Senior Mathematicians’ achievement

University of Southampton cipher challenge.

Mrs Bennet, Head of Mathematics, reports on how the mathematicians at St Augustine’s Priory are meeting the challenges of lockdown and triumphing in a way that shows how amazing they are!

‘Every year the University of Southampton runs a cipher challenge with a series of increasingly difficult messages to decrypt under timed conditions.  This year’s competition has just finished.

Two teams from St Augustine’s Priory participated this year who devoted many, many hours of their spare time to investigating the Vigenere cipher,  the ADFGVX cipher and, finally, a fiendishly difficult Wheatstone Clock cipher.

This competition attracted over 3,600 competitors and there were just 262 correct submissions for cipher 6 (there are 7 in total). Our Lower IV cipherists managed to finish puzzle 6 and our Lower V cipherists correctly solved number 7 and were placed an incredible 9th in the competition overall.

Both of these accomplishments are amazing and this is definitely the school’s finest performance so far – we are already excited about next year’s competition!

Many congratulations to Riko Nakagawa in Lower IV and Sophie Fung in Lower V for their achievements.

Coming 9th in this competition out of so many entrants is an incredible result.  Well done, our wonderful mathematicians!’