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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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Then sign up!

Epilogue of the Tale of The Artificial Adventure.

Eliza was rooted to the spot on stage, an expression of panic and confusion on her face. Geshtu was not performing as she expected and was now just making the occasional, random, beep.

"Got it!" cried Barquith to himself, as he realised that Geshtu's message was for him. He ran up onto the stage, pushed Eliza out of the way, and ripped the back off Geshtu. Mike and Ellie leaped out from inside Geshtu, leaving Eliza stunned. Mike quickly grabbed Eliza, restraining her.

As Eliza gradually regained her composure, she looked directly at the audience. "I'm sorry," she said, humbly. "You've found me out. Geshtu never worked and never will work. EKA-labs promised too much. But I had no choice - I had to keep making more and more outrageous and undeliverable promises to our sponsors to make sure that they kept EKA-labs financially afloat. I originally thought that we could succeed and that we could create a working version of Geshtu in time for this event, but I recently realised it would never happen. But we needed the prize money! So myself, together with my deputies Professors Kenneth Parry and Alice Loebner, decided to go with a deception and create a mechanical turk."

Some of the audience nodded in sympathy. Ellie whispered to Mike that the mechanical turk was a fake chess-playing machine created in the late 18th century. It appeared to be a mechanical device that could play chess rather well, but instead relied on a human chess master hidden inside, operating the machine.

Eliza continued her confession. "It was a mistake to get Ellie involved. As soon as she arrived on her work experience placement I knew I'd made a huge mistake. Kenneth, Alice and I decided to get rid of her by putting her in hospital. Except that backfired: I accidentally gassed myself."

"We soon had a working fake version of Geshtu ready. It was little more than an empty box, with Alice hidden inside and using a device to alter her voice. It was the only way I could think of to have a machine that could pass the Turing Test."

She looked at Mike and Ellie. "When I was bringing Geshtu to this event, I tapped on Geshtu to make sure Alice was inside. But it was really you two wasn't it?" Ellie nodded. "The thick casing must have disguised your voice," Eliza said.

Eliza stood in front of the audience, held her head up, and took a deep breath. "That's it. I'm so sorry. My career - and those of others at EKA-labs - is over. I'm ready to face whatever consequences I have to." She walked off stage, a broken woman.

The audience were in stunned silence as Mike, Ellie and Barquith remained on stage, slightly embarrassed. Mike went over to Geshtu. "Useless pile of junk!" he announced, and gave it a good hard kick. As he did so, Geshtu stirred into action and a message appeared on the screen.

Your task:

Above is the message displayed on Geshtu's screen. Your task is to decipher the code. Once you have done that, submit your answer to the question below.

Question: What is the 15th word of the plaintext?
Your answer:

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