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College of the Sciences


Kryptos 2020 is over for another year.

This year's challenges:

One hundred and sixteen students formed 49 teams representing colleges, universities, and high schools from California, France, Hong Kong, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Netherlands, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

Our first place finisher completed all three Challenges in five hours and 22 minutes. Eighteen teams finished at least one of the Challenges and eight completed all three.  The Kryptos CodeMasters (Stuart and Cheryl) appreciate all the hard work  the teams and individuals put into solving these challenging ciphers during these challenging times.

Those teams which submitted at least one correct solution are recognized below. The order of the listings withing each category indicates the chronological order of when the final solution was submitted.

Congratulations to all!


[Prelimary Results....]

Master Codebreakers are those who solved all three challenges and are recognized as achieving theTURING level of achievement:

From Eastern Mennonite University: [First Place Team!]

  • Cameron Byer
  • Ben Stutzman
  • Hannah Leaman

From Wheaton College: [Second Place Team!]

  • Alvaro Guerra
  • Jill van der Schaaf
  • Jackson Reed

From Central Washington University

  • Michael Klapper (not competing for prize)

From ISEN - Lille (France):

  • Arbache Rémi
  • Delarue Paul
  • Mourier Julia

From The Pennsylvania State University and Carnegie Mellon University:

  • Wayne Zhao (PSU)
  • Thomas Wang (PSU)
  • Evelyn Kuo (CMU)

From Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands):

  • Alexandre Nelva-Pasqual
  • Natalia Kutina

From ISEN Lille (France):

  • Christophe Hugueny
  • Hugo Derave
  • Florent Descamps

From Appalachian State University:

  • Zachary Dove
  • Lindsey Wise
  • Brennan Stride

Proficient  Codebreakers are those who solved two challenges and are recognized as achieving the BABBAGE level of achievement:

From Eastern Mennonite University:

  • Caleb Hostetler
  • Laura Troyer
  • Seth Andreas

From Eastern Oregon University:

  • Jazmine Juarez
  • Caden Ricker
  • Darin Hauner

From Central Washington University:

  • Kyle Brown
  • Dustin Hayes
  • Tyler Bunnell

From The University of Wisconsin Stout:

  • Hannah Baker
  • Nate Geschwill
  • Erin O'Brien

From ISEN Lille (France):

  • Nicolas Bouillet
  • Marie Pivette

Amateur Codebreakers are those who solved one of the challenges and are recognized as achieving a PRETTY GOOD level of achievement:

From The University of Washington, Bothell: (First Place Individual!)

  • Vivek Gandhi

From Corban University:

  • Tucker McNie
  • Kathleen Hiller
  • Jonathan Howe

From Eastern Mennonite University:

  • Silas Clymer
  • Isaac Andreas
  • Jonathan Reimer-Berg

From Linfield College: (Second Place Individual!)

  • Garrett Crouch

From Mount Saint Mary College:

  • Clint Enright
  • Lynsey Quackenbush
  • Michael Parker


κρυπτοσ or kryptos, is a contest open to any and all undergraduate students. The theme of the contest is centered around the breaking, or cryptanalysis, of ciphers (secret writing). Each challenge presents contestants with a brief scenario together with some ciphertext (encoded message). The goal is to discover the original English plaintext message!

Clues to help break the cipher may be contained in the actual ciphertext or in the details of the accompanying scenario.

While it is not the intent of this contest to test overly technical aspects of crypanalysis or advanced mathematical algorithms, some familiarity with basic codemaking and codebreaking is certainly helpful. Some useful sources include:

Contestants should also be aware that there are quite a few freely available programs and applets that may aid in some of the more tedious aspects of code breaking (e.g. frequency analysis). However, keep in mind that there are never any guarantees with such software!

To Participate

Individual undergraduate students, or teams of up to three, are eligible to participate. Each individual or team must have a faculty sponsor in order to register.

Please read the official contest rules and instructions for submitting solutions before the contest begins.

When the contest begins at 4 p.m. PDT on April 16, 2020, the Cipher Challenges will be available at this website. Begin working and have fun! Solutions need to be submitted by 4 p.m. April 20, 2020. All times are Pacific Daylight Time.

Results will be posted here shortly after the end of the contest. As teams finish each challenge, please prepare and submit solutions according to the guidelines.

Please submit your solutions as you solve each challenge as the time taken to solve a challenge will be used to determine final rankings.

Questions or difficulties?  Email Stuart Boersma [ ].

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