Could you be a secret agent? See if you can crack these GCHQ brainteasers

GCHQ has previously included brainteasers in its creative recruitment campaigns
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)


If you're stuck for something to do this bank holiday weekend, why not see if you've got the smarts to be a secret agent?

GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), the UK's intelligence, security and cyber agency, works alongside MI5 and MI6 to keep the country safe by gathering intelligence and conducting operations which protect national security. While staff can't share most of what they get up to in their day job, they are well-known for devising particularly tricky puzzles for the public to take a stab at.

The GCHQ website explains: "In order to keep up with the ever-changing environment we work and live in, and to protect it effectively, we need to have the right mix of minds approaching every single problem that comes our way using the best methods possible. This does not just happen."

The agency adds: "We need to adapt and innovate constantly. Through the design, creation and solving of puzzles, our teams are able to constantly develop their skills in thinking differently and discover new and inventive ways of approaching problems."

GCHQ designs its puzzles to attract the country's top problem solvers, and some of its brainteasers have previously featured in its recruitment campaigns. We have combed through the GCHQ puzzle archives to pick out seven of the biggest head-scratchers for you to take a look at - so if you manage to crack them all, you might just be cut out for a top-secret new career.

Have a go at the puzzles in the quiz below and let us know how you did in the comments - the solutions can be found be clicking on any of the multiple-choice answers. If you're struggling, GCHQ has some handy hints and tips for how to approach its fiendish brainteasers.