Answers to the 2011 GCHQ Challenge This describes how you might solve the whole GCHQ Challenge

if you are really very good at puzzles. In practice, most people will go backwards and forwards a lot more (several puzzles use things from earlier ones, and this can sometimes give hints to previous puzzles on which you have been stuck). Some of the puzzles were invented entirely for the Challenge, but others were based on existing puzzles. We won’t give explanations of how to solve common puzzles – there’s plenty of guidance on the Internet. When you first look at the Challenge, although it’s obvious that there are lots of puzzles, it’s not at all clear how you should begin. The best thing to do is probably to dive straight in and hope things become clearer.

but it’s not obvious what we should do with them. Anagramming “oriental” gives “relation” – which is obviously a family member. . Looking at the first. but if not it’ll become clear later. we might think that “from the east” means “oriental”.Part One The first puzzle is called Anagrammatic Pairs and consists of 6 sentences. If you look closely you might notice something. So that’s how it works! Doing the same for each of the other sentences (some of which are not as obvious) yields: From the east comes a family member Oriental Relation Smooth peaches have briefness Nectarine Transience Grave messages are the most cheerful Epitaphs Happiest To disturb leads to being peaceful Fluster Restful Excessive suaveness causes omissions Oiliness Elisions Being dismounted results in preparation for burial Unhorsed Enshroud So we’ve got 12 rather odd words in 6 pairs.

So let’s move on to the next puzzle. If you look for more information about this canal it turns out that all the bridges on the canal are numbered. but is actually George Orwell (real name Eric Blair) and his “Road to Wigan Pier”. But if you do an Internet search on ‘Titus’ and ‘World Heritage’ you’ll find out about Saltaire. That looks like we know how to solve it. and that Saltaire is at bridge 207A and Wigan Pier is between bridges 50 and 51. But the question is posed entirely in terms of just the numbers. Where am I? This appears utterly incomprehensible at first glance. Blair’s Road could be “A Journey” (which hadn’t been published when this puzzle was written). Perhaps the answer is 189. and the full answer is as follows: If Paul Weller is recording at 2A Stanley Road Changeline Bridge No 2A molesworths friend (his pater is a general) is at 40 Gillibrand Bridge No 40 Blair's road finishes between 50 and 51 Wigan Pier is between Seven Stars Bridge No 50 & Pottery Changeline Bridge No 51 a great physicist is at 164 Newton Bridge No 164 an adjacent equine is at 180 Horse Close Bridge No 180 200 is 2 more than 201 Five Rise Locks Swing Bridge No 200 and Three Rise Locks Swing Bridge No 201 Titus' world heritage site is at 207A Saltaire Bridge No 207A where is Lanehouse (it moves)? Lanehouse Swing Bridge is Bridge 189 So the answer is Lanehouse Swing Bridge No 189. . Wigan Pier is also on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. a model village on the River Aire and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Looking at the grid we find a few obvious words – GODEL running across at the right hand end and TWOWAY running down. frieze and cornice” that finishes the “recipe”. So the definitions appear to be in order.Let’s move on to the Wordsearch. newt yeti earth graith godel architrave. frieze and cornice. We noticed earlier that the answer to the second puzzle might be a three digit number as well.” entablature And the answer is: P H A R A O H R J K D E S M F M G J Z L L C D W X I Y Y T M Y E O T L R A D K C U A T T W C L B I G G E S T I M B T Z K V G J P Z A L T J P A B H F S I M R N W N B H I N T E R I M F Z D E K V W Q T N N N Z E I N I S W E L E J E Y D C Q P N Y S B T W O W A Y R H D E C C Q T S G Y C P T H H O C J I E Q Q H T I A R G Z D U Y P R A F O T V S T V O R B S O Y Y W B F R U X D V D K S M U L P C T W A U O E O E O O Q X K H M P W E R U T A L B A T N E G H Standing back a few feet. That is the “architrave. 189 and 429. We seem to have discovered that each puzzle gives us a three digit number. Trying to match these with the clue they are presumably the “mathematician” and “bidirectional”. but what about the first puzzle? Look at the initial letters of the words and you’ll see they spell out: ONE FOUR THREE. finely chop temporary bidirectional bleach biggest pharaoh mince interim twoway amphibian apeman. That’s our final three digit number. and hunting out an obscure Scottish word for “equipment” we end up with the recipe translated as follows: “Whiten largest Egyptian ruler. So the answers to Part One are: 143. we can see that this is just a big three digit number – 429. but it’s a good start! . Knowing all that. ground (scottish equipment) mathematician. There are a few letters crossing at the end of GODEL that look a bit word-like and turn out to be ENTABLATURE running upwards. We don’t know what to do with the numbers yet. This sounds promising.

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