Spy bosses at GCHQ release a new puzzle book for children – but do YOU have what it takes to solve their puzzle?
- Spy bosses at GCHQ have released a new fruit bowl puzzle for budding spy kids
- You have to color the fruit bowl using only four colors, but there’s a catch
- You should have a green pear, a red apple, an orange orange and a yellow banana
- But two shapes that touch can’t have the same color, can you break it?
The spy bosses of GCHQ have released a new riddle book for children – but do YOU have what it takes to solve their puzzle?
It seems simple, you have to color the fruit bowl using only four colors, so that the pear is green, the orange is orange, the apple is red and the banana is yellow.
However, two shapes touching each other cannot have the same color, which will really test your thinking skills.
So can you crack the code?
Can you color the bowl of fruit above using only four colors so that the pear is green, the orange is orange, the apple is red, the banana is yellow and there are no two touching shapes of the same color?
The puzzle is an example of the lateral thinking, ingenuity and perseverance required of those who work at GCHQ in all of its missions to keep the country safe.
It illustrates the four color theorem, a theory from 1852 which suggests that no more than four colors are needed to color an image so that no shape in contact has the same color.
It wasn’t proven until over a hundred years later, when it became the first major theorem to be proven using a computer.
The Fruit Bowl Test is one of many in a new book released today called Puzzles for Spies, the first children’s puzzle book from the intelligence, cybersecurity and security agency.
The puzzle is an example of the lateral thinking, ingenuity and perseverance needed by those working at GCHQ (pictured) in its missions to keep the country safe
The book focuses on languages, engineering, decryption, analysis, coding, math and cybersecurity – all key spy skills.
GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming said that after “utterly baffling the adults” they had decided to create a puzzle book specifically for children.
Colin, whose unofficial title at GCHQ is ‘Chief Puzzler’, said: “You don’t have to be a quiz champ – or even top of the class – to work at GCHQ. You just need to have an interest in understanding things and an infectious curiosity, which is why so many of us love puzzles.
The Government Communications headquarters base in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, is known as ‘The Donut’ because of its shape.
‘The Donut’: the base of the Government Communications Headquarters in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
“We don’t spend all our time putting together puzzles and completing crossword puzzles – but creating and solving puzzles in our spare time requires the same skills that our teams use to solve new problems in different and inventive ways to help protect the nation.. It’s also a lot of fun!
GCHQ protects the UK and its citizens, provides security for deployed forces and helps law enforcement to prevent terrorist activity and serious and organized crime.
The agency identifies cyber espionage activities targeting UK industry and individuals, and collects intelligence to better understand new and emerging threats.
It also strives to protect current systems, communications and electronic data.
INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: LINGUISTS, MATHEMATICIANS AND DONUTS
GCHQ was established secretly in 1952 as an intelligence and security organization working closely with other agencies including MI5 and MI6.
His £1.1billion base at Cheltenham is nicknamed The Donut because of his shape.
The extraordinary structure is the size of the old Wembley Stadium.
GCHQ’s electronic surveillance network of satellites and ground stations spans all regions of the globe, listening in on military, commercial and diplomatic communications, and its renowned intelligence-gathering expertise is considered a key weapon in the war against terrorism.
That’s a far cry from what was once known as the Government Code and Cipher School, founded in 1919 with just 25 cryptologists and 30 support staff.
Their secret base was then at Bletchley Park, a mansion in Buckinghamshire where the British secret service created Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer.