It is said that only the sharpest minds can solve this Christmas brainteaser set by real UK spies.
Released as part of GCHQ’s 2023 Christmas card and sent to friends and family of those working for the British intelligence agency, the puzzle has been posted out to schools across the UK to test pupils’ problem-solving skills.
Once the brainteaser has been solved, a festive message will be revealed, but so far the answer has not been revealed.
Hints will be posted on GCHQ’s social media channels today with people invited to join in across the country.
The instructions are included below.
Even GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming sent the card and puzzle to his contacts around the world.
A GCHQ spokesman said: “The card is sent to partners in the UK and around the world who work with the intelligence, cyber and security agency to counter threats, including hostile state activity, terror groups and organised crime gangs.
“Secondary school classes across the country will need to work as a team to crack the Christmas challenge, featuring seven fiendish puzzles.
“The puzzles are based on the seven disciplines of: languages, engineering, codebreaking, analysis, maths, coding and cyber security – all key skills needed at GCHQ to help keep the country safe.
“But this year’s challenge comes with a twist, once they solve all seven puzzles, schoolchildren will need to think outside the box, using the design on the front of the card to assemble the answers, forming three separate What3Words locations.
“Joining the three place names together will reveal the special festive answer.”
Will you be able to spot all of the differences? While you are waiting for the answers, why not check out some more puzzles.