They sent me a pre-release copy a couple of weeks ago and after waiting patiently until I’d finished up at work, headed home (seems weird to actually be able to say that!) and worked through the usual evening regime of penance on the exercise bike and dinner, I was finally able to sit down and have a wee puzzle.
BM5 looks virtually just like every other BM in the series – with just the slightest little detailing around the ends enabling you to tell them apart from the others – a hole and a ring mark out BM5… the rest looks pretty much just like every other one: it’s a standard six-piece cylindrical burr.
…but if they were all alike, we’d have stopped buying them after about BM3… just to be sure, right?!
So far, every one of them has been pretty darn unique, so it’s sensible to start out with high expectations… treat it with respect, don’t let yourself get lulled into a false sense of security at having solved the first four in the series (you have, haven't you?)… approach it with some reverence… it won’t disappoint.
Anyway, back to the story of my solve… I tried all the usual things one tries on a burr – heck, I even tried some of the more unusual things one might try – I’ve learnt lessons from the first four BMs after all.
None of that seems to do anything useful whatsoever…
BM5 is a very worthy successor – and I suspect it will be the most surprising puzzle that you solve this year. (I’m assuming you do solve it this year… although I suspect that it might take some folks a little while before they stumble onto the best way of solving this particular little conundrum.)
I will tell you that when I did solve it I felt the need to hop straight onto a video call with the monkeys to share my amazement /amusement / gob-smack-ed-ness – this little puzzle has given me the biggest laugh out loud moment that I can remember - equal parts “A-Ha” and “A-Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”
If it doesn’t delight and surprise you, please check your pulse…