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## THE COMPASSES PUZZLE.

(

Patchwork Puzzles)

It is curious how an added condition or restriction will sometimes

convert an absurdly easy puzzle into an interesting and perhaps

difficult one. I remember buying in the street many years ago a little

mechanical puzzle that had a tremendous sale at the time. It consisted

of a medal with holes in it, and the puzzle was to work a ring with a

gap in it from hole to hole until it was finally detached. As I was

walking along the street I very soon acquired the trick of taking off

the ring with one hand while holding the puzzle in my pocket. A friend

to whom I showed the little feat set about accomplishing it himself, and

when I met him some days afterwards he exhibited his proficiency in the

art. But he was a little taken aback when I then took the puzzle from

him and, while simply holding the medal between the finger and thumb of

one hand, by a series of little shakes and jerks caused the ring,

without my even touching it, to fall off upon the floor. The following

little poser will probably prove a rather tough nut for a great many

readers, simply on account of the restricted conditions:--

Show how to find exactly the middle of any straight line by means of the

compasses only. You are not allowed to use any ruler, pencil, or other

article--only the compasses; and no trick or dodge, such as folding the

paper, will be permitted. You must simply use the compasses in the

ordinary legitimate way.

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