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Anorak | Signs of Intelligence

Signs of Intelligence

by | 13th, July 2004

‘HAVING studied the Government’s spending review in depth, the only code many Whitehall mandarins will be trying to solve today is how they came to be handed a P45.

‘Ever hear of a Tony Bliar, guv?’

But let’s look at that combination of letters and words again, and see if P could have some hidden meaning and 45 might point to something more sinister.

What about P = total annihilation and 45 is the number of minutes we will take to reach it? That’s one for Lord Butler and other puzzle fiends to ponder.

And here’s another puzzle in the Telegraph, where the paper has seen a test set by the Government’s intelligence communications headquarters (GCHQ) to determine who has what it takes to wear a shiny suit.

The test asks candidates to decode six passages of text, all of which have been taken from published books, including the Bible and a Sherlock Holmes mystery.

When you have cracked the code, you then have to discover the hidden six-letter word.

Budding spooks can work things out for themselves, wait until the answer is published into tomorrow’s Telegraph (somewhere in the classifieds section, we suppose) or search the web.

The test was posted on the home page of the GCHQ website just three weeks ago, and a large number of correct replies were sent in.

The number of clever respondents was initially greeted with a sense of triumph by GCHQ, until spooks monitoring internet chatter noted that the answers were doing the rounds on the web.

What this means for the intelligent services will only become clear once the current crop of recruits has been processed.

But don’t be too surprised if in the future what passes for intelligence proves to be no more than sexed-up nonsense and reports cobbled together from college theses freely available on the net.

Business as usual, then…’



Posted: 13th, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink