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The Alan Turing
Cryptography Competition.
edition 2018
You are reading the website of the 2018 edition of the competition, which ended on Saturday 28th April at 11:59 pm.

Mike and Ellie will return for a new adventure next year!

The website for that new edition, to start in January 2019, appears in December here. If you would like to receive a reminder around that time by email please look here. For any particular enquiries you can contact us on cryptography_competition@manchester.ac.uk.
The Tale of the



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The Alan Turing

Cryptography Day


Want to come over to Manchester for a bit of live crypto stuff, the prize ceremony and an opportunity to meet the organisers?

Find out more!


Here you can find a brief overview of the earlier editions of this competition, with links to their websites. These sites are still available, in particular also all previous cryptopuzzles (and their solutions) can be found there! The stories evolve around Mike and Ellie, two schoolkids who find themselves in a new adventure every edition.


This was the sixth edition of the competition. Mike and Ellie get caught up in a race against time to locate the 'Mediaeval Manuscript', a document hidden somewhere within the depths of the John Rylands Library that points towards a centuries-old piece of mathematical knowledge. Should they trust the mysterious monk-like figure of Brother Aldred as they race against against time?

Site: 2017 edition

The three best teams in the competition were:

1. GallifreyGirls (Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Altrincham)
2. Crypto-Knights (Kenilworth School, Kenilworth)
3. TheGame (The Manchester Grammar School, Manchester).


This was the fifth edition of the competition. Ellie gets her dream work-experience opportunity at EKA-labs, an organisation that specialises in artificial intelligence. But Professors Kenneth Parry and Alice Loebner - two of the senior scientists - seem to be determined to thwart the development of Geshtu, EKA-labs' supercomputer designed to pass the Turing Test. All is not as it seems, however, and Mike and Ellie must race against time and get deep inside the workings of Geshtu to unmask the conspiracy.

Site: 2016 edition

The three best teams in the competition were:

1. DOE (King Edwards VI Grammar School, Chelmsford)
2. BWBoffins (Bridgewater High School, Warrington)
3. Abacus (Manchester High School for Girls).


This was the fourth edition of the competition. The multinational corporation 'MaliOpus', headed by crooked businessman Lord Porterfield, is out to steal the University of Manchester's research into graphene, a special form of carbon with remarkable properties. Hindered by Darcie and Donna, two super-smart twins, and battling the tragedy of the shooting of their friend Barquith, Mike and Ellie face their most dangerous adventure yet as they try to unravel the Carbon Conundrum!

Site: 2015 edition

The three best teams in the competition were:

1. BWBoffins (Bridgewater High School, Warrington)
2. Abstract (Belper School, Derbyshire)
3. Quomodo (Belper School, Derbyshire).


This was the third edition of the competition. A top secret section of MI5 is desperately trying to find the 'Lovell Legacy', a machine powerful enough to break any encryption. Allegedly designed by Alan Turing and built at Jodrell Bank under Bernard Lovell, it was buried there and never recovered. Together with their old friend Barquith Mike and Ellie end up in some hairy situations as Lungrem (or is it Mel Gurn?) wants to avoid them interfering at all costs...

Site: 2014 edition

The three best teams in the competition were:

1. Hedgehog (Headington School, Oxford)
2. BWBoffins (Bridgewater High School, Warrington)
3. GJMC (St Ninians High School, Glasgow).


This was the second edition of the competition. In the early 20th century, an ancient statue is stolen by a petty criminal with an interest in codes; it's never recovered. Guided, unknowingly, by a former student of Alan Turing, Mike and Ellie seek to find the missing statue. A mysterious machine called the 'Egyptian Enigma' plays a crucial role in a quest that leads them even to visit the Alan Turing Building...

Site: 2013 edition

The three best teams in the competition were:

1. G15 (Calday Grange Grammar School, Wirral)
2. Room40 (Torquay Boys' Grammar School, Torquay)
3. SmileyFaces:) (Sir William Borlase Grammar School, Marlow).


This was the first edition of the competition. Mike and Ellie got entangled in a search for the illustrious 'Turing Treasure' which led them on a tour along several famous places in Manchester, having to solve cryptographic puzzles on their way. Also, they were not the only ones on the hunt for this treasure...

Site: 2012 edition

The three best teams in the competition were:

1. zyyxw-vuztvx (Abbey Grange C of E Academy, Leeds)
2. KnightsRadiant (St Margarets CoE Academy, Liverpool)
3. thepeoplewhodecipherstuff (The King's School, Macclesfield).