Grooved 6 Board Burr #5 – Junichi Yananose

It was about 2 years ago (holy crap where does the time go?) When I decided to work through all the Grooved 6 Board Burr puzzles available at

Well, I got through 4 of them in a short amount of time and then, well, I stopped working on them and got lazy with the blog. In the ensuing 2 years, I only completed 3-4 blog posts. Life got in the way and writing blog posts wasn’t high on the list of priorities. I continued to purchase and solve dozens of puzzles, but I didn’t write a thing. Sometimes it’s nice to just do a puzzle and not worry about recording my thoughts. Whatever, I’m here today and I’ve just solved the Board Burr #5.

Somewhere along the way to solving the puzzle.

Like the previous 4 Grooved 6 Board Burrs, this one has 6 boards and utilizes grooves and pegs to make unique moves and positions. The grooves make it difficult, but they also provide clues about how to solve it. One of the things that I’ve learned is that many times, getting the peg out of the groove is the trick to progressing the puzzle.

The last post got me motivated and so I dug deep into my stash of puzzles to locate #5, determined to solve it, or at least make a dent. There was a football game on the tv and all family members were occupied with their own activity, so I sat down and got to work.

The puzzle started with 2 possible entries. One of them quickly hit a dead end, so I was left with only 1 option. I methodically worked the puzzle, stopping after each move to test all the available possibilities. I tried to work through every fork in the road to determine the correct path. Often I’d feel like I was making progress only to end up with the same shape I had 6 moves ago. This thing was tricky.

I set it down a couple of times to rest, but quickly picked it back up again and reworked through the sequence again. At about a dozen or so moves in was where I found the cycle of moves that just kept looping.

One of the configurations I found along the way. This was a dozen or more moves in. And yes I’m wearing Snoopy Christmas pajama pants.

Eventually, I discovered a secret little move that changed everything. I worked through it back and forth a couple of times, but didn’t quite understand what was happening, so I decided to push on. A lot of times when solving these puzzles, I create little bookmarks in my mind. For example, about 12 moves in, I memorized the shape of the puzzle and called this A1. I’d do a bunch of moves but would return to A1. At this point I could start with the unsolved puzzle and take it to shape A1. So then, I start looking for the next bookmark, or A2. These are just things I make up, but they help me keep track of my progress.

The A2 position was tricky and I fooled around with available moves from that position for a while. Suddenly, one of the pieces was free and it nearly fell into my lap. Once again, I worked that move back and forth for a while. I’m not sure if I memorized anything, but eventually I’d had enough and wanted to move forward.

Soon thereafter, I was able to remove the 2nd piece – though it did seem to take another 10 moves. The remaining pieces were fairly trivial and just like that, I had the puzzle separated. Whew, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I remember working on this puzzle 2 years ago and got frustrated and quit. Maybe I was just burned out from the previous 4. But this time, it seemed relatively easy. I don’t know where this ranks on the list of Grooved 6 board burrs, but to me, it seemed easier that the previous 4.

These pieces are so well made. I love how clean the grooves are.

Reassembly was straightforward. I took a couple of photos for the final 3 pieces, so was able to reference those to start the assembly. Call it cheating if you want, but when puzzles get complex, I like to use photos to help with the reassembly. After getting the first 3-4 pieces together correctly, the rest felt like familiar territory. I was able to get the final piece in and the puzzle reassembled surprisingly quick.

Overall, it’s another fantastic puzzle. I’m so happy to own all these puzzles as I really do think they will hold up over time as some of the most forward thinking grooved burrs out there.

In my opinion #5 is the easiest one so far.

I still have #6 to solve and recently purchased #7 as well. I don’t know how many of these Juno will make, but I’ll keep buying them to make sure I have the complete collection. As of this writing, there are still qty:25 board burr #7s available here. While I haven’t yet start fiddling with #7, if the previous ones are any indication, #7 will be the most challenging of them all. And I stand ready to take on the challenge.