Congratulations to everyone who took part in Challenges 1 and 2, you all did really well. Now things get serious.
The first two rounds were for practice and by now you should be getting the hang of it. Analyse the text to see what sort of cipher it might be, look for patterns, use your common sense and automate what you can with a word processor, spreadsheet or your own programmes!
From Challenge 3 on we start adding up the part B scores to give an overall championship leader board and that is what we will use to determine the prize winners. But this is about more than winning, it is about how far you can go!
PS, here is a curious fact that has just about nothing to do with the Challenge, but we like it: Did you know that the Roman’s had no concept of the number “0” Perhaps it was just an idea too far which was too confusing and abstract for a highly materialistic but successful civilisation. Engineers nowadays couldn’t cope without “0” but the Romans just never seemed to need it.
In fact the idea of zero is requires a huge conceptual leap. Recent research this year at the University of Oxford in interpreting an ancient Bakhshali manuscript, from Peshawar in India has discovered that the idea of zero goes back 500 years than previously thought to the 3rd or 4th century.