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# Leprechaun on the Loose

This week’s puzzle activity is another disentanglement puzzle. These puzzles range from simple to difficult and most appear, at first glance, to be impossible. Once they are carefully studied, however, solutions usually present themselves.

Since this puzzle is easily made from inexpensive materials, each student should have one. Make a sample copy of the puzzle beforehand to familiarize yourself with the construction process. This not only enables you to give students guidance as they make the puzzle, but it also provides you with an opportunity to try the puzzle yourself!

To make the puzzle, copy the next page onto a lightweight cardstock or oak tag material. Carefully cut out the Leprechaun and use a hole punch to make holes in the three spots indicated. Cut a one-meter length of string and fold it in half. Take the loop formed by the last step and insert it into one of the top holes. Take the loop underneath and bring it back up through the other top hole. Hold the loose ends of the string together and thread them through the loop and then through the bottom hole. Securely tape these loose ends to a penny or other object that cannot pass through the three holes.

Now that the puzzle is made, the first challenge is to get the string off without cutting it or removing the penny. If you successfully get the string off, the second challenge is to get the string back on the puzzle.

Student instructions:

• Cut out the Leprechaun and use a hole punch to make holes in the three places indicated.
• Take a one-meter piece of string and fold it in half to make a loop.
• Insert the loop into one of the top holes and bring it back up through the other top hole.
• Hold the loose ends of the string together and thread them through the loop and then through the bottom hole.
• Tape the loose ends to a penny.

Challenge:

1. Remove the string without cutting it or removing the penny.
2. If you are successful, try to get the string back on the Leprechaun.

The solution to the Leprechaun on the Loose puzzle is very similar to the solution for the Tangled Hearts puzzle. Click here to see the Tangled Hearts solutions.