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Finally, if you deciphered a message, please do not publish or distribute the solution on the internet or elsewhere!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