The GCHQ Puzzle Book (2016)
Section 1: Starter Puzzles
Individual clues to the puzzles in this section can be found here.
1. The early bird
What can be African, Emperor, Little or Macaroni?
2. Replace the stars
What is missing: Picture Menace, Khan Clones, * *, Home Hope, Frontier Back.
3. Calendar foods
If we eat Fish on St David’s Day, Crab on US Independence Day and Goat on Christmas Day, what do we eat on Halloween?
4. Don’t be hasty
(a) What is a 100th of a dollar called?
(b) Which county is known as the garden of England?
(c) What is the period of fasting that precedes Easter called?
(d) What has types including Bell, Frame and Oxygen?
What links these answers – and which author created these creatures?
This limerick has a different 5-letter word missing from each line. What are the missing words? The words form a 5×5 square.
A man from the East, name of -----,
Would -----give people red roses,
But he had an odd -----,
A strange -----glare,
Which is why they would -----, one supposes.
6. Where next?
What follows Vienna, Brussels, Prague, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki, Athens, ?
(a) Which canoe, created by the Inuit, is propelled by a double-bladed paddle?
(b) Which note is equivalent to two crotchets?
(c) What is another name for midday?
(d) According to the Bible, what was the name of the first woman?
(e) What do you call a female sheep?
How would you ‘refer’ to these answers?
8. Concealed animal
Here is a list of animals. But which other animal is hiding?
RACCOON, PARROT, LEMMING, KOOKABURRA, AARDVARK, LINNET, OTTER
9. Chromatic separation
The following list has been divided into three sets, in three different ways, according to simple rules. What is the rule in each case?
i. acdfi / beghj
ii. bdghj / acefi
iii. acdei / bfghj
10. What is polite?
If 1000110 is MINGLE and 1000110001100 is APE, what string of digits is POLITE?
11. When, how, what?
(a) In which year will the Olympics be held in Tokyo for the second time?
(b) How is perfect vision described?
(c) What is the shortest form of international cricket?
12. Odd words out
Find the odd word out in each of the following lists:
(a) ARM, ELECTRIC, LEAGUE, PUSH, ROCKING, VICE, WHEEL
(b) ART, DOG, FREE, HALFWAY, PUBLIC, PUBLISHING, ROSE
(c) DANCE, GLASS, GROUND, OCEAN, SECOND, SHOP, TRADING
13. A round of drinks
What could follow Mojito, Eggnog, Riesling, Lemonade, Ouzo, ?
(a) Which Carla Lane sitcom concerned the Boswell family and their attempts to keep solvent?
(b) What was the surname of the British Prime Minister from 2007-2010?
(c) The institution which produces British coins is called the Royal … what?
(d) Which fruit has varieties beef, cherry and plum, and is normally served as a vegetable?
(e) Which county was merged with Herefordshire in 1998?
What connects these answers?
15. Letter sequence I
What is the next entry in each of the following sequences?
(a) M, V, E, M, J, S, U, ?
(b) E, Z, D, V, F, S, S, A, N, Z, ?
16. Missing and not missing
Eric, Graham, John, Michael, Terry. Which name is both missing and not missing?
(a) What does UV stand for?
(b) Which Duke Ellington jazz standard has also been recorded by Annie Lennox and Nina Simone?
(c) Which boy band represented the UK in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest?
(d) Which piece of music is believed to have been written by Henry VIII?
(e) In which US national park is Old Faithful?
(f) What do the bells of St Clements say?
(g) Which horse won the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977?
What might you find at the end?
18. Friends in other countries
Gary has friends in countries all around the world including Argentina, Denmark, Russia, Sudan and the United States. Which country is Gary in?
19. Red and Black
If Broken/Purple and Rough/Baseball are red, and Sam/Garden and Golf/Fight are black, how many are in each?
If India=1, Victor=5, X-Ray=10, Lima=50, Charlie=100, Delta=500, who=1000?
