Threading the Pants
I have a pair of shorts (cutoff pants for people who don't know what
shorts are) with an elastic waist band. In the front of the pants the
waist band is visible and forms a loop through belt, like the strap on
a daypack. On either side, the band disappears into the lining of the
shorts. Thus, by tightening the band, it keeps my pants up. I'm sure you're
all familiar with this "belt" invention, but the point I'd like
to make with these pants is that other than the two ends which come together
at the front, the belt is entirely within the lining of the pants. Much
like the drawstring on a pair of swim trunks, or the drawstring on the
hood of a sweatshirt.
"Fascinating insight into your wardrobe," you think, "But
this isn't much of a puzzle."
Well here's the problem I ran into. Once, after I ran the pants through
the wash, I discovered that one end of the elastic belt had slipped back
into the lining. It seemed to disappeared about half way around, and no
matter how I squeezed and pulled, I couldn't get it through. If you've
ever lost the drawstring of a sweatshirt into the hood, you can imagine
Puzzle time: How could I get the end of the waist band to come back out
of the lining on the side it belongs? Consider this to be a "real-world"
puzzle, your solution must be practical. Incidentally, the solution works
on the dreaded sweatshirt hood problem as well.
Extra credit: The lead tag for this puzzle makes reference to an ancient
conundrum. What ancient conundrum would that be and how does it connect
back to the Grey Labyrinth? Hint: Its solution would not work particularly