News Article

Could you be one of the world’s smartest puzzlers?

Last Updated: 25 Jul 2017
The GCHQ Puzzle Book features a competition designed to challenge the sharpest minds.

News article - 19 Oct 2016 - Updated 25 Jul 2017

*** The Competition Winners have been announced ***

The GCHQ Puzzle Book, which goes on sale tomorrow, features a competition to find some of the world’s best puzzlers.

To start the competition, players are challenged to a form of Sudoku and a picture board of famous people - but in what shouldn’t be a spoiler, this is a multi-stage competition. Solving these two grids unlocks a series of puzzles, challenges and instructions that will bend and twist the minds of players in their quest for their ‘licence to puzzle’.

The closing date for the competition is Tuesday 28th February 2017.

The book, which was announced over the weekend, ranges in complexity from easy to mind-bending, with ciphers and substitution codes, tests of numeracy and literacy as well as picture and music challenges. It also includes:

  • Tips on how to think like a GCHQ analyst
  • Hints and clues on how to solve different types of puzzles
  • Useful resources like Morse code, the periodic tables and the semaphore alphabet that could help you unlock some of the puzzles
  • The answers!

Last year GCHQ created an online puzzle that featured in Director Robert Hannigan’s official Christmas card – and the response was phenomenal. Over 600,000 people took part, with only three completing the whole challenge. This year the competition features a fiendish array of fresh challenges for puzzle fans all over the world.

All GCHQ’s proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the Heads Together campaign, supported by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, who wrote the foreword for The GCHQ Puzzle Book.

[Click here or on the image below to download a high resolution version for printing.]