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College of the Sciences


Kryptos 2019 is now over, but you can start getting ready for next year:

April 16 - 20, 2020


You may still view this year's challenges (with sample solutions):

Challenge 1 (solution)

Challenge 2 (solution)

Challenge 3 (solution)


Kryptos 2019  Results


One hundred and forty nine students formed 62 teams representing colleges, universities, and high schools from France, Idaho, Illonois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennslyvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Our first place finisher solved the first Challenge within six minutes and completed all three Challenges in just under three and a half hours.  Thirty-six teams finished at least one of the Challenges and 15 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.

Congratulations to all!


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

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

  • Shine Sun

From Linfield College: [First Place Team!]

  • Carmen Hoffbeck
  • William Shannon
  • Ryan O'Dowd

From Eastern Mennonite University: [Second Place Team!]

  • Cameron Byer
  • Daniel Harder
  • Hannah Leaman

From Western Carolina University:

  • Adam Gregory
  • Peter Gardner
  • Wesley Rogers

From Pacific University:

  • Hannah Newby-Smith
  • Mariah Jacobs
  • Sarah Amano

From Pacific University:

  • Dannie Wright
  • Adrian Martin
  • Sophia Bonar

From Western Carolina University:

  • Colin Whiteley
  • Garion Schneider
  • Marshall Murphy

From Carnegie-Mellon and North Carolina University:

  • Sahil Patel
  • Zack Lee

From ISEN Lille:

  • Christophe Hugueny
  • Hugo Derave
  • Florent Descamps

From ISEN Lille:

  • Paul Delarue
  • Julia Mourier

From Whitworth University:

  • Breeann Wilson
  • Jude Batista
  • Robert Rutherford

From Norwich University:

  • Isabelle Moss
  • Jared Neprud
  • Annabell Davis

From Norwich University:

  • Wesley Notter
  • Jared Duhaime
  • Tyler Locke

From Central Washington University:

  • Daniel Reed
  • Makani Mafua
  • Michael Solwold

From Norwich University:

  • Alexis Julian
  • Paul Biello
  • Owen Martinez


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

From Central Washington University:

  • Henry Reinhardt
  • Joshua Petersen

From Linfield College:

  • Garrett Crouch
  • Ruben Cruz

From Wheaton College (MA):

  • Jackson Reed
  • Fariq Sazuki

From Central Washington University:

  • Elisabeth Jenkins
  • Andrew Struthers
  • Austin Holloway

From Eastern Oregon University:

  • Darin Hauner
  • Caden Ricker
  • Jessie Cimon

From University of Washington, Bothell: [2nd Place Individual!]

  • Vivek Gandhi

From Wheaton College:

  • Phuntsho Norbu
  • Alvaro Guerra

From Furman University:

  • Michael Bowling
  • Noah Johnson
  • Duncan Hayslett

University of Wisconsin Stout:

  • Derek Johnson
  • Andrew Nelson
  • Caleb Rudoph


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

From Eastern Oregon University:

  • An Dinh
  • Heath Sell

From Wheaton College:

  • Benjamin Malz
  • Jacob Kydd
  • Nathan Hodgson

From Kutztown University:

  • Grant Fickes
  • Jacob McCann
  • Micah Ulicny

From Western Carolina University:

  • Will Stiles
  • Ethan Stiles
  • Duncan Stiles

From Whitworth University:

  • Sabin Sapkota
  • Amon Ratna Sthapit
  • Novel Poudel

From Pacific University:

  • David Wright

From Mount Saint Mary College:

  • Charles Benfer
  • Vita Bosco
  • Sophia Reinhardt

From Western Carolina University:

  • Storme Adkins
  • Haneed Alajaj
  • Emmie Lucas

From Pacific University:

  • Aubrey Kimmel
  • Sagnik Bhadra
  • Kim Tran

From Corban University:

  • Halden Jensen
  • Karly Easterday
  • Bronson Knight

From Wheaton College:

  • Nellie Boling
  • Noah Cowie
  • Amelia Dunn

From Wheaton College

  • Krissa Cusanelli
  • Jill van der Schaaf

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 4, 2019, the Cipher Challenges will be available at this website. Begin working and have fun! Solutions need to be submitted by 4 p.m. April 8, 2019. 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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