Non-obvious solutions

How to quickly tie a Four-in-Hand necktie knot.

The idea—tying a common knot more quickly by an uncommon method—is the same idea behind the Ian Knot, and the key step in the middle appears to be the same as the over-under method of cable wrapping.


How to remove a melted candle from a glass candle-holder: Put it in the freezer.

Presumably, the way this works is that the wax contracts in the cold, and eventually peels off of the walls of the glass.


How to open a sealed-plastic pack of spaghetti.

Of course, then you’ll need something to store the unused spaghetti in.

How to dry your hands with one paper towel.


Another way of eating a chicken wing. This one is how to eat a chicken wing with one hand.

Previously: How to eat a chicken wing by taking the bones out first.


How to peel a head of garlic “in less than 10 seconds”.

Smash it with your hand, then put it into a covered bowl (he uses another bowl, but a commenter said that he covered his bowl with a cookie sheet) and “shake the dickens out of it”.


How to fill a bucket with water using a dustpan.

  1. Set the dustpan on top of the sink, such that the leading edge of the dustpan is on the far edge of the sink and the handle hangs over the near edge.
  2. Set the bucket on the floor in front of the sink.
  3. Overfill the dustpan so that water spills down the handle into the bucket.

Obviously, how well this works will depend on the proportions of your sink and your dustpan, and only a dustpan with a hollow or open handle will work for this.

On the other hand, it doesn’t need to be a dustpan.

You can use a Pringles can to store unused uncooked spaghetti.

How to dispense ketchup.

Bang the bottle, just above the label (on the raised “57” if it’s a Heinz bottle), on your hand.

How to peel a potato.


  1. Score the skin all the way around.
  2. Boil the potato.
  3. Put it in ice water for 5–10 seconds.
  4. Pull the skin off at both ends.

Sprintcuts (previously mentioned) shows a variation. Differences:

  • They don’t mention the scoring step, which I suspect is essential to the clean break they show.
  • They say to put it in ice water for 5 seconds, whereas Howcast’s video says 10 seconds.
  • They appear to have scored it around the potato’s axis, rather than along it.

I think I prefer Sprintcuts’ method, but I haven’t tested either one.

Subscriber Ben suggested a whole bunch of Sprintcuts videos; as you can guess, this was one of them. More to come. Thanks, Ben!

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