GCHQ — Play the TURING Challenge! [Puzzle #1]

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

Alan Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954)

March 25 2021 — To celebrate Alan Turing featuring on the new £50 banknote, GCHQ has created their hardest puzzle ever in his honour. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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“This is only a foretaste of what is to come and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

Alan Turing — Interview to The Times newspaper on 11 June 1949.

Alan Turing was a mathematician, cryptographer and pioneer of computer science who possessed one of the greatest brains of the 20th century.

His life was one of secret triumphs shadowed by public tragedy. It has been estimated that his work shortened the war in Europe by more than two years and saved over fourteen million lives.

The Turing Challenge

The Turing Challenge requires you to solve a string of puzzles which get increasingly difficult. Crack the answers to the first 11 puzzles which should give you 11 single words or names which you’ll need your very own Enigma simulator to decode! Ready?

Puzzle #1

The questions begin with a relatively straightforward crossword-style puzzle that starts by asking where GCHQ’s predecessor agency, where Turing worked, was based during the second world war. A two-word answer, nine letters then four, is required.

The stylistic 8s in the pattern above the bank building on the front of the note refer to Hut 8, one of the sections of GC&CS. Hence the importance of the 8th column below!

The answers to these questions are quite obvious but the result for the 8th column is already puzzling!

Stay tuned!

REFERENCES

Alan Turing — a short biography by Andrew Hodges

The Turing Challenge — GCHQ

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GCHQ — Play the TURING Challenge! [Puzzle #1]

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