Skip to main content

Feeling nostalgic or in the mood for something different?

To fill the hours before the first Challenge (and you can see just how many there are in the counter on this page) why not take a trip down memory lane and visit last year’s competition pages? You can find the link on our Media Resources page. If you want something entirely different and a distraction from the Challenge (and life) try Harry Baker’s poem about love and prime numbers. Harry is officially the poet laureate of the competition and you will see why. (Possibly something to do with the fact that he is a maths graduate and world champion slam poet. Not sure how big the intersection of those two sets is, but thanks to Harry it is non-empty.)

Welcome (back) to the XVIth National Cipher Challenge

It seems like only yesterday that many of us gathered at Bletchley to celebrate the 15th National Cipher Challenge, and yet here we are, almost at the start of the new competition.

After a number of years’ absence Harry is rejoined by his friend and erstwhile colleague Prof Adam Wheeler, and Adam’s son Sam, who together have helped write this year’s adventure. Harry will be joined in action by two new characters, Jodie and Maryam, and we warmly invite you to join them in cracking The Mystery of the Lost Legion.

Those of you who are new to the Challenge should take a while to explore the site and to read about the competition. You will find a host of information about what you need to do, and, to some extent, how you can do it. There are pages with rules, guides and FAQs tucked away around the site. You can also follow us on Twitter for up to date information.

For teachers we have lesson plans and resources, as well as a download of our poster, though you should receive one in the post in the next week or so. This year we have added a few additional graphics for you to download and use on display boards.

Registration opens on September 15th, and the competition will start with publication of Challenge 1 at 3pm on Thursday 5th October. You can find the schedule for the competition in the resources area, and the points scheme for the challenges on the Challenge page.

Whether you are an experienced member of the National Cipher Challenge community or a first timer we hope you will find something to interest you, to intrigue you and, of course, to challenge you.

Welcome (back),

How the winners won!

Curious about how the winning teams tackled our devious cipher in Challenge 8B last year? They have kindly lifted the lid on the process. Take a look here. How the winners cracked CC2016 8B