Aimed at Year 11 and below England & Wales, S4 Scotland and Year 12 N. Ireland, and now in its sixth year, it’s an online contest run by the School of Mathematics at The University of Manchester. Every couple of weeks a new chapter of the 6-chapter story is released, with a cryptographic puzzle for the teams to solve.

Teams consist of 1-4 people, and there are prizes for the fastest team as well as randomly assigned prizes. The competition is followed by the Alan Turing Cryptography Day on Wednesday 3rd May 2017, which is hosted by the maths department and has everything from a live cryptography challenge to a prize ceremony for the competition winners.

For older students, there’s also MathsBombe (Year 13 and below England & Wales, S6 Scotland and Year 14 N. Ireland); with a name and branding so good it must be slightly ripped off from a brilliant other online puzzle outlet, the MathsBombe has two mathematical puzzles released every fortnight and four sets of puzzles in total.

Participants compete against other students from across the UK, and the puzzles cover all areas of maths (not just A-level topics) and require extra-boxial thinking and problem-solving skills.

The Alan Turing Cryptography Competition begins on Monday 23rd Jan 2017, with MathsBombe starting on Wednesday 18th January. Registration for both is open now and links are below. Here’s a video showing last year’s Cryptography Day: