GCHQ Competition 2016/2017
Message from GCHQ
A tie-breaker has been issued to the finalists. The winner will be revealed in due course....
Answers from GCHQ will be published
here when they become available.
Competition Closed: Tuesday 28th February 2017
Competitors Emailed: Tuesday 28th March 2017
Winner Announced on: Thursday 13th July 2017
Questions Part 1,2 & 3
Click on puzzle for larger image
Answer Part 1
Convert Letters into Numbers
Enter the numbers in any Sudoku Solver.
The solved Sudoku Puzzle
Convert back to Letters
Reading the letters in order following the penguins foot prints
SEE MESSAGE IN PENGUINS
Answer Part 2
Identify the following people
Christian names are given in alphabetical order.
Surnames also use every letter of the alphabet.
Missing person: Zachary Quinto
2. Bette Davis
3. Chiwetel Ejiofor
4. Danny Kaye
5. Emile Zola
6. Flora Robson
7. Goran Ivanisevic
8. Heath Ledger
9. Imelda Marcos
11. Kate Humble
12. Luther Vandross
13. Malcolm X
14. Natalie Wood
15. Oliver Phelps
16. Peter Ustinov
17. Quentin Tarantino
18. Richard Gere
19. Susan Sarandon
20. Thom Yorke
21. Ursula Andress
22. Vince Cable
23. Willie Nelson
24. Xander Berkeley
25. Yvette Fielding
26. Zachary Quinto
Answer Part 3
Message in Penguins
Message Hidden in the Penguins
THE PAGES INSIDE THE COVERS OF A BOOK
ARE REFERRED TO AS ENDPAPERS EVEN
THE ONES AT THE FRONT
You will need to purchase the book to
solve the Cipher printed inside the books
Front & Rear Cover (Endpapers)
All profits from the sale of The GCHQ Puzzle Book will go
to Heads Together, the Mental Health Charity set up by
the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
GCHQ Endpapers Cipher
Front Inside Cover Cipher
How to solve the Front Inside Cover Cipher
Looking at each letter in turn from top left to bottom left (1st column) the V at 90 degrees, for every 45 degrees move the letter back -1 (Caesar Shift Cipher) in the alphabet. The V at 90 degrees means moving the letter back -2 in the alphabet.
Therefore V -2 = T, V -7 = O, E -0 = E & S -5 = N
Note: Check the orientation of the letter, in particular H, I, N, O, S, X & Z
Take your degree reading from the top of each letter.
V at 90 Degrees = -2, from V -2 = T
V at 315 Degrees = -7, from V -7 = O
E at 360 Degrees = 0, from E -0 = E
S at 225 Degrees = -5, from S -5 = N
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Front Cover Cipher Decoded
TO ENTER THE COMPETITION GO TO THE WEB PAGE WWW DOT GCHQPUZZLEBOOK DOT CO DOT UK SLASH EGATSTXENEHT AND ENTER THE APPRORIATE PASSWORD STOP THIS WILL ALLOW YOU TO ACCESS SOME ADDITIONAL PUZZLES STOP THE PASSWORD MUST FIRST BE ENCODED USING A SIMPLE SADSYMYAYPW CIPHER STOP BEST WISHES FROM GCHQ STOP
Enter SADSYMYAYMPW in Cryptogram Solver
Select Dictionary: British English (Medium) from the drop down
Click Solve The Cryptogram
SADSYMYAYMPW = SUBSTITUTING
EGATSTXENEHT = Next URL Address
Read from right to left: THE NEXT STAGE
Rear Inside Cover Cipher
How to solve the Rear Inside Cover Cipher
Using Semaphore Alphabet select the 1st letter in the rear cover cipher B (at 45 degrees), look at the semaphore flag for the letter B and then rotate clockwise by +1 (45 degrees). Now read the letter the flags correspond to, in this case the letter I.
B at 45 Degrees = +1, rotate flag B 45 Degrees Clockwise = I
U at 180 Degrees = +4, rotate flag U 180 Degrees Clockwise = N
H at 45 Degrees = +1, rotate flag H 45 Degrees Clockwise = O
D at 270 Degrees = +6, rotate flag D 270 Degrees Clockwise = R
Rear Cover Cipher Decoded
IN ORDER TO CONSTRUCT THE REQUIRED TWENTY FOUR CHARACTER PASSWORD YOU MUST CONCATENATE TOGETHER THREE EIGHT LETTER WORDS STOP THE FIRST WORD IS THE SOLUTION TO THE META PUZZLE STOP THE SECOND WORD IS TAKEN FROM THE SUDOKU MESSAGE STOP THE THIRD WORD IS TAKEN FROM THE PENGUIN MESSAGE STOP
GCHQ Meta Puzzle (Puzzle Hunt)
Puzzle Hunt Answers
1. CASINO ROYALE
6. YOUR NUMBER'S UP
Meta Puzzle Questions & Answers
Which letters contain the letter O twice?