21. Composing a sequence
What is the final entry in this sequence?
Brahms’s 1st, Elgar’s 1st, Mahler’s 5th, Schubert’s 8th, Schumann’s 3rd, Borodin’s 2nd, Shostakovitch’s 9th, Bruckner’s 7th, Beethoven’s?
22. A question to put you to sleep
Find a whole number which when spelled out has its letters in alphabetical order.
What links: D, X, 4th, Y
The answers to these questions come in pairs where each pair differs only in their first letter. Work out the pairs. The pronunciation may not always be the same.
1. One half of a titular TV sitcom couple.
2. British budget clothing and homeware retailer.
3. Type of hat.
4. One of the Channel Islands.
5. River that passes through northern English city.
6. TV space alien.
7. Capital of country with a coastline on the Persian Gulf.
8. Surname of an England football captain.
9. An Irish county.
10. An English city that is a county town.
11. One of the official languages of the fourth largest country in Europe.
12. District of South East London.
25. Who looked out?
SQUAW, SCAMP, ASTER, BASIN, HALLO, CLOTH, RATIO, PARSE, HEARS, CARES, GRAVE, CHORE, ASSES
26. Missing word
What word is missing: AAGKN, ABBIRT, EEEORY, EGGIRT, EGILPT, LOW, OOR
27. Numerical sequences
(a) A, C, F, J, O, ?
(b) A, B, D, H, ?
(c) B, C, E, G, K, M, Q, S, ?
28. Replace the ?
There are at least 20 children in Fred’s class. 19 of them learn German and 4 learn French. 8 of them play football, 12 play hockey and 4 play squash. Fred lives at number 18 Bunyard Street in a house with a red door. It takes Fred ? hours to mow a 1 acre field.
29. Odd one out
Which is the odd one out: FIRM, HELM, SOAK, WASH
30. Fill in the blanks
Fill in the blanks: ? was a rolling stone, ? beach, ? California, ? in the jar, ? and ?
31. Olympic sports
Which Olympic sport completes the following sequences? (Some may have more than one possible answer):
(a) BASKETBALL, WATER POLO, FOOTBALL, BEACH VOLLEYBALL, VOLLEYBALL, HANDBALL, FIELD HOCKEY, TENNIS, GOLF, ?
(b) SYNCHRONIZED DIVING, MEN’S TEAM SPRINT, BASKETBALL, HANDBALL, ?
(c) ARCHERY, TRIATHLON, HANDBALL, LUGE, EQUESTRIANISM, TAEKWONDO, ICE-HOCKEY, CURLING, ?
Whose works include:
(a) OT, ACC, TOCS, ATOTC
(b) ASIS, TSOF, THOTB, TVOF
(c) S, VB, DAF, AHOD
Black × (Pink + Blue + Brown + Green + Yellow + Red) = ?
34. Which word?
The following list of words can be divided into two sets, of equal size, on the basis of another word:
What is the other word?
35. Stupid riddle
My first is in FIRST, but not in ONE.
My second is in SECOND, but not in TWO.
My third is in THIRD, but not in THREE.
My fourth is in FOURTH, but not in FOUR.
My fifth is in FIFTH, but not in FIVE.
Important note: The Whole describes the puzzle setter, because he forgot about the O in FOUR.
If 355 equates to 524, and 1235 to 2521, what does 850 equate to?
37. The magic words
What four words come before all the following: 1. PS, 2. COS, 3. POA, 4. GOF, 5. OOTP, 6. H-BP, 7. DH
38. Musical plant?
Musically, what kind of plant is usually seen in two forms:
Single – most often for C and S
Double – most often for B and O
39. How many people?
If 1 person can be considered LONELY, but 2 people are a NETWORK, how many do you need for them to become THREATENING?
