June 24, 2010

Stanley Puzzle

Fellow renegade puzzler, Peter Wiltshire, found The Stanley Puzzle in Hoffman's Puzzles Old And New, a book published in 1893 that catalogues most of the puzzles available in the 1890's in London. Peter made himself a copy, which he brought to IPP29, and at the urging of a few interested collectors, decided to make a few more. In all, he made 7, one of which I purchased from him on PuzzleParadise.

Here is the entry in Hoffman which describes the puzzle. It was stamped from brass and bears the picture of Sir Henry Morton Stanley, known for his exploration of Africa. He also supposedly uttered the famous phrase "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" during an expedition aimed at finding the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone.

Peter's version of The Stanley Puzzle is made out of aluminum using a jigsaw and a file. It has been polished to a good shine and looks quite nice!

Upon receiving the puzzle, I started working on it right away. The purpose, of course, is to remove the ring. At first, it appears impossible, since both of the flat pieces are too large. With a bit of fiddling, I was able to figure it out without too much difficulty.

I brought it over to a friend's house yesterday, curious to see how difficult they would find it, and both of the folks who tried it were able to solve it without much trouble.

I think the only downside is that the solution is a bit simple for my taste, but I still found it enjoyable. This will be a good one to show to people who get frustrated easily, since it isn't too tough. Overall, a nice little puzzle!


  1. Thanks for the review Brian! Great blog!

  2. You're welcome, Peter! Glad you like the blog!

  3. Great blog post once again! Hopefully Peter will bring this to our Canadian Puzzle Party on July 7th (all welcome) so we can try it out too!

  4. Well do Tanya! Can't wait for July 7th!!!

  5. After struggling with Dick Hess' "Outrageous Rings" for more than a year, this puzzle was fun to solve. My kids like it too!

  6. Great disentanglement puzzle. Great blog!

  7. Thanks Tanya! Hope you have a good time at the Canadian Puzzle Party!

    Thanks Vince! Glad you enjoy it!


Please don't post spoilers! Thanks for commenting!

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