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And so to the competition!

Well done everyone for their work on the practice challenges, it has been amazing to see so many of you do so well. We have over 7,000 competitors registered and gearing up for the competition proper, which goes live with the first Competition Challenge (Challenge 4) at 3pm this afternoon.

As usual you have quite a bit of time before the first points deadline (midnight Friday) so don’t panic if you can’t get to the Challenge when it launches, or if you think you have made a mistake. You can resubmit any time up to the points deadline without losing marks, and we will release feedback after the first points deadline so if you don’t spot an error on your own you can still get high marks.

The Challenge 3 leader board is live now, and we will start the overall leader board with the results from Challenge 4 next Thursday! Don’t forget to collect your certificates for the first three challenges though!

Good luck,


Well done everyone on Challenge 1!

The Leader Board is up and Challenge 2 is about to go live, so it has been an action packed day at Cipher Challenge central. We have over competitors and over a 1200 teams took part in the first Practice Round. Challenge 2 is also for practice, so give it a go and see how you get on. You might find out a little more about Jodie and her mysterious correspondent. You might even find out the significance of the missing letter “r” in Challenge 1!

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the first round. You should be able to download a certificate recording your achievement from your account area.

One more thing, when publishing the leaderboard we did notice one or two slightly sketchy team names. We have contacted team captains where we can, but if you think that your team name might cause any offence please do go back and think about changing it. Let us know if you need help.

Best wishes and Good Luck for this week!


Submitting your answers

We have added some info about submitting your answers to the FAQs and to the Rules, Regulations and Policies page, so if you are unsure what you should put in the answer box, head over there and check it out.

Less than six hours to go …

At 3pm this afternoon the National Cipher Challenge will launch with the first of three practice challenges. As with the competition challenges, which start will begin on November 1st, each will come in two parts, part A and part B.


Four important things to note:

  1. Part A is not timed. Although there is a deadline (23:59 on 10th Oct for Practice Challenge 1) any correct solution received by then will get full marks. This is important to note as part 1A should be doable by everyone (you will see why later) and if you all try to submit at once the server will die! Take your time and get on with Challenge B instead.
  2. Challenge B is timed, but yo have until midnight tomorrow (5th Oct) to submit a correct solution for full marks. After that the marks decrease. Please note Important Thing 1 before panicking and rushing to submit for 1B.
  3. While we will publish a leader board for Challenge 1 and you can download a certificate, rounds 1-3 are Practice Challenges, and will NOT contribute to the overall leaderboard and the award of prizes, so if you do drop any marks for accuracy or speed, it really won’t matter.


Hope you enjoy it.


All the best,