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64 moves                             17 moves                                 64 moves    


his puzzle was commonly known in China at the beginning of this century as 'Ring of Linked Rings' - or in Chinese translation as 'Lien Nuan Chhuan'.

lso known as Meleda - or in Chinese translation as 'Ryou-Kaik-Tiyo' - the "delay guest instrument",   it is one of the oldest mechanical puzzles in existence .   Its beginnings are still unknown .

tewart Cullin, the noted 19th century ethnologist,   relates that the puzzle was invented by the famous Chinese general Hung Ming, in the 2nd century AD (181 - 234) as a present to his wife so that, in trying to solve the puzzle, she would have something to do while he was away at the wars, and forget to grieve for his long absence !

eleda first appeared in Europe in the mid-16th century and was described by the mathematician Geronimo Cardano .


he problem of the rings was first found by Cardan, but was later treated at length in mathematical terms by John Wallis in approximately 1685 . In 1693 it was mentioned in an English book, and around that time it gained popularity in many European countries . Early examples are found in England and Scandinavia .   Later in the 19th century, it was discussed using binary arithmetic notation by Gros .

riginally used by French peasants to lock chests,   it was called 'Baguenaudier' - which means 'time-waster' in French .   It therefore was found to be too time-consuming for that purpose !   They had also been put to practical use in Norway, for they were found to be very effective luggage locks .   Made of iron, meleda certainly warranted the alternative name "tiring irons", a name which still persists .   It would surely be a determined or desperate thief who could manage to open a trunk locked with this puzzle .

here have been a wide assortment of materials used in its fabrication,   the earlier deluxe versions delicately carved from ivory .


t has also been called The Devil's Needle Puzzle -- and -- Patience (which is still currently being used today on some web sites) - Iron Irritation is also on the web - and the contemporary version among the computer genre Computer Loops .   A new name from the web has to be added to      this list : K'niblin Pins : a combination of clear acrylic, polished brass and chrome rings.   Still other names :    Indian Rings -- Gangnails --  Catacombs -- Brain Game -- Dragon Lock (7 colored plastic rings, stem separator is a large base)' made by the Thunder Trading Co., Pasadena, CA; designed by Jack Parshall, Jr.

he intent is to remove the handle from the rest of the assembly in large sequential moves - depending on the number of rings used .   Although it is often usually known under the classification as a disentanglement puzzle, it is better classified as sequential movement .  The Ingenious Ring Puzzle Book by Ch´ung-En Yü, published in 1958 in Shanhasp, indicates that it was very popular and known to almost every Chinese family during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) .   At the National Museum of Finland it is exhibited as a traditional folk toy with the name "Prisoner's Lock" .


      -- It is very closely related to The Tower of Creation (Tower of Hanoi) and The Brain (from Mag-Nif Corp.) in their binary solutions.

 Check out the story behind this puzzle !                              BRAIN -- sold by Mag-Nif
                                         /\ click on the Tower Of Creation pic above to link to the story /\

 Indian Rings  Ivory Rings
Ancient wrought-iron  Devil's Needle  Olde Tyme ivory intricacy
 child's version with colored wooden balls & handle  Dragon Lock  Sinclairs Lock -- made in Finland by Aarikka
 North American handle artwork  Catacombs  Catacombs Plus
 L O N G E S T  S M A L L E S T
Wei Zhang & Peter Rasmussen                                                



. . . . . enter the MODERN version . . . . .



The feel of this handle end is unbelievably smooth and comfortable in the grip of one's
hand . . . .

Almost feels

within the palm
of your hand

 not to mention the exquisite distinction it adds to the aesthetics of the puzzle !




Beads add a robust touch of color along with the rest of the color scheme, while also aiding in keeping the stem ends from rubbing against the silvering of the acrylic mirror .....
the acrylic beads being a much softer material than the stainless steel stems !

 These tri-polar beads are the latest craze    stainless steel for handling ruggedness    stem separators -- green mirror, amber mirror, blue mirror -- solid red






  < regular-length  'carrot'  handle (better fits a child's hand)

. . . or . . .

< e x t e n d e d    'egg'   coil !
Sleeker 'egg-shaped' coil for maximum smoothness in your hand .






Wood handle version


You can choose between all silver rings, or all gold rings, or an alternating combination .

Click on the "Store" button -- up top -- for your purchase