This weekend’s competitions

"In the Navy"(Image derived from a Casablanca Records property.)

This site has previously written about a couple of cryptography competitions, more specifically involving the decryption of ciphers, aimed at UK school students of various ages. Starting yesterday, the US Navy have launched a second story-heavy game which “will once again challenge followers on ((Facebook)) with puzzles to help stop a fictitious opposition group“.

More specifically, this photo leads to a very weakly hidden message (easy to decipher, though the community tend to point hints – or even outright spoilers – in the comments for each puzzle) which acts as a “location puzzle”, if you will, to another location online where the actual game’s puzzles will be posted on a daily basis. The first ten solvers to e-mail the answer to the final puzzle to the given e-mail address will be declared winners and certificated accordingly.

If you prefer sudoku to ciphers, you have about another week to solve the Sudoku Excavation 2015 competition. This has puzzles in each of fifteen sudoku types – neatly, six 6×6 and nine 9×9 – and a meta-puzzle where the clues are unlocked by correct answers to the first fifteen outer puzzles. These first fifteen are in a range of difficulties and come highly recommended by someone with a very strong track record for sudoku solving.

Also coming up this week: Sunday is Quiz The Nation once more; the standard may be getting higher, but the number of competitors is not yet too vast so you might well be able to pump some cash out of it. Additionally, Tuesday 10th sees Puzzled Pint, which this month expands to fourteen locations in thirteen cities in three countries, not least in London. (There’s no reason why it couldn’t happen elsewhere in the UK as well; all it needs is a bar, maybe 1-3 people to act as Game Control by checking answers and handing out hints, and at least a couple of teams of players.) This month’s location puzzle has now been posted, so go and see if you can find your way through it.

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