The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has released its annual Christmas card, which features what the organisation calls its “most fiendish puzzle yet.”
The card, sent out by GCHQ Director Jeremey Fleming to GCHQ colleagues and partners around the world, is also available to the public who fancy trying out their problem solving skills.
A GCHQ spokesperson said, “Problem solving is at the heart of what we do.
“Taking on this Christmas cracker gives puzzlers an insight into the skills you need to be a GCHQ analyst.
“Bring together a mix of minds by sharing it with the wise men and women in your household to find the solution.”
In order to solve the puzzle, you’ll need to complete a number of “incomplete letter sequences before plotting your answers on a special Christmas bauble to reveal a hidden message.”
The instructions say, “Complete the following nine sequences and plot your single letter answers in the corresponding golden nodes on the bauble.
“Follow the flow of the arrows from somewhere frosty to unlock a message.”
The sequences are as follows:
Do you think you’ve got the answer?
Many people on Twitter appeared to be struggling with the puzzle.
One person wrote, “Sent this to my dad who, to me, is the smartest man in the world (BSc in Chemistry) and he is still struggling. I gave up after ten seconds!”
Another tweeted, “This is too taxing for me I’m afraid! I got four out of the nine sequences, I think. But that’s it. Have a good Christmas!”
“I’ve got seven but can’t get the other two. Driving me nuts!” Wrote another.