Live competition

We have a new cryptography competition with a £2,000 prize.


With all our competitions it is easy to guess the answer if you know what we do and have some knowledge of cryptography. When you enter, also add the reason for your answer.

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Previous Competitions

£250 ($300) cash prize or £400 ($550) if donated to charity


Clue… Royalty

This was a cipher puzzle using the principle where each letter appears in the alphabet.

The clue Royalty suggests a hierarchy starting with a King. We gave this clue because it is the same for royalty in all the countries we checked. Even in the UK where we have a Queen as Monarch, the clue should have been enough to try King or Queen.

Let’s look at KING K = 11 (K is the eleventh letter in the alphabet)
I = 9 (I is the ninth letter in the alphabet) and so on N = 14 G = 7 Add these together and you get 41

The next member of a royal family would be QUEEN and then PRINCE.
The answer we were looking for was PRINCESS. Historically this is the order.

PRINCESS works like this. P = 16 R = 18 I = 9 N = 14 C = 3 E = 5 S = 19 S = 19

The answer is 103

We had approx. 400 entries ranging from 1 to Jesus, but unfortunately no winner.

In the spirit of fair play, we will roll over the prize money to the next competition.

Rumour has it that Winston Churchill’s parrot is still alive, check it out on Wikipedia.
Thinking about parrots’ vocabulary, can you decipher what our friend is saying below?
Stuck? How would Julius Caesar do this?


This was a simple example of cryptography championed by Julius Caesar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_cipher, using the principle of where each letter gets shifted one place. A becomes B, and B becomes C etc



The parrot image gives the game away because their vocabulary is limited to hello, give us a kiss or other phrases reserved for when the Vicar comes around for tea.

The answer was give us a kiss

Not everyone knew that phrase, however, the simple cipher was detected by more than 100 entrants.

Incidentally, Churchill’s parrot used to shout obscenities about the Nazis.

I am out of parrot facts and I refuse to drop standards by telling the paracetamol joke!

We had a lot of shared winners for this competition.

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