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Cemetech Contest #15 Results and Winners
Published by KermMartian on February 4, 2016 at 12:30:21 PM CST | Discuss this article (9)

A month and a half ago, we announced Cemetech Contest #15: Crypto Golfing. In a departure from previous Cemetech contests, where each contestant or team creates one large program over the course of the contest, this one challenged entrants to solve five challenges. Each puzzle started with an encoded image or string of text, which contestants needed to crack. Once they solved the cipher, they needed to write a program to decode any other message encoded in that particular cipher. Entries were required to function correctly, but were graded solely on the size of the entry, with the smaller the better. Over the course of five weeks, our members attacked those puzzles with gusto:
  • Entries were submitted in 9 unique programming languages: TI-BASIC, Hybrid BASIC, z80 Assembly, Axe, C, C++, Java, Haskell, and Python.
  • 16 unique members submitted in a total of 30 user-language combinations; those members were: Andressevilla, c4ooo, DWMelon, elfprince13, Hooloovoo, Iambian, jacobly, Juju, Lirtosiast, MateoConLechuga, pimathbraniac, PT_, Snektron, Spenceboy98, Tari, and Xeda112358.
  • 56 total entries were received over the 5 puzzles. Many contestants dropped out after the first or second puzzle, with 4 contestants submitting 5 entries for Challenge #5.
Because you're no doubt raring to hear who won, let's start in traditional Cemetech fashion from the honorable mentions and work our way up to the first place winner. Without a doubt, the most noteworthy contestant who did not place was Xeda112358. Well-known for her assembly prowess, she submitted impressive TI-BASIC, ASM, and/or Python entries for three of the five challenges, earning her a score 58% of the first-place winner's score, and thus indicating that had she solved the missing two challenges, she would have had a good shot at winning the contest. We salute her work and hope to see her in the next Cemetech contest. Now, the winners, all of whom solved all five challenges:
  • Third place goes to lirtosiast, with extremely optimized TI-BASIC implementations of the five ciphers. The TI-BASIC race was extremely close: lirtosiast's final score was 78.31, just 0.51 points lower than the second-place winner. Congratulations for such an impressive showing, lirtosiast!
  • Second place is awarded to PT_, who also created TI-BASIC entries. His final score was 78.82, with entries very close in size to lirtosiast's. Congratulations, PT_!
  • First place was earned by Hooloovoo, one of relatively few members who submitted z80 Assembly entries. Each of his entries was well-written, fast, small, and of course correct, and he even included an Easter Egg or two that gave the judges a chuckle. The decisive winner with 89.71 points, we applaud his persistence in solving each challenge and optimizing his solutions.
As mentioned in the original news article, the first place winner will have a choice of a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition or a TI-Nspire CX, with the remaining calculator going to the second-place winner. Although we didn't announce any prizes for the third place winner, we have a signed copy of The Zombie Autopsies by Zombie Apocalypse consultant Dr. Steve Schlozman.

We would be remiss if we didn't reveal the solutions to each of the challenges:
  1. Challenge #1: The clue was GSVHVXIVGNVHHZTVRHLOWDRAZIW, which was written in the alphabetic substitution cipher Atbash. The decoded clue is THESECRETMESSAGEISOLDWIZARD.
  2. Challenge #2: The clue was VPUOUGHUVYUOOSIUWOPSTTEPMRWNSEOBHMYGUYUVUGP, encoded in the Affine Cipher with a=8 and b=15. The solution was THESECRETMESSAGEISHAPPYHOLIDAYSFROMCEMETECH.
  3. Challenge #3: The clue was OEEJCYKL WK AU LTMY L WXOJWN, encoded in the Vigenere cipher with key CALCULATORS. The solution was METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.
  4. Challenge #4: The clue was a steganographic image of an Enigma machine from World War II. Each row in the monochrome 63 pixel by 95 pixel image represents one character. To find each character, you add up the pixels that are black in each row: column 0 has a value of 0, column 1 is worth 1, column 2 is 2, and so on. You then take the final sum modulo 27 (26 uppercase letters and space), and the resulting number maps to a character from A-Z or space. This turned out to be one the puzzle with which our contestants struggled the most. The decoded message was STEGANOGRAPHY IS THE PRACTICE OF CONCEALING A MESSAGE IN A FILE.
  5. Challenge #5: The clue was a string of the digits 1 through 4 (and can be seen in the linked news post for Challenge #5). Each digit represented a cardinal direction to move a pen around the screen, like twisting the knobs of an Etch-a-Sketch. The solution was the following:

Congratulations once again to our winners, and a hearty thanks to all of the contestants who entered. I need to single out jonbush, without whom this contest would have been impossible. His work in coming up with the contest topic, creating almost all of the individual challenges, and his tireless efforts grading all of our entries made this one of the best Cemetech contests to date, and I hope we'll have his expert involvement in our future contests.

