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.

THE COLOURED COUNTERS. THE CONE PUZZLE. facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail