Introduction: How to Confuzzle Your Friends With the Puzzle Stick.

Picture of How to Confuzzle Your Friends With the Puzzle Stick.
A simple little game from years ago - just catch the rubber band with the hook and give it a pull.

Simple? No...

Step 1: Tools and Materials:

Picture of Tools and Materials:

  • You will need a stick, wide enough to drill conveniently. I used an actual stick, but you could use a short length of thick dowel or broom handle.
  • You will also need a length of dowelling that is conveniently narrower than the stick. I used 3mm bamboo.
  • A vital part of this puzzle is a narrow rubber band. The length isn't important.


  • Saw
  • Drill (I got a new stand, which makes things a lot easier!), and a drill-bit slightly larger than the dowel. With the 3mm dowel I used a 5mm twist-bit.
  • Glue - I used PVA, but you could use hot-glue if you're the impatient type.
  • Sharp knife (ah, good old multi-tool).
  • Wood-shaping stuff - rasp, file, sandpaper.
  • A vice is useful, but not vital.

Step 2: The Stick.

Picture of The Stick.

The stick I used is one that has been sitting drying for some time.

It is about 2cm thick (nearly an inch), and about 8cm long (about 31/2 inches).

The ends are cut off square and sanded lightly.

Drill a hole through the centre of the stick, all the way through.

You may need to turn your stick around to get all the way through - be careful to line up the holes at each end.

Step 3: The Top of the Stick.

Picture of The Top of the Stick.

With the saw or knife, mark a line around the stick, about 1.5cm from the end.

Then, with the wood-shaping tools, cut, rasp, file and sand the end of the stick into a nice smooth dome-shape. You will find it a lot easier to brace the stick in a vice to file and sand it.

Do not go past the line you just marked.

When you have a nice smooth dome, decapitate the stick - cut the domed end off at the line.

Step 4: The Hook.

Picture of The Hook.

Cut a length of the dowel or bamboo about 2cm shorter than the whole stick (so, for me, about 6cm long) and cut a shallow hook at the end (the best hook is to cut half-way through the bamboo and then shave a wedge out about it.

Round off the end of the hook with sandpaper, and then glue it into the domed top of the puzzle.

You may need to wedge the bamboo in place with more slivers of bamboo to keep it central as you glue it.

Set the top-and-hook aside to dry.

Step 5: Confession Time.

Picture of Confession Time.
This isn't a puzzle.

It's a trick.

The people you trick think that you are hooking a loop of rubber band down in the bottom of the stick.

What is really happening is that, when you show your victim what to do, you pretend to hook the band.

When you pull at the top of the puzzle, you could add a slight tremor to your fingers, as if you are fighting elastic, but what you really do is squeeze the top hard between your finger and thumb so that it pops out from your finger and thumb and smacks back into the rest of the stick.

Use another short piece of bamboo to wedge a short length of rubber band in the base of the stick. As with the top, wedge and glue it in place, but make sure that there are two short pieces of rubber band sticking out to back up your claim that there is a loop inside the "puzzle".

Step 6: The Hustle

Picture of The Hustle

The best way to suck in a victim is to play with the puzzle yourself. The more you play with it, the more convincing you will get, and the smoother the top of the puzzle will get, and thus the easier it will get to ping it back with a good sharp crack.

Eventually, somebody will ask you what you're playing with. Be casual. Tell them it's a dexterity test, all you have to do is hook the band and then pull it, see? (Show them the hook, poke around inside the puzzle for a moment and then pull-ping-crack.)

When they can't do it straight away, be relaxed about it. Don't smirk or giggle, just tell them it's fine, takes a little practice, try again another day.

Then leave it lying around where they will see it, say on your desk when your at the copier, or beside the phone if you share an apartment. I guarantee you will catch them muttering and swearing about the puzzle.

Eventually, of course, you will have to let your victims in on the gag, but then things get funnier, because you swear them to secrecy - they mustn't tell anybody how it's done.

Then when there are a group of you out for a coffee or a beer, or sitting around waiting for the game to start, bring out the puzzle and play with it. Pass it to a friend who knows the gag, let them play with it. Eventually, the one person in the room who does not know the gag will have a go ...


Eleven days after posting this, nobody who was not already in the know has been able to see through the confuzzle. My boys are convinced I made it specifically so that they couldn't do it.


seamster (author)2016-05-05

This is a fantastic puzzle! I have a similar version that's shaped like a little wooden mouse - his head/nose area is the squeezy part, and his tail is a bit of elastic band, which helps throw people off.

