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And the winners are ….

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    Everyone. Everyone who took part in this year’s challenge, including me. At least, I hope so. It has been a real pleasure watching you all struggle, strive and succeed, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Of course we do have some prizes to award, so without much further ado, but with a flourish and a fanfare, here they are.

    The GCHQ Prize of £1,000 is awarded to Claire Carlotti (Kalicali) of Sir Roger Manwood School.
    The Ada Lovelace Prize of £1,000, sponsored by the University of Southampton is awarded to Jessica Richards (Onwards) of South Wiltshire Grammar School
    The Trinity College Cambridge Prize of £800 is awarded to Elizaveta Sheremetyeva (Chocologic) of Oxford High School GDST
    The University of Southampton Team Prize of £1,000 is awarded to Team Lorenz from Westminster School. The team comprised Jadd Virji (Captain), Joshua Loo, Benedict Randall Shaw, and Isky Mathews
    The IBM Prize of £800 is awarded to Team Robot Apocalypse Committee, also from Westminster School – Atto Allas (Captain), Joe Bell, Bhuvan Belur, Adrian Sahani.

    We will, as usual, be hosting a prize giving event in the Spring, hopefully at Bletchley Park, so we will see the winners then. If there are any spare tickets available for anyone else we will post news about that here in due course.

    A lot of people worked on Challenge 9B and quite a few remained stumped by it, though we were really impressed by the fortitude you showed in tackling it even if you didn’t quite get there. We got a lot of questions about how to go about solving it, and some of our regulars have sent us a description of how they did, so here is a description from long term competitor, fan and forum poster, Madness. Enjoy!
    A beginners guide on how to crack Challenge 9B

    If you are more of a visual thinker, you might like the poster sent to us by the team Byte Our Dust (by the way, I love the imaginative names you lot all come up with!)
    The Byte Our Dust Guide to Challenge 9B

    We have other accounts, from our winners, and we will be compiling them all into our beginners guide to codebreaking ready for next year’s challenge. We will be back …

    In the meantime, I hope you all have a great year, and wish you all the best in all your adventures.

    Good luck and best wishes,

    Harry’s signature

    PS, Madness has sent me a bonus challenge that looks a real peach. Will see if we can put that up for you in the next few days! Watch out for it.


    I’ve just looked at the leaderboard for 9B, and only 62 teams managed to solve it! (And yes, I WAS bothered to count.)

    We weren’t able to solve it at all!

    To the 62 teams that solved it, hats off to you! 👏

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