The palindrome game of the Bletchley Park code breakers
February 25, 2015 2:16 PM   Subscribe

The palindrome game of the Bletchley Park code breakers
The WW2 code breakers depicted (somewhat falsely) in "The Imitation Game" were well-rounded: athletes (Alan Turing was an Olympic level marathoner), performers (they staged accomplished plays and musical revues), chess players, and creators of crossword puzzles. They also held a palindrome-writing competition which yielded at least two of the best ever written in English, and possibly many more. The story of that competition is told here for the first time, based on exclusive sources and years of research.
Role: author
posted by msalt (4 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Bon blog! Go lb. nob!

I'm sorry that my meager palindrome skills can suggest only the most profane way to celebrate writing an excellent article.
posted by XMLicious at 3:53 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Aha! To be clear, this is not my blog; it's published on, a project by WSJ (and former Boston Globe) language columnist Ben Zimmer. I just wrote this article, which I've been researching for years but found its news hook in the "Imitation Game" and its Oscar nominations.

I also just published a screed criticizing the homophobia and misogyny in "The Imitation Game" (at PQ Monthly) and am working on a third piece about the factual falsifications in the movie (not placed yet).
posted by msalt at 8:54 PM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Great article - very interesting to read about Hilton's ability to solve problems in his head.

Thanks for this!
posted by kristi at 10:03 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm very flattered that Metafilter's own LanguageHat posted this to his blog. Thanks!
posted by msalt at 1:01 AM on February 27, 2015

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