Solving the Washer Puzzle

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Blog entry by FaTToaD posted 02-04-2011 01:58 AM 12369 reads 30 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my attempt at showing the solution to the washer puzzles I make. It turned out to be a little harder than I thought. Describing this with just pictures probably isn’t the best way to go, but I’ve included a link at the bottom that may explain it better.

To start with, the puzzle needs to look like this:
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The object is to get both washers on the same loop.

First you want to pull the loop on the bottom of the puzzle out far enough that you can slide as washer through it:
First things first, make sure the puzzle looks like this.  Then pull that part of the knot at the bottom out far enough for a washer to slide through it.

Once you get the loop pulled out, it should look like this:
After you pulled the knot out, it should look like this.

Next, take the washer on the right and slide it through the loop you just pulled out:
Next, pass the washer on the right through the loop that was created when you pulled to knot out.

I find it makes the next step easier if you’ll pull down on the two main loops a little to tighten up the knot and take out the slack:
After I pull the washer through, I like to tug on the two big loops to take up some of the slack.

Now here’s the tricky part, and the key to solving the puzzle. Pull the knot through the center hole towards you. You basically grab the two strings going through the center hole and pull them until the knot comes through:
Here's the tricky part, and the key to solving the puzzle.  Pull the whole knot through the center hole.

After you pull the knot through the center hole, you should have two loops that you can now slide the washer through:
Once you've pulled the knot through the hole, you should be able to pass the washer under the two loops.

Here’s another view after the washer has been passed through those two loops:
Here's another view after the washer has passed through the hoops.

Next you pull the knot BACK through the center hole. You do this by grabbing the stings from behind the puzzle and pull them back through:
Next, pull the knot BACK through the hole.  Basically the opposite way you did it last time.

Once the knot has been pulled back through the center hole, there should be another loop you can pass the washer through:
Once the knot has passed back through the hole, you should be able to slide the washer under another loop.

After passing the washer through that last loop, you can now pull on the two main loops to tighten the knot and you should have the two washer on the same side!
Finally, pull down on the two main loops to bring the string back to it's original position, and you're washer are now on the same side!

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? Hopefully this will help, but you may have to try it a few times to get it down. Even after I show people in person, it usually takes them a try or two.

For a possibly better explanation, check out this website.

You can also view larger pictures on my photography site.

Thanks for looking and I hope you make some of these puzzles!


-- David

7 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3164 days

#1 posted 02-04-2011 02:23 AM

thank´s for posting ….but I think others wuold say “half the fun is to figur it out ….LOL

I did make one of theese 35 years ago in elementryschoool

easy,fast and fun for children to make and use against adults at party´s ….LOL

take care

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3191 days

#2 posted 02-04-2011 02:34 AM

Yeah, I think figuring it out is half the fun. However, several people wanted a solution, so who am I to argue.

-- David

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3164 days

#3 posted 02-04-2011 03:05 AM

its ok with me :-)

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3091 days

#4 posted 02-04-2011 07:34 AM

Nicely done, now I have to make one so I can tell if you are a good teacher or not <;-)~ Looks like it will work though. Trying to figure it out is fun but I don’t have to many more of those brain thingies left to loose. LOL

View Woodbutcher3's profile


415 posts in 2936 days

#5 posted 02-06-2011 02:32 PM

This is great for my Woodworking for Kids (WW4K) class I teach.
Thanks for posting.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18308 posts in 3725 days

#6 posted 02-11-2011 09:06 AM

Thanks for the solution post and link.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3338 days

#7 posted 04-24-2011 03:40 AM


-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

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