The Turing Challenge and the Bank of England’s Tweets
Alan Turing is depicted on the new British 50-pound banknote. To mark the occasion, the Bank of England and the GCHQ intelligence service have published several puzzles.
Two weeks ago, I blogged about an encrypted tweet from the Bank of England:
The Alan Turing bill
Blog reader Doc Cool found the solution. It is a message written in eight-bit ASCII code with the following wording:
The new 50 pound note is coming!!
Doc Cool also found out: The hashtag #010000100111101000101 is not divided into groups of eight, but when read as an eight-bit ASCII code it also makes sense and becomes “BOE”. This probably stands for “Bank Of England”.
Thus, the purpose of the tweet was also clear: The Bank of England announced a new 50-pound banknote. This did not come as a complete surprise because it has already been known since 2019 that there will be such a new banknote – with Alan Turing as the motif. I blogged about it at the time.
Since Alan Turing played an important role in the history of cryptology, it stands to reason that the Bank of England would announce the appearance of this banknote with a crypto riddle. The bill itself also features a sequence of zeros and ones:
Any readers know what this means?
Meanwhile, another coded tweet from the Bank of England has appeared:
Does anyone know the solution?
The Turing Challenge
Blog reader Ralf Bülow pointed out to me yesterday that the British security agency GCHQ, together with the Bank of England, has now published a whole series of puzzles on the new 50 pound note – under the title “Turing Challenge”.
The first challenge in this series is a kind of crossword puzzle and should not be too challenging for most readers of this blog. Among other things, the challenge is to guess the place where Turing was active during World War II. Hint: The abbreviation of this place name is reminiscent of a British petroleum company.
The second puzzle looks like a coded message:
Can any reader solve the puzzle? If anyone knows more about the Turing Challenge and the 12 puzzles or how to solve them, I would appreciate a comment.