As I said in my earlier, rambling round the landscape, review of the GCHQPB, the questions posed are much less universal that the setters would like to imagine. Like us all, the <cliché alert!> tweed-jacketed boffins who work at GCHQ have their own wall-paper of certainty; imagining that because they know such a think, it is obvious to all thinking people. It is a good example of the Curse of Knowledge and an explanation of why black people consistently did worse in IQ tests - because the cultural references in the tests were alien to the denizens of the other side of the tracks. It is impossible to devise any puzzle, even one without words, that is culture-free, but we could work harder at leveling the playing field . . . without just lowering standards of course.
ANNyway, Dau.II and I, with some help from Dau.I [who has been slaying goblins from on top of her wingéd horse all holiday] have, in a desultory fashion, worked through the first, softening-up, section of the GCHQPB which has 68 questions. We've knocked off about 2/3s of them which probably raises us from grade "thick as two short planks" to "safe to make tea in the GCHQ kitchen". Some of the answers sprang out of the page because they were familiar or 'obvious'; and some yielded a partial solution which, when articulated, was completed by the other; some have been niggling at the edge of my mind for a couple of days. The latter are the type of problem which, in my experience during a life-time in science, yield after a night's sleep or a long ride on a bicycle.
- 8 Concealed animal
Here is a list of animals. But which other animal is hiding?
RACCOON, PARROT, LEMMING, KOOKABURRA, AARDVARK, LINNET, OTTER
- 13 A round of drinks
What could follow Mojito, Eggnog, Riesling, Lemonade, ouzo, ?
- 3 Calendar Foods
If we eat Fish on St David's Day, Crab on US Independence Day and Goat on Christmas Day, what do we eat at Hallowe'en?
- 15 Letter Sequence I
What is the next entry in each of the following:
- M, V, E, M, J, S, U, ?
- E, Z, D, V, F, S, S, A, N, Z, ?
- 18 Friends in other countries
Gary has friends in countries all round the world including Argentina, Denmark, Russia, Sudan, and the USA. Which country is Gary in?
- 23 Link
What links: D, X, 4th, Y
- 29 Odd one out
Which is the odd one out: FIRM, HELM, SOAK, WASH
- 59 Odd one out
CHAT, COMMENT, DIRE, ELF, FORT, MANGER, PAIN, POUR
- 64 Arrange the pieces in alphabetical order
ARCH, FROGS, PLAN, WEE
- 55 Two words
The following 18 words fall into two sets of nine, according to two other words:
DAM, DRONE, INLAND, INTER, KING, LACE, LADY, LICE, LINGER, NICKED, RENTAL, ROLE, SON, STIFF, STING, TINS, USED, WING