Bletchley Park Brainteasers, by Sinclair McKay

Second paragraph of third chapter:

The Enigma machine was revolutionary, but actually, the principle that it worked on was as old as the centuries. Despite the technological sophistication, it was still all about substituting one letter for another. The encryption puzzles in this section are intended to reflect the patient discipline that Bletchley codebreakers had to acquire. Especially when facing the prospect of diving into a vortex of chaos.

(Actually read a few weeks ago but the review lingered in drafts for longer than it should have.)

A breezy collection of puzzles, aimed perhaps at older teenagers, with lots of stories about what life was like for the men and women who worked at Bletchley Park during the second world war. A lot of people are into the Bletchley Park fandom and I guess this will feed those cravings and also provide some intellectual stimulation. You can get it here.

Several friends have parents (or older relatives) who worked at Bletchley Park; I’ve had two very minor and remote personal connections – first, John Herivel went back to Belfast after the war and set up the History of Science programme from which I believe I was the first PhD student several decades later (long after he had retired); second, Mavis Batey herself posted a comment on my Livejournal in 2005 when I reviewed her book about Alice in Wonderland (she would have been 84 then, and died in 2013).

Lewis Carroll
So glad you liked the Story Of Alice . There were no reference footnotes because it was all my own research as a local historian and Carroll admirer. Yes Christ Church is a wonderful place. My husband was Treasurer of Christ Church and his rooms looked over Alice’s garden . In many ways the donnish creatures hadn’t changed much since Carroll’s days and I suppose you might say with Humpty Dumpty ‘You’ve been listening at doors- and behind trees- and down chimneys – or otherwise you couldn’t have known it’ Mavis Batey.

This was the non-fiction book that had lingered longest unread on my shelves. Next on that pile is a photograph album, Ara Güler’s Istanbul.