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Cryptography Competition.
(edition 2016: #5).
You are reading the website of the 2016 edition of the competition, which ended on Saturday 30th 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 2017, 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



Is released!
Is released!
Is released!
Is released!
Is released!
Is released!
Is released!

The Alan Turing

Cryptography Day


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Chapter 4 of the Tale of The Artificial Adventure.

"I'm convinced there's something very wrong at EKA-labs," said Barquith. "Ellie: as soon as you feel well enough, you need to go back and investigate further. Eliza can't be happy that Geshtu is out of action. It certainly sounds as though Alice and Kenneth are up to no good and we need to know who they are working for."

"I think so too," said Ellie. "Except that I want to take Mike with me." Mike looked up, pleased that he and Ellie would be back together. "I'm sure that with the Geshtu demonstration at CoSAIM coming up, Eliza will be glad of all the help she can get."

"And if we happen to fit in some sneaking around whilst we're there then so much the better!" said Mike.

Later that week, once Ellie had fully recovered her strength, the two friends returned to EKA-labs. They found Eliza busily plugging wires into the back of a very large black box.

"Are you sure you should be back so soon? That gas was nasty stuff." said Eliza to Ellie. "I see you've brought a friend. Very well. Two witnesses to EKA-labs' triumph are better than one. I've been back myself for a few days now and, as you can see, we've just finished rebuilding Geshtu."

"Where did that gas come from?" asked Ellie. "It was my fault," Eliza confessed. "We've developed a new coolant and rushed into using it without completing any safety tests. Unfortunately, it also seems to act as a powerful anaesthetic." She barked a laugh. "We're not using it in the new improved Geshtu."

"It's huge!" exclaimed Mike, as he inspected Geshtu. "It's bigger than me!"

"It's to help with the cooling now we can't use our coolant," explained Eliza as she plugged the final cable in. "Would you like to see Geshtu in action?" she asked.

"Of course!" replied Mike and Ellie, in unison. At that moment, Kenneth walked up to them. "So you came back?" he said to Ellie. "And with a little friend."

"Nothing could keep me away," replied Ellie. "And where's your little friend Alice got to?"

Kenneth smirked. "Oh, she's never very far away."

As they were talking, Geshtu beeped into action. "Hello there. I'm Geshtu. Is that you Eliza?" said a voice, emanating from deep inside the computer.

"Hello Geshtu. Yes it's Eliza. How are you feeling today?" said Eliza

"I'm very well, although I have a pain in the diodes down my left side. I hope we can fix that before my demonstration at the artificial intelligence conference. I really am very keen to show that I can pass the Turing Test."

The conversation continued and both Mike and Ellie listened with rapt attention, amazed at how well Geshtu was performing.

Soon afterwards, Mike and Ellie went for their mid-morning break. As they navigated the warren of corridors surrounding the main lab, they rounded a corner and saw Kenneth and Alice in hushed conversation. "I think we have her fooled," they heard Alice say. "That trip to hospital has clearly dulled her senses," Kenneth retorted.

"That's it!" exclaimed Ellie. "They are definitely working against Eliza. They poisoned her! We need to let Eliza know there's a conspiracy against her!"

"We can do better than that," said Mike. "Let's get them out of the way, just in case they've set any more traps around the labs. Remember that message enciphered on the chess board? We know they sometimes communicate with each other in code. So we'll leave a code for each of them in their offices."

Ellie scribbled some symbols on two pieces of paper. "Here are two identical codes. I'll put one in Alice's office; you put the other in Kenneth's office. With a bit of luck they'll both fall for it!"

Your task:

Above is a copy of the pieces of paper that Mike and Ellie left in Kenneth and Alice's offices. Your task is to decipher the code. Once you have done that, submit your answer to the question below.

Question: What is the 5th word of the plaintext?
Your answer:

You can not submit your answer since the Competition has now closed.