A new delivery of T-shirts has arrived. They cost £6.50 including postage and packing. Please visit for more information. Unfortunately we are no longer able to customise the t-shirts.

Final Results and the Prizegiving

Well, it has been a long time, and we are, as always, amazed at your dedication. This year's Challenge has been particularly tough, with lots of traps for the unwary and you had to think hard to avoid them. Congratulations to all of you. The Honours Board has been updated and we can now announce the winners of this year's main prizes:

The GCHQ Prize of £1,000 goes to Robert Lasenby of Hills Road Sixth Form College

The IBM Prize (a Thinkpad laptop) goes to Josh Williams (the Firey Squirrel) of Richard Lander School

The Trinity College Cambridge Prize of £700 is shared by Team Hrmph, that is Jonathan Dias and Nicholas Holliday of The London Oratory School.

Happy Holidays!

Whether you are celebrating Christmas, New Year, some other festival, or just having a good time with family or friends this is to say a big THANK YOU for all your commitment to the National Cipher Challenge and to wish you all the best. Harry.

Unclaimed Prizes

Would the following team please contact us by email (with full names of team members, teacher and head teachers names and school postal address) regarding the winning of a prize for challenge 3A:

Kahil24-7 from Saint Francis Xavier Sixth Form.

Anonymous Posting

Due to the huge amount of spam messages that the moderators have had to deal with recently we have had to disable to ability to post messages without being logged in. As long as you are logged in then you will notice no changes at all. For those of you who regularly post without logging in, it would be useful if you used your team account, or created a separate account which you post with.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Online store

If you haven't found it yet, take a look at our online store. It is a home for all our free downloads as well as a place you can find out how to get a tee shirt or a poster.

The news you have been waiting for - Tee Shirts

We are at last able to announce

the National Cipher Challenge Tee Shirts.

Don't miss out!

Welcome to the National Cipher Challenge

This is the home of the University of Southampton National Cipher Challenge. From here you can register for the competition, and post your own comments or queries about it. If you have any questions or remarks you don't want to post publicly you can contact us by email.

The competition will start with the first Challenge on Thursday 5th October which will be published in the Black Chamber. You can read more about the format of the competition on the Standing Orders page. Messages will be released at 3.15pm and you will have at least a week to submit your answer, though you get extra points for submitting early. No need to rush as we will be dividing the week up into blocks of time worth equal points. Again you can find out more about this schedule and the scoring system on the Standing Orders Page, but if you want to schedule a maths club or other meeting with your team, after school Thursdays is a good time to consider.

Meanwhile if you like our poster you can download a copy to print out, and if you would like to explore ciphers a bit before the competition you can download our Teachers' Pack.

Frequently Asked Questions!

Those of you who hangaround the forums will be well aware that the same questions come up time and time again...

Well thanks to the hard work of Martyn, Ruth and Jeff who offered to write us an FAQ, you can now find answers to all the most commonly asked questions just by clicking on the link "FAQ" link which has now appeared on the menu.

It already seems to be having an effect as the number of repeated questions has already decreased and the FAQ page has been read almost 300 times!

So if you have a questions related to the Challenege remember to check out the FAQ before you post your question in the forums!

Not getting emails from us?

Here are the most common problems:

1. You misspelled your email address
2. Your inbox is full so our mail to you bounces
3. Your ISP or mail server thinks our mail is spam and deletes it
4. Your mail client thinks the mails is spam and deletes or misfiles it

In particular you probably should add our email address to your address book. (cheast we tried replying to you several times but got the message: Message undeliverable. "Your email address is not listed in the Address Book" from the Yahoo mail server)