CIPHER MACHINES AND CRYPTOLOGY Crypto Box Challenge

The Challenge

The Crypto Box Challenge is a contest to decipher three scrambled pieces of text. You can download the Crypto Box software, a tool to transposition letters, to help you break the code. This is done by shuffling the rows and columns of the text square. Retrieving the original position of the letters has proven to be a real challenge due to the large number of possible moves and the complex way the letters travel around the square. Even the simplest shuffles with a few steps create a true brain-teasing puzzle. After the great success of the Enigma Challenge, with competitors from more than 40 countries, this is the second contest to show your code cracking skills to the rest of the world.

The Challenge consists of three shuffled portions of text, numbered 1, 2 and 3. These are little poems in the English language. Each of these boxes has its own difficulty level. The easiest one is Box 3, which can be solved in only 5 steps. Box 2 is more challenging and needs 10 steps to be solved. Finally, we have Box 1, a most complex and challenging puzzle which requires 20 steps to complete. Cracking this one will put you on top of the ranking! What's in it for you? A place in the Table Of Honor and the respect of fellow codebreakers, crypto amateurs and puzzle freaks from all over the world!

Some useful tips on cracking the boxes:

• The words are written out without any space or other character between them.
• To limit the complexity there are never more that two successive identical steps.
• The text is trailed with letters X to complete the box.

#### *** LATEST NEWS ***

• Rafael Pascual from Spain is the eighth person in more than twelve years to solve all three boxes. Congratulations, Rafael!
• You can still participate in the Crypto Box Challenge! Your results will be listed in the Table Of Honor
• No less than 76 codebreakers from 25 different countries have already joined the challenge.

How To Participate

The Crypto Box Challenge started on December 6, 2007. It is your task to shuffle the rows and columns of the box in such a way that the original text appears. Start by decrypting Box 3. If you succeed in cracking the box, you should send an e-mail with your full name, country, the plain text solution and the used key. Your position in the Table of Honor depends on the date of submission. It is only after cracking Box 3 that you are allowed to attack Box 2, and that box needs to be solved before you can submit the most difficult one, Box 1.

You can download the Crypto Box software on this website. This software is optional but very handy. You can copy and past the Challenge Boxes into the Crypto Box program by using the 'Box' menu, and start shifting the rows and columns. You can also use the program to create your own puzzles or even encrypt short messages. With every new step the encryption becomes stronger and more complex. Don't forget that the 20 steps key of Box 1 is just a small key!

Finally, if you deciphered a message, please do not publish or distribute the solution on the internet or elsewhere!

#### The Challenge Boxes

BOX 2
10 Steps
 ```HTHLYTHXUG TTHETINEHE BOXAECRLTS EVSRWIULCN OMEEUTBYTA SMAOTGUEBR OKERHEKDYA DSTREADALN LTHPWORXSO XUTEOUDOTX```
BOX 1
20 Steps
 ```RLITAEKXWW WHETTSRYES NAHWRTRDNW SOWECWEAAE EIOYHETHWK RSGPYISYSE OESHEDSPSC EWTAAEXTWE ETRSXNDEHE EETEWHONXW```

BOX 3
5 Steps
 ```STARTHFHRS EEREESIOAS QCARYITNNO STUASACLSE AEEREREUOR DRARFDAWCI NSLENTTNRI GGTURTIOTH HECLETLEEE SSHECIGSTX```

TABLE OF HONOR
CRYPTO BOX CHALLENGE
Started on December 6, 2007

 BOX 2 10 Steps BOX 1 20 Steps BOX 3 5 Steps 1 Derek Smyth Olaf Dave Goodwin 2 Klaus Becker Bernard Right Carol Crook 3 Richard Brisson Hans Nelisse Heinrich Jul 4 Mark van de Beek Boris van Woerkom Daniel Fretwell 5 David Carpenter Gerrit van Woerkom Thomas Boersma 6 Rod George Lasry Steve Mundy 7 George Burdell Matthias Engeler Andreas R. 8 Jean-Marc Devroye Rafael Pascual Ant Simmons 9 Victor Bunchukov James Keener 10 Joachim Velten Jens Joervad 11 Guntram Gelke R Lopez 12 Rickard Norlander Jason Leong 13 Zdenek Berka Sven Westerlund 14 John Willemse Dave Raethel 15 John Le Long Alain Stephan 16 Allan Young Andy Fleming 17 David Guidos Gerald C. Miller 18 Trond Rognan Marieta Hristova 19 Jan Dvorak 20 Muthuvel Murugan 21 Frank Inklaar 22 Florian Hopfmuller 23 Bart den Hartog 24 Robert Sadler 25 Terence Turnbull 26 Michael Kaiser 27 Winfried Frühholz 28 Mohammad Mufti 29 Andrei Shishkin 30 Peter Hendriks 31 Peter Hardie 32 Jack Sui-hin Mak 33 Richard Bootsman 34 Marti Teuns 35 Jan Beck 36 Szilvia Lestyan 37 Doug Adkins 38 Valentijn Scholten 39 Daniel Rocha Furtado 40 Theresa Adigun 41 Norbert Biermann 42 Christopher Dermer 43 Pascal Bühler 44 Lucian Florin Grigorita 45 Harmen Stoppels 46 Charles Schneeberger 47 Jukka Hautaluoma 48 Madness 49 Ivana Belgers 50 Sherrie & Mark Dawe 51 52 53 54 55

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© Dirk Rijmenants 2004 - 2021. Last changes: 6 June 2021