Apart from being names, what do the following have in common:
ALICE, CICELY, ELAINE, ESTHER, JANE, JASON, MARIAN, NORMA, RONALD
41. Shopping list
Tidying up the other day I came across an old shopping list that I wrote out for a friend who was poorly last Christmas. What was his name?
42. Premier locations
If C=SB, CP=SP, E=GP, MU=OT and TH=WHL, what does L=?
43. What links?
(a) What sort of plating replaced nickel electroplating in car manufacturing?
(b) The lead guitarist of U2 is known as The … what?
(c) What kind of performance is staged at La Scala?
(d) What word derives from a Swahili word meaning ‘journey’ but is now more commonly used to mean a wildlife-viewing trip?
How are these answers linked?
44. Next country
Which is the only country which can come next in this sequence:
Cyprus, Sweden, Morocco, ?
45. Missing body parts
Some body parts have been removed from the following words
(e.g. el*sis = elLIPsis):
46. Question time
(a) M, W, F, S, T, T, ?
(b) WR, SG, SR, ?
(c) …, J, A, S, O, N, ?
(d) If 7 + 8 = 3 and 10 + 9 = 7, what is 11 + 2?
47. Metro access
(a) Red admiral
(b) Uncouth president
(c) Real bacon
(d) Synthetic cream
(e) Gilded rhombus
48. What word could complete:
What word could complete:
MORNING, NEAR, CHLORINE, TUXEDO, EXAMPLE, EFFECTS, CENTRE, COMPUTERY, AUSTRALIA, POSTSCRIPT, NAVY, BRITAIN, ?
49. Game scores
If Monopoly scores 15 and Cluedo scores 9, which board game scores 14?
50. Where next?
1 2 6
4 5 9
3 7 8
Where does 10 go and why?
51. Can you?
If you can dramatise: unwills, foliate, gumshoe, weakest, respect, scaredy
(a) illustrate: comical, echelon, spangle, ocelots
(b) calculate: impiety, current, inferno, Sumatra
52. Odd one out
Which is the odd one out: Romeo, Two Zero, Brown, Force, Liverpool
53. What’s next?
If 3=T, 4=S, 5=P, 6=H, 7=H, what is 8?
54. Go looking
Suggest a name for number 3:
55. Two words
The following 18 words fall into two sets of nine, according to two other words:
DAM, DRONE, INLAND, INTER, KING, LACE, LADY, LICE, LINGER, NICKED, RENTAL, ROLE, SON, STIFF, STING, TINS, USED, WING
What are the two words?
If Study ↔ Kitchen, then Conservatory ↔?
57. For the ears
What links the following, and where might you find them all together:
Ear, Champagne, Shoe, Bermuda, Ear – and Super
58. Find N
In the following, ‘N’ sometimes represents two words. What are they?
N is W of S
S is N of E
E is E of N
W is W of E
59. Odd one out
Which of the following words is the odd one out?
CHAT, COMMENT, DIRE, ELF, FORT, MANGER, PAIN, POUR
60. Age-old question
In 2011, members of the Riemann family were aged 11, 13, 41 and 47. Which year will be the next to be quite so special for them?
This is a maze. The start is the T in the 8th position on the top row. But which letter represents the ‘centre’ of the maze?
62. One way or another
Solve these one-dimensional anagrams: Salty Sherry, Rain on Hall, Alpine Yam, A Lazy Mink, I Insult Solomon
If Hart = 1, Ought = 2, Twee = 3, Bake = 4 and 6, then what number is Coy?
64. Arrange the pieces in alphabetical order:
ARCH, FROGS, PLAN, WEE
What are the top 3 letters in the triangle?
66. Off the rails
What’s the final member of this sequence: Central, Circle, District, Bakerloo, Piccadilly, Hammersmith and City, ?
67. Three sets
Arrange the following into 3 sets:
g. JACKSON (MICHAEL)
h. JACKSON (MILT)
68. Spot the link
What links: a Golf course, Website navigation, Deodorant, Nintendo characters, and a Cat.