Welcome guest.   Log in
Cryptography Competition.
(edition 2015: #4).
You are reading the website of the 2015 edition of the competition, which ended on Wednesday 13th May 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 2016, 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 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?

Then sign up!

Chapter 4 of the Tale of the Carbon Conundrum.

Three days later as Mike and Ellie were walking towards the University of Manchester they were splashed by a black limousine speeding along the road. The blacked-out windows hid the occupants. "Hmmph," said Ellie, "irresponsible driving." "Never mind about a bit of water," said Mike, "we should worry about what we're getting into."

"Porterfield and whoever stole the quantum computer are definitely going to be there today," said Ellie. "I don't think we'll have a better opportunity to find out exactly what happened at the opening ceremony."

As they arrived at the National Graphene Institute, they saw the black limousine parked outside. "Well, it's got the MaliOpus logo on the bonnet," said Ellie, "so we know that Lord Porterfield is here."

"What should we do?" wondered Mike. "We know that Lord Porterfield has come to collect the quantum computer. My guess is that somehow the thief managed to steal it from the secure room and then hide it somewhere else within the building, ready for Lord Porterfield to pick up once the furore has died down. That's clever: Lord Porterfield would know that it would be impossible for someone to just walk out with the computer immediately after the theft."

"He's definitely a devious man," said Ellie. "But I'm suspicious about Niemand. He's the only person who has a key to the secure room, and he must know all its secrets. He has to be involved somehow. I think we should see what we can find out about him."

Mike and Ellie went upstairs to find Niemand's office. As they approached it, they heard some muffled voices. "Quick! Hide!" whispered Ellie, as he saw the door-handle to Niemand's office start to turn. They quickly ducked into a side-corridor, and were able to see Darcie and Donna emerge from the office and run off down the main corridor. A few seconds later a bob of grey hair, followed by Niemand, appeared and he quietly walked off in the opposite direction.

"What on earth are the twins doing here?" said Mike.

"Telling the Professor about how clever they are, I expect. Come on, this is our chance to see what secrets Niemand keeps in his office!" said Ellie, as she and Mike quickly made their way over to the door.

"We'll never find anything in here!" said Mike, as he surveyed tables and shelves piled high with books, research papers, and notepads covered in complicated equations. He sat down on the floor and, as he stretched his legs out under one of the tables, his feet found a metal box. "Hey, give me a hand," he said to Ellie as he started pulling out the box. They opened the case to find a gleaming revolver and a laser pointer nestled in protective grey foam.

"Niemand shot Barquith!" said Ellie. "I knew he was involved! Let's get out of here right now."

"Wait," said Mike, "we better put this back." As he pushed the case back under the table, Mike caught the desk with his shoulder and the computer screen lit up.

"Hey," said Ellie, "Look what's on his computer---it looks like it's a code..."

Click here for a larger version of this image.
Your task:

Above is a screenshot of Professor Niemand's computer. Your task is to decode the hidden message. Once you have done that, submit your answer to the question below.

Question: What is the 22nd word of the plaintext?
Your answer:

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