The GCHQ Christmas Challenge 13122021 CREDIT GCHQ Twitter
GCHQ is encouraging the public to test their skills with its new Christmas Challenge (Picture: GCHQ/Twitter).
Fun

GCHQ sets Christmas challenge with a twist - can you solve the puzzles?

UK's intelligence agency has set a series of brainteasers for secondary schools up and down the UK, but everyone can get involved.

The GCHQ Christmas Challenge 13122021 CREDIT GCHQ Twitter
GCHQ is encouraging the public to test their skills with its new Christmas Challenge (Picture: GCHQ/Twitter).

The UK Government's intelligence, cyber and security agency – GCHQ – has set a "crucial" Christmas challenge.

GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming revealed this year's official Christmas card contained not only the customary festive brainteaser but also seven 'fiendish' puzzles that have been specially designed for 11 to 18-year-olds.

The agency is encouraging everyone to test their skills and see if they can complete the challenge.

Sir Jeremy said: "From Enigma to modern-day encryption, GCHQ's history is full of talented people tackling the country's most complex challenges.

"If we're to help keep the country safe, problem-solving skills and teamwork are absolutely crucial."

This year's Christmas puzzles are aimed at young people, and the GCHQ director is "keen to encourage STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), thinking differently, and help foster the next generation of talent".

The director's Christmas card, traditionally sent to National Security colleagues and partners, is this year aimed at showing "young people that thinking differently is a gift". 

Sir Jeremy added: "It is only with a mix of minds that they can solve seemingly impossible problems, just like we do at GCHQ."