Can you solve it? The magic of the Borromean rings

The Borromean rings are three interconnected rings. They have the strange property of being removed from each other.
Mathematicians have been studying the rings and they are used as metaphors for the interdependence between three parts. Since all three can be linked or not, The name Borromeo comes from the Renaissance Italian family Borromeo, who had the same pattern on their coats of arms.

The Borromean rings cannot be made with the three perfect circles shown above. However, you can make one if the circles are slightly bent or you use non-circular loops. Below is the logo of the International Mathematical Union (a global scientific body that promotes maths). (The IMU celebrates its centennial in this month. More information will follow.

Today's puzzle is a riff on the Borromean rings idea: It involves three connected elements that break down completely when one of them is removed.

Smash the picture

Below is an example of how to hang a picture with two nails. Two nails support each other: If one of them fails, the picture will still hang (wonkily), on the other.

Is there a way to hang pictures on a wall with string and two nails? If one nail fails, the picture will drop to the ground.

This puzzle is difficult to visualize so I recommend you play with some nails and a piece string. You can also use rings if you don't have any nails.

I'll be back with the solution at 5pm.

Please do not reveal any sensitive information. However, if you need help, please contact us.

In 1920, the International Mathematical Union was established to encourage international cooperation in mathematics. It organizes the International Congress of Mathematicians every four years and awards Fields Medals which are the most prestigious prize in maths.

The Palais Universitaire, Strasbourg, was the place where the IMU was established. It is also the location where its centennial celebrations will take place on September 27 and 28. Covid caused the event to be rescheduled. This programme will feature talks from 17 top mathematicians around the world and will be broadcast live. It is a must-see event for anyone who wants to hear about the latest frontiers in mathematical research.

Every Monday, I create a new puzzle. I am always looking for new puzzles. Send me an email if you have any suggestions.

I am the author of many puzzle books, including the Language Lovers Puzzle book. If you are interested, I can also speak to schools about mathematics and puzzles (restrictions permitting). Please contact me if your school is interested.