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The Pentangle Puzzle
Object: Remove the thick brass ring from the
five pentagon shaped pieces.
Difficulty: Difficult
Dimensions: Approx. 4.5" x 4.5" (11.5 x 11.5 cm)
Materials used: Nickel-plated 3/32" (2.38 mm) wire

If you research puzzles long enough, from time to time you'll stumble upon a real gem. Where this puzzle, which we call Pentangle, originated, is not known, but we should all take our hats off to the genius who came up with it.

In solving a puzzle, most adults draw from their experience, particularly experience obtained from solving other puzzles. Furthermore, we have found that the more education you have, the more you tend to draw on skills and problem-solving techniques learned in school to help solve a puzzle. Both types of experience can be helpful, but in some instances they may divert our attention away from the area where we should be focusing. Such experience actually hinders us more that it helps us.

Experience is often powerless when faced with a lateral-thinking puzzle. Lateral-thinking puzzles are perhaps best described as puzzles in which conventional thinking breaks down. Solving such a puzzle requires a change of perspective, and the more set in your ways you are, the more difficult you will find such a puzzle.

We have had engineers, medical doctors, mathematicians and even Mensa members come back after as much as several years, convinced that Pentangle is impossible. On the other hand, we have seen many teenagers and a few tradespeople solve it in minutes, only to wonder what all the fuss was about!

We leave it to you to speculate regarding what works best in solving Pentangle: logic and experience or imagination and mental flexibility.

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Level 3 Puzzles
Pentangle Puzzle
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