Could you have been a codebreaker at Bletchley Park?

The Daily Telegraph’s cryptic crossword on January 13 1942 played a crucial role in helping the Allies win the Second World War. If you can solve it in 12 minutes, you could have helped crack the Enigma code.

You can read all about it, and have a go at the puzzle yourself, here.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

13 Comments

  1. Werm
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    No :-) But a good article, I will persevere over the weekend

  2. Expat Chris
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    If you choose the print option for the article, you just get the text, not the crossword. I had to play around a bit and select “save picture as” to get a print-out of just the crossword grid and the clues. I may have been doing it the hard way, but I managed it and now have a PDF that I’m saving for tomorrow.

    • Jane
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Good luck Chris – I couldn’t have got there in 12 hours, never mind 12 minutes! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  3. Hanni
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Without Ximenean rules it’s chaotic. Is it a quick clue? Is it an anagram…hidden….what? I tied myself up trying this. Kudos to anyone who can solve that! Let alone as quickly as the future code breakers did then. It would be interesting to see this one blogged!

  4. JohnY
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I got about half a dozen answers (one wrong) before admitting defeat and looking at the answers. I would never have got close! Surely 19d has to be thumb-nail.
    What I want to know is how many difficulty stars BD gave it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

    • Posted October 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Let’s just say I would not have qualified as a codebreaker!

      • JohnY
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Crikey! We would be relying on you if the “trouble” starts again.

        • Hanni
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. I am fully aware of my croswwording limitations, although having read and commentated on this blog for a month my skills have improved enormously. However I did sort of think BD could be a modern day cryptographer. That is a compliment. On a side note I have finally solved it.

          • Jane
            Posted October 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            I guess that means our only hope of salvation could rest with CS. Maybe she’ll let us know whether she beat the 12 mns. deadline. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

            • Hanni
              Posted October 12, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

              I have to admit quite a few of my answers were absolute bung it in and hope, really hope. Hey ho.

  5. Expat Chris
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    A very strange puzzle indeed. Bit of a hodge-podge. I can’t say I enjoyed it much. It was more a battle of wills.

    I had three (or so I thought) left in the SE corner, having put clanging in for 20 down. So, with a T and N in 23A, I had what I thought was a Eureka moment…Tinny! Knowing that Tin is slang for cash, I googled Tinny and sure enough it’s an old Australian word for money. I was so confident that was right, but 21D then proved impossible, as did 24A. At that point, I gave in and checked the answers. I had 20D wrong, but though I think the correct answer would probably have given me 31A. I would never have got 24A (though I’ve heard of Mary of that family) and definitely not got 21D, though it does make sense if you know the origin of fortnight.

  6. jackkt
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Has anyone attempted to blog this? It would be interesting to find out how some of the clues are supposed to work

    • Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Perhaps someone would like to volunteer.