Puzzling Battery

Puzzling Battery

Everyday things that we take for granted can be re-purposed and given a new slant. It’s about thinking outside the box. Take two small batteries for instance. Even flat ones can be given a new life.

Guide lines
Ready, Steady, Go!

Show someone the two batteries.


I think these batteries are flat… but I’ve got a new task for them – did you know they make a great puzzle?

Lend me your ears

Demonstrate the puzzle, as seen in the video.


They even come with instructions… it says you need to hold the batteries like so. One in the left hand forefinger (index finger) and thumb… and one in the right hand forefinger and thumb – only problem is that they are interlinked and have no way of getting out.

They should be confused as to how to solve this mystery.

Seal the Deal and Reveal


Here’s the secret. If you hold the right hand battery with the positive side touching the index finger, and the negative side by the thumb. The left hand side is the opposite with the positive side touching the thumb and the negative side touching the index finger it completes the circuit and allows them to separate. Yeah, right.

Reveal the solution as seen in the video.

It looks easy but when someone tries they get stuck. When you begin you have each battery gripped between the bottom of the thumb and index finger, as per the first photo. The secret is to then to have your left thumb and index finger normally gripping the one battery and then your right thumb and index finger, as per the photos with the arrows, grip the second battery, and voila – the batteries will separate. What you are ultimately doing is putting your right hand fingers on the inside of your left hand, which looks normal but you effectively are going around and bypassing the trap. It is a sneaky move in plain sight.

Some extra lines you can try

  • Remember to recycle your batteries… into a pocket puzzle.
  • Are you sure you can handle the power of batteries? These are Alkaline you know.
  • Batteries not included.
Alternative ending

Give them the batteries to perfect the moves themself. Tell them you’re “passing the power” on to them.

You can also improvise without batteries, using the same technique with anything that has a similar size and shape to batteries, like corks.

Anticipated responses and retorts

You on a power trip?

I am sharing the power.

Are your batteries fully charged?

They certainly will be better once we show this around.

Do you have a high-voltage personality?

More like an electric touch.
Good follow ups
When & where
When to use it
  • When you want to give people something to do with their hands.
  • When you want to show people how the eyes can trick us into seeing things, or, not seeing things.
  • When you want to get people talking with their hands.
Where to use it
  • the office canteen
  • mentoring
  • team building events
  • at the pub
Getting ready
Items required
  • Two penlight batteries or a couple of wine corks
  • Make sure the batteries are not damaged or leaking.
Training required
  • This one will take a bit of practice to get the knack of it. It’s all in the wrist.
Watch out (potential unexpected effects)
  • It can get frustrating if you don’t get the hang of it right away.

type type

Do It Yourself (DIY)

material material

a couple of penlight batteries or some corks

size size

should fit in your pocket

durability durability

you can do this with flat batteries

source source

the ether

time to impact time to impact

pretty much there and then

size of audience size of audience

one-on-one is best

possible health risk possible health risk

don’t shock anyone

reusable how many times you can use it

a couple of times

training needed training needed

try it a few times to get the feel of things – fingers can be tricky

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