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The simplest of conventional tie knots, the Four-in-Hand, has its origins in late nineteenth-century England, when drivers tied their scarves round their necks to keep them in place, lest they lose the reigns of their four-in-hand carriages. King Edward the VIII, after abdicating in 1936, is credited with introducing what is now known as the Windsor knot and its smaller derivative, the Half-Windsor. More recently, in 1989, the Pratt knot was registered with the Tie Association of America, the first new knot registered in 50 years.

Tie knots, evidently, do not come quickly. Rather than wait a half-century more for the next clever knot to appear, we provide in this Letter a more formal approach. Our aim is to predict all aesthetic tie knots, the four conventional knots as well as those, if any, undiscovered.

Yong Mao
Sat Nov 7 16:03:57 GMT 1998