Can you crack GCHQ's code-breaker challenge?

To coincide with Radio 4’s GCHQ: Minority Report documentary, we asked the intelligence agency to set our listeners a code-cracking challenge. Here’s what the Puzzle Masters came up with…

You need to approach any puzzle in the right mindset – in other words, you need to think like a Government Communications HQ puzzle setter. So, for example, when looking at a bunch of seemingly random words, could they be converted into numbers or another language? Also look for common links and patterns.

Here’s a note from GCHQ Puzzle Master Daniel:

“It’s definitely a tricky one. We’ve rated it as a four out of six on our Enigma Rotor Scale of Difficulty. So don’t expect to crack it straight away. It will take plenty of brain power. Even better, I’d recommend putting the kettle on and getting a bunch of your friends, family or work colleagues together to bring some collective thought to the problem. Good luck!”

CLUE: The key to unlocking the puzzle is identifying Samuel, Louis and Ludwik. There are links between them!

Click here for a pdf download of the puzzle for you to print off.

So do you think you've cracked the code correctly? Find the answer by following this link.

In the meantime, you can join the social media conversation on the GCHQ code-breaker challenge using hashtag #GCHQpuzzlebook.

Further listening and reading on GCHQ and code-breaking