There was an immeasurable distance between the quick and the dead: they did not seem to belong to the same species; and it was strange to think that but a little while before they had spoken and moved and eaten and laughed - W. Somerset Maugham
A GROUP OF LONDON SCHOOLCHILDREN have won the UK's National Cipher Challenge, a code cracking competition that was put on by GCHQ.
This, the 11th in a series of competitions, was won in record time by a four person team made up of Samson Danziger, Daniel Hu, Anthony Landau and Charlie Hu.
The team, which called itself Winning_Combination, gets a £1,000 prize from GCHQ and a whole lot of glory.
The boys from City of London School took 44 hours 20 minutes to crack the final challenge, the eighth, to guarantee them the prize.
In second place was Andrew Carlotti, entered as mad_maths_man. Carlotti comes from Sir Roger Manwood's School and took 46 hours and 54 minutes. He gets a prize of £800, sponsored by IBM, all to himself.
A third prize, the Trinity College prize, is worth £700 and is awarded to Thomas Barnard, Tanya Sciamanna, Rachel Sangar, Oliver Kardoosh, Timothy Lennox, Jasmine Brown, Teodor Tzokov, Alexander Murray, Rosemary Stillman, Alice Butler, Thomas Honeywell, Thomas Wilshaw and Eve Pound from King Edward VII School, Sheffield. This, the biggest team ever, entered under the Teamsolitaire name.
The competition saw students compete to work out a series of encrypted messages that relate to the last will and testament of a Tiberius Hawksmoor. There were eight rounds and the challenges got harder as each round progressed.
A prize presentation ceremony will take place at Bletchley Park on 12 April. µ
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