Movies: Untangling The Puzzle

Enigma is a thoughtful World War II spy drama

Bletchley Park is an unlovely name for an unlovely country house. In World War II it was home to a collection of English crossword-puzzle addicts, math geeks, even the odd minor poet or two, whose supersecret work on German codes probably shortened the war by months if not years. Their greatest success was in cracking Enigma, the machine-generated numerical language by which the Germans communicated with the submarine wolf packs that preyed on the Atlantic shipping routes vital to Britain's survival.

In what was surely the best espionage novel of the '90s, Robert Harris imagined a brilliant mathematician, Tom Jericho (played...

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