybe a few months from now you’ll get it and it will be an amazing experience.

That’s how you solve it.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 6:19 PM on November 4, 2017 [7 favorites]

FYI, "Tavern Puzzle" is a trademarked name used by Tucker-Jones House. "Disentanglement puzzle" (or less commonly, "tanglement puzzle") tends to be the accepted generic name for this type of puzzle among puzzlers. I'd suggest that for Googling, except that these tend to be puzzles whose shapes aren't easily described in words, so even with term that Googling might have been futile.

But! Rob's Puzzle Page to the rescue! Looking at his pictures of disentanglement puzzles, this appears to be the "Challenger" puzzle from the now-defunct Uncle's Puzzles. (Also equivalent to, but appearing slightly different than, the "Lobotomy" puzzle from Family Games.) That information was enough to Google this solution (not the most clearly presented) to Challenger, and this solution (more clear) to Lobotomy.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:39 AM on November 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

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