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College of the Sciences
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Kryptos 2021


over for another year

Solutions for each challenge appear below together with a PRELIMINARY ranking of participants.  If you notice an error (spelling or otherwise) for your team, please let me [] know.

Challenge 1  [solution]

Challenge 2   [solution]

Challenge 3   [solution]


One hundred and twenty eight students formed 65 teams representing colleges, universities, and high schools from British Columbia, California, Connecticut, France, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ontario, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennslyvania, Virginia, Netherlands, and Washington.  Our first place finisher solved all three Challenges in just over four and a half hours.  Our first place individual finished just after midnight on Friday morning.  Thirty teams finished at least one of the Challenges and ten completed all three.  The Kryptos CodeMasters appreciate all the hard work teams and individuals put into working on these challenging ciphers.

Those teams which submitted at least one correct solution are recognized below. The order of the listings indicates the chronological order of when the solutions were submitted.

* [Succesfully unlocked the freezer and saved the day!]

Congratulations to all!


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

From Northern Kentucky University: [First Place Team!]

  • Will St. Onge
  • Shawn Huesman
  • Wie Sie

From The University of  Indianapolis: [First Place Individual!]

  • Katherine Osadczuk

From Linfield University: [Second Place Individual!]

  • Garrett Crouch

From ISEN LILLE: [Second Place Team]

  • Christophe Hugueny

  • Hugo Derave

  • Florent Descamps

From Erasmus University Rotterdam:

  • Alexandre Nelva-Pasqual

From Nipissing University *:

  • Cole Maddin

  • David Haighton 

From Kutztown University of Pennsylvania *:

  • Isaac Reiter

From Corban University *:

  • Jonathan Howe

  • Declan Ritter

  • Tyson Stover

From The Pennsylvania State University and Carnegie Mellon University:

  • Wayne Zhao

  • Thomas Wang

  • Evelyn Kuo

From Eastern Mennonite University *:

  • Caleb Hostetler

  • Cameron Byer

  • Noah Swartzentruber

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

From Eastern Mennonite University *:

  • Hannah Leaman

  • Ike Esh

  • Silas Clymer

From Pacific University:

  • Michael Sentman

From Corban University:

  • Sara Thomas

  • Ally Tow

  • Lacey Gilmore

From Worcester Polytechnic Institute:

  • Frederick Miller

  • Avery Smith

From ISEN Lille:

  • Charles Mayeur

  • Maximilien Walbecq

From HEI:

  • Mathis Langrand
  • Olivier Bossavit

Gannon University:

  • Victoria Bartlett

From University of Maryland Baltimore County:

  • Alex Zabriskie

  • Robert Roibu

From The University of Washington, Bothell:

  • Lisa Waranowitz

  • Aika Usui

  • River Hill

From Western Carolina University:

  • Storme Adkins

  • William Zielinski

  • Victoria Kimball

From Mount Saint Mary College:

  • Arianna Martuscello

  • Kelsey Farrell

  • Matthew Kozireski

From Mount Saint Mary College:

  • Devin Kelley
  • James Farrell
  • Dennis Rodriguez

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

From Pacific University:

  • Matthias Gutzmann

From University of Southern Mississippi *:

  • Minh Nguyen

  • Barbara Jones

From Central Washington University:

  • Kimberly Wiles

  • Kieran Cook

  • Adara Andonie

From The University of Washington *:

  • Adam Fountain

From JUNIA ISEN Lille:

  • Corentin Delhon-Bugard

  • Nicolas Bouillet

  • Benjamin Delattre

From ISEN Lille:

  • Mathieu SELLIER

From Quest University Canada:

  • Neoprana Jawinara Soemardjan

From Wheaton College (MA):

  • Zachary Heineman
  • Nate Oehler





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 22, 2021, the Cipher Challenges will be available at this website. Begin working and have fun! Solutions need to be submitted by 4 p.m. PDT April 26, 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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