This page's title and contents is of my own fabrication -- 10 sticks with strings (forming a dodecahedron (12 pentagonal faces, 20 vertices) . There are also structures mentioned with 9, 12 and 15-stick versions, claiming that tensegrity structures (a balance between tension and compression) can be made from any number of sticks. Other names from different manufacturers are : 'Plato's Plight' (Mag-Nif 1971) -- 'Plato's Secret' -- 'Philosopher's Stone' -- 'Philosopher's Knot' (Futuristic Products) -- 'Merlin's Stone' (Skor-mor) -- 'Cobweb' (Reiss Games) -- 'Knit Wit' (The puzzle measures about 6 1/2" in diameter when assembled. The puzzle was manufactured by Romany Merchandise Corp. in New York, NY. The copyright printed on the box is 1974 making this toy from the 1970s. )
<<< This view is 'overlooking' the top spiral, the bottom spiral is resting on the table .
Notice the pentagram formed by the overlapping of the sticks .
<<< Sticks 1 through 5 (this image) will form the bottom spiral first -- represented in the following text as 'red' .
Starting with stick 1 , and working in a clockwise rotation, overlap each succeeding stick and connect the strings (a little past the midway point) to the top end of each previous stick, as shown in picture .
Orient the strings so that they face away from the spiral .
Place the knotted end of the string of the under-sticks in the up position .
Place stick 1 of the second spiral parallel to stick 1 of the first spiral, again with their strings facing away from the spiral core .
Make two connections as shown by the circles .
Working in a counter-clockwise rotation, continue adding the rest of the sticks of the second spiral, overlapping the bottom end of each previous stick .
The picture depicts a complicated viewing, but don't despair, we're almost to the end . You're now set up for the final connections !
Red is for the first spiral, blue for the second spiral .
Notice that stick 1 (second spiral) has moved out of its parallel position to link up with the string of stick 2 (second spiral) over to the righthand side of stick 3 (first spiral) .
Stick 2 is connected to the string of stick 3
This side view of the connection of stick 2 shows the structure starting to 'bloat' up.
Stick 3 (side view) is connected to the string of stick 4
Stick 4 (side view) is connected to the string of stick 5
Stick 5 (side view) is connected to the string of stick 1
Stick 5 (top view)
This is the position your puzzle will assume when removing the ball from the purchased versions .
note: the plastic colored transparent ball that comes with the puzzle does not hinder the solving of the solution whatsoever . Not only does it offer an aesthetic effect to the center of the globe, but also falsely tells the observer that the ball might have something to do with aiding in the structural integrity of a complex whole .
It does, however, offer a second part to the puzzle in as much as : first, try to release the ball without disengaging the sticks & strings; secondly, as you have just done, undo the entire structure and re-assemble it .