Maybe it’s a Chinese finger trap

June 21, 2015

The finger trap is a simple puzzle that traps the victim’s fingers in both ends of a small cylinder woven from bamboo.

The initial reaction of the victim is to pull the fingers outward, but this only tightens the trap. The way to escape the trap is to push the ends toward the middle, which enlarges the openings and frees the fingers.

The Chinese finger trap is a common metaphor for a problem that can be overcome by relaxing, i.e. not trying too hard to solve it. – source