Operation Bletchley

A series of puzzle and code challenges that leads to a secret message.

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In 2022, we created the puzzles for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity’s Operation Bletchley, a biannual codebreaking challenge set in WW2, in which participants walk a distance over the course of a month, receiving puzzles to crack at set intervals. Each of nine puzzle challenges generates a solution word, which together help solvers complete the 10th challenge – to reveal a secret message that must be delivered to Winston Churchill before time runs out.

There are three levels of puzzle challenges – junior, code-breaker and cypher expert – so that everyone is able to take part, plus the one-off Super Cypher.

Our challenges used familiar puzzles such as Wordsearch, Codeword and Killer Sudoku, adding extra elements that would lead to a solution word. Wordplay featured in the form of cryptic crossword clues, anagrams and riddles. To complement the Bletchley theme, challenges also utilised Morse Code, Braille, the Greek alphabet, plus well-known codes and cyphers such as shift cypher codes, pigpen cypher and Caesar cypher.


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