I have now been here for an indeterminate number of weeks and these are some views that I may or may not hold.

First of all, I bet you’re all dying to know whether you got the puzzle right, dear readers. Well, the answer was “change at Battersby for Hartlepool, and then you have to walk.”

To anybody who guessed “Thirty trombones, two tambourines and a flute”, you probably failed to take account of the Winter 2015 timetable change. Good try, though.

Now then, to business. The more astute amongst you may well have noticed the recent trend of buses being more and more late with every passing week. This is not, as the less astute amongst you may believe, an optical illusion, but a real, measurable phenomenon.

Allow me to elucidate in a south-westerly direction. You may be aware that this is the time of year known for lengthening of the days. However, careful observation will reveal the fact that this is not, in fact, happening. Yes, in order to save on costs, the government has been forced to temporarily suspend the coming of spring. Think about it, it makes perfect sense. How? Well, if you don’t know that then there will be no hope for you when the revolution comes.

Our only hope of salivation lies in our spit glands. But never mind that, our only hope of salvation lies in the animal kingdom. I saw a heron and a kingfisher beside the Old Butleigh Road today. Clearly the birds know what must be done. They are massing for war and we don’t stand a chance. Sell your tortoises, pawn your parakeets, swap your house cats for house plants and always remember to spay or neuter your siblings. Remember – “out of sight, out of mind”. And if you don’t do as I say then you must be out of your mind.

Another puzzle here – If fifty men can dig fifty-five holes five hundred and fifty-five feet deep in five thousand, five hundred and fifty-five days, how long will it take for thirteen men to fill them in again using dirt from holes that they themselves have dug in just nine different places?

If that was too easy for you, then try this – Four more men come along, all wearing red neckerchiefs. Two of them swap with the men wearing yellow neckerchiefs, before falling down three of the holes dug by the men with heliotrope cravats. In how many different permutations can it be simultaneously proven that men with both a red and a yellow neckerchief will make it to the village Morris dance before the solstice?

Remember to show your working and always leave a gap in the margin to allow for standard deviations. Your time starts now.

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