Last Christmas, GCHQ – the codebreaking department of the UK government – released a puzzle in the director’s Christmas card. The puzzle was a nonogram, also known as a picross and it received widespread media attention, as it was called “the world’s hardest puzzle”. Read up on it here.
Some of the best codebreakers at GCHQ have been working hard to create this year’s puzzle, as it was released in conjunction with a GCHQ puzzle book.
The first stage of the puzzle starts with the image below – a Sudoku puzzle adapted to contain 9 letters instead of numbers and a grid of famous faces. If you get stuck on the below puzzle, check this
Reddit sub for some clues. Solve the two puzzles to unlock a website address and proceed to the next stage of the competition.
In addition, the GCHQ puzzle book is a necessary companion to the competition and contains “ciphers and substitution codes, tests of numeracy and literacy as well as picture and music challenges.” – GCHQ.
Plus HRH Duchess of Cambridge – Kate Middleton, wrote the foreword to the book and reveals her grandmother worked at Bletchley Park during World War II. Sales of GCHQ’s puzzle book will go to a mental health charity set up by Kate, William and Harry.
Get codebreaking ASAP as this year’s competition closes on February 28th 2017.
//Other Escape Room News
– Endgame: The third and final book in the Endgame series is being released on December 27th 2016.
As it stands, no one has yet claimed the prize money for the second novel, Sky Key.
– Captain America (Chris Evans) has released a competition to raise funds for charity. If you are the lucky winner, you and three friends will get flown to Boston in the US to play an escape room with him. It’s $10 USD for 100 competition entries and more information can be found on the omaze website.