1 & 4 (CASINO ROYALE & MICRODOT)
Which answers have no letters in common with GEEK?
4 & 7 (MICRODOT & FLATLAND)
Which answers contain the bigram AT?
2 & 7 (HEAT & FLATLAND)
Which answers begin with the same letter?
2 & 5 (HEAT & HRUNTING)
Which answers contain an R in the 2nd Position?
5 & 8 (HRUNTING & DRAGONFLY)
Which answers contain an A and an N exactly once each?
3 & 8 (TANK & DRAGONFLY)
Which answers contain at least one letter not found in any other answer?
6 & 3 (YOUR NUMBER'S UP & TANK)
Which answers contain more than one word?
1 & 6 (CASINO ROYALE & YOUR NUMBER'S UP)
Mark 1 - 8 in order, starting from any point.
Draw a line between 1 & 4, 4 & 7, 2 & 7, 2 & 5, 5 & 8, 3 & 8, 6 & 3
and 1 & 6. You have now completed the OCTAGRAM.
Meta Puzzle Answer: OCTAGRAM
Three eight letter words
Twenty four character password
Remember to encode the password, using your answers from question 1 part 2 (Identify the following people)
A=J, B=D, C=E, D=K, E=Z, F=R, G=I, H=L, I=M, J=O K=H, L=V, M=X, N=W, O=P, P=U, Q=T, R=G, S=S T=Y, U=A, V=C, W=N, X=B, Y=F, Z=Q
Encoded three eight letter words
1. OCTAGRAM = PEYJIGJX
2. PENGUINS = UZWIAMWS
3. REFERRED = GZRZGGZK
Twenty four character password
GCHQ The Next Stage
The next stage URL
The real next stage is here URL
The next part of the challenge, decode message.
176 142, 176 140!
146 18, 146 19, 130 64, 139 2, 299 4, 176 55, 146 5, 142 6, 176 15.
294 1, 285 9, 189 5, 285 13, 130 21, 156 2, 135 25, 273 6, 275 5,
294 4, 83 8, 125 4, 139 9, 148 11, 144 12, 132 13, 157 6, 156 7, 161
10, 134 2, 238 16, 238 17
Take the first number 176, which is puzzle number 176 (Strictly Come Dancing) in The GCHQ Puzzle Book, then search for the 142nd word not including the title.
Puzzle 176 (Strictly Come Dancing) on page 77, 142nd word: well.
Puzzle 176 (Strictly Come Dancing) on page 77,140th word: done.
Puzzle 146 (Which number?) on page 68, 18th word: you.
Puzzle 146 (Which number?) on page 68, 19th word: have.
Last Numbers: 238 16, 238 17
Puzzle 238 (Kwiz kwestion) on page 97, 16th word: Greek.
Puzzle 238 (Kwiz kwestion) on page 97, 17th word: alphabet.
You have reached the final stage of the competition.
Now you should construct a wordbox as described in question one 5 six which contains all the letters of the Greek alphabet.
GCHQ The Final Stage
As described in question one 5 six (156)
of the GCHQ Puzzle Book
Now you should construct a wordbox as described in question 156 which contains all the letters of the Greek alphabet.
Number of words: 24
Longest word: 7 letters
Total number of letters: 100
Smallest wordbox size: 7x7=49?
My first attempt!
Angus Walker has completed a 7x7 wordbox, using all the letters of the Greek Alphabet.
Stephen Williams has completed a 6x8 wordbox.
Could it be possible for a wordbox size:
7x6=42? or 6x6=36?
The competition closing date: Tuesday 28th February 2017
Message from GCHQ on Tuesday 28th March 2017
Thank you for your GCHQ Puzzle Book competition entry. Unfortunately,
your solution was not the best answer that we received. The winner will
be revealed in due course!
The GCHQ Puzzle Book Team.
Monday 19th June 2017
I have just received a message from Mr Angus Walker....
Just thought you'd like to know that GCHQ told me last week that I'd won the competition. I haven't heard anything about what that means yet though!
Mr Walker's Wordbox