It's been on my list of things to remake and post for years, and I just happened to stumble across this now! Not sure I'll ever get around to remaking mine, but it's nice to see your version : )

Kiteman (author)seamster2016-05-06

I never saw a mouse version before - it sounds like a cool project.

pakito15191 (author)2013-06-01

I was just here, at my room, laughing as hard as I could when you confessed the trick! This is great!

Kiteman (author)pakito151912013-06-01

Thank you.

dvnfntn (author)2009-05-29

looks oddly like a penis

You should probably go see a doctor, something might be wrong with your tally-whacker if it resembles this stick in any way.

I don't think you need to go see the doctor for that.

I am sorry, but people with dirty minds (myself included) see a penis first. Its nothing personal, just our issue. :P

triumphman (author)2012-04-05

Hey, I made one of these from my birch tree branches! Fun, and fools many people! I finally show them the secret though! Thats just me!

Kiteman (author)triumphman2012-04-05

Cool - could you post a picture?

tech dawg (author)2011-12-02

this is very nice...........and mean:D

splazem (author)2011-08-05

Great job! Confuzzle?!?

Kiteman (author)splazem2011-08-07

OK, so I needed a name that would stick, and not sound phallic.

splazem (author)Kiteman2011-08-07


Verttech4 (author)2011-08-04

Nicely done and said sir lol :D

The Jamalam (author)2008-10-05

that stick just looks wrong. pretty cool though

NinjaSloth (author)The Jamalam2008-11-13

way to go. someone just had to take something inoccent and make a perve joke.

The Jamalam (author)NinjaSloth2008-11-14

how is it a perve joke? half of the population have them

jeffconnelly (author)The Jamalam2008-11-24





Crakur (author)The Jamalam2009-01-02

i think what he is trying to say is that it takes a very imature person to, as nijasloth said, "...take somthing inocent and make it a perve joke."

Mattrox (author)Crakur2010-01-30


NinjaSloth (author)The Jamalam2008-11-14

...that wasn't the point

TheGeek1984 (author)2011-08-01


I like it!

xinistrom (author)2011-08-01

it looks dodgy :D

tictaclad (author)2011-07-15

hahahahaha i just pulled this up and my friend saw the picture and was like WTF WAS THAT????

Kiteman (author)tictaclad2011-07-16

Sir, you have a mucky mind!


Cooldeal (author)2011-07-10

Had to read through this one a few times before I could understand it. Clever.

robokid96 (author)2010-11-27

that drill press looks awesome!
do an instructi' on it, if you can!

Kiteman (author)robokid962010-11-28

Sorry, no point - it was a bought tool, designed to hold a hand-held drill into a drill-press for those who don't need one every day.

robokid96 (author)Kiteman2010-11-28

it was bought?
from where?

Kiteman (author)robokid962010-11-28

I can't remember exactly, but it was a cheap supermarket, probably either a Lidl or Aldi.

robokid96 (author)Kiteman2010-11-28

so you modded it?

Kiteman (author)robokid962010-11-28


robokid96 (author)Kiteman2010-11-28

then why are there zip ties everywhere?

Kiteman (author)robokid962010-11-29

Check the image notes - they're rubber bands, because the drill wouldn't keep running without the trigger pulled.

I've fixed that now.

robokid96 (author)Kiteman2010-11-29

ah, missed that, thanks

Kiteman (author)2010-07-19

I'm guessing you can't figure out the trick. then?

jessyratfink (author)2008-08-05

I feel like I should be making a perverted comment right about now. :)

Kiteman (author)jessyratfink2008-08-06

Just so long as you don't mention your home state...

I think next time I make one of these I will use square-section timber...

Shanti Mama (author)Kiteman2010-06-12

That's what I'm going to do when I make this with my 13 yr old son.

jessyratfink (author)Kiteman2008-08-06

Probably a good idea!

ill do it for u bow chicka bow wow

uguy (author)jessyratfink2008-08-06

Can't believe you could (would) do that.

TheChemiker (author)2010-03-30

Can't you just grab it better (twss) instead of letting it slip out of you fingers?

TheChemiker (author)TheChemiker2010-03-30

nvm i get it now

Kiteman (author)TheChemiker2010-03-31


Turtlepee (author)2009-10-18

I saw this exact same thing in a store once.

About This Instructable




Bio: The answer is "lasers", now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr & Twitter: @KitemanX
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