A Homemade Wire Puzzle

Distract and delight your friends and family on a long cold winter's night with this simply constructed (but not solved) game.

| January/February 1982

Distract and delight your friends and family on the long, cold winter's night with...

by Larry Herbert

When the days are short and the nights are cold, evenings at home all too often seem to consist of little more than stoking the fire in the old woodburner. And although the warmth of the flames provides physical comfort, you may well find yourself craving a bit of mental stimulation as you while away the hours indoors.

The little brainteaser shown here is simple to assemble, requires only common tools and materials, and is guaranteed to provide both challenge (when you try to figure out how to separate the heart- shaped piece from the other) and pleasure (when your victims attempt to solve the puzzle while you smugly watch)!


To create your own brain-boggier, gather together three or four wire coat hangers, a couple of pairs of stout pliers, and a cylinder—a socket from a wrench set, for example—about one inch in diameter.

Cut the coat hangers and bend and assemble them as indicated in Figs. A and B below. Form the loops around whatever cylindrical object you've selected to use for that purpose, and create the heart- shaped piece by any method you choose. (I just use my hand as a pattern . . . shaping the wire around my fingers.) I recommend that you lightly weld, epoxy, wire, or tape both the loops and the heart piece closed ... to strengthen the toy and to discourage cheating.

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