Job Opportunity: Laundry Field Agent. Do You Have What It Takes?

You: you’re a civil servant, working in an administrative or support role, within SOE X Division, commonly known as the Laundry. You have signed the Official Secrets Act. You know the score. You know that when you carry out certain computation operations, it has echoes in the Platonic realm of pure mathematics – echoes audible to beings from other universes, who can be bound to act at our command. Magic is a branch of applied mathematics, and there are agents out there working ceaselessly to protect the realm from esoteric alien threats. You aren’t one of them – yet.

You believe you can contribute more to the organisation by taking a proactive role. You’re a dynamic self-starter and a team player, flexible and able to plan and execute on your feet while remaining within official guidelines. And you want to get out from behind your desk.

Do you have what it takes to handle an active service assignment?

We’re looking for the next Laundry field agent to assist our rising star employee, Bob Howard. Bob has seen service. He’s dealt with nameless horrors you could only dream of, and with only limited . . . mishaps.

Starting today, we will be releasing clues that will allow you access to the Laundry Vault.

Only those able to solve the clues and access the Laundry vault will be entered into a selection process for active service. If you are selected, we’ll provide you with everything you need to join field operations as an agent, including your own uniform (plus mascot), the necessary portable gadgetry, and receive unrestricted access to all previous cases in the Laundry series, as recorded by the infamous Bob Howard.

 Several runners-up will also receive a full set of Laundry case files, including the latest release, The Apocalypse Codex.

Charles Stross's Laundry Files

The last clue will be released on the 13th of July at which time you will have six days to enter the code and register for consideration. The code to the vault will be changed on the 19th of July – coinciding with the date of The Apocalypse Codex‘s publication.

The Clues

Application File One: Missing Letters


Application File Two: A Brief History of Laundry

Application File Three
Application File Three: The Necronomipod

Application File 4: Personal Liability & Damage Waiver Application File 4: Personal Liability and Damage Waiver

Find the Laundry Vault Find The Laundry Vault

Applications are now closed. Thank you all for participating.

View the answers.
UPDATE: Winners have now been notified. Congratulations, Alun, on making the final cut and thank you all for taking part.


Item: For safety reasons, the code to the Laundry Vault will be released in sections determined by Orbit at intervals of three days apart.
Item: The direction to the clues will all appear on this page.
Item: It is recommended you use a browser to view each clue. It is also recommended you do not use one of the following browsers: Netscape Navigator, Voyager, Cyberdog, Mosaic, Links 2.0, xxxterm, AWeb, IceWeasel, Grail, Prodigy Classic, Flock, Internet Explorer (join the 21st century, the browsers are better here)
Item: Keep a note of each answer as you solve the puzzles. You will need them all to access the Laundry Vault
Item: Once you have the key to the Laundry Vault, you will be asked for identification
Item: Your entry will be date stamped
Item: Your submission will be assessed
Item: Entries will close on Thursday 19th July

UPDATE: Winners have now been notified. Congratulations, Alun, on making the final cut and thank you all for taking part.

Background reading: The prologue to The Apocalypse Codex. Read it now.