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The Tripwire Puzzle
Object: Remove the string and ball from the metal body.
Difficulty: Very difficult
Dimensions: Body: 5" (13 cm) long, 1 3/4" (4.5 cm) wide
String: 6" (15 cm) long
Materials used: Body: Nickel-plated 3/32" (2.38 mm) wire

Despite it's relatively simple appearance, this puzzle is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Some of our most dedicated puzzle solvers have confessed to being on the verge of giving up on this one. Several have. One of our most respected "geniuses" conceded that it was only his stubbornness that kept him going. He admitted that although he could envision the solution quite clearly, he confessed: "I was damned if I could keep it all straight in my mind long enough to get the bloody thing off!".

Tripwire was originally conceived from a series of puzzles produced by Jean-Claude Constantin of Nuremberg, Germany. Whereas Jean-Claude's designs consisted of free-standing wire and string forms on a wooden base, we have chosen to present our design as a pocket-sized portable pain-in-the-neck.

In order to assist our regular customers in solving this puzzle, Tripwire was initially presented as "Tripwires": a set of three similar, but distinctly separate puzzles in which the solution to the most difficult Tripwire could be achieved through a series of instructional steps learned from the two somewhat simpler puzzles.

There is no doubt that Tripwire is inherently nasty. As is the case with all string puzzles, the flexible nature of the string lends itself to a multitude of possibilities that are not present with the rigidly-structured wire puzzles. Furthermore, string puzzles do not scream out "Whoa!" when you try something that, on a solid wire puzzle, would begin to deform the metal and alert the solver that he is "barking up the wrong tree".

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