Good luck to everyone in Cemetech Contest #16, hopefully to be announced in a month or two!

2016 Articles
January 2016 January 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: December 2015 published January 1, 2016 by tifreak8x
» Cemetech Contest #15, Challenge 4 published January 5, 2016 by KermMartian
» Consumer Electronics Show 2016 - A Brief Review published January 12, 2016 by Alex
» Cemetech Contest #15, Challenge 5 published January 13, 2016 by KermMartian
» TI and NASA Announce "mISSion imaginaTIon" published January 15, 2016 by KermMartian
» Graph3DC 1.0 Open Beta 2 published January 18, 2016 by KermMartian
» Light-Based Whack-a-Mole Powered by TI-84+CSE and MSP432 published January 21, 2016 by KermMartian
» Graph3DC 1.0: 3D Grapher for TI-84 Plus C SE Released published January 26, 2016 by KermMartian
» Mateo Does it Again - C SDK, Libraries, and LibLoad published January 30, 2016 by pimathbrainiac

February 2016 February 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: January 2016 published February 2, 2016 by tifreak8x
» Cemetech Contest #15 Results and Winners published February 4, 2016 by KermMartian
» ArTICL SimpleI/O Demo: LEDs, Buttons, Switches, and a Motor published February 11, 2016 by KermMartian
» Cemetech User Promotions: New Moderators and more! published February 12, 2016 by Alex
» TI-Nspire OS 4.2, NASA "Fuel for the Fire" Activity published February 18, 2016 by KermMartian
» TI-Nspire CX OS 4.2, mISSion imaginaTIon, and More! published February 19, 2016 by pimathbrainiac
» Cemetech Returns to T^3 2016 in New Role published February 22, 2016 by KermMartian
» SourceCoder 3 RC 1: TI-84+CE C Programming, More published February 23, 2016 by KermMartian
» Presenting Learn @ Cemetech published February 25, 2016 by KermMartian
» Cemetech at T^3 International Conference 2016 published February 29, 2016 by KermMartian

March 2016 March 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: February 2016 published March 1, 2016 by tifreak8x
» Sneak Peek at Upcoming TI-BASIC Features published March 2, 2016 by elfprince13
» Cemetech Contest #16: Chatty Cyborgs published March 2, 2016 by jonbush
» Happy Pi Day 2016 published March 14, 2016 by KermMartian
» TI-BASIC Optimization Competition published March 16, 2016 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Minecraft 1.9 Intellectual Survival Easter Launch published March 27, 2016 by KermMartian
» Checkers, Game of Life Grace TI-84 Plus CE published March 28, 2016 by KermMartian

April 2016 April 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Doors CS 7 Source Code Released published April 1, 2016 by KermMartian
» GPU Technology Conference 2016 published April 5, 2016 by Alex
» TI-84 Plus CE Minesweeper Released published April 8, 2016 by KermMartian
» TI Teases New TI-84 Plus CE Colors: Gold, ??? published April 19, 2016 by KermMartian

May 2016 May 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» New TI-84 Plus CE Colors: White and Gold published May 10, 2016 by KermMartian
» Planned Cemetech Downtime: May 21st, 2016 published May 18, 2016 by Alex
» Projects of the Month: April 2016 published May 10, 2016 by tifreak8x
» May 22 Server Events: Scavenger Hunt, Border Expansion published May 22, 2016 by KermMartian

June 2016 June 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: May 2016 published June 7, 2016 by tifreak8x
» Cemetech Contest #17: On Rails published June 20, 2016 by jonbush
» ticalc.org Turns 20 published June 22, 2016 by tifreak8x
» White and Gold TI-84 Plus CE Calculators Now Available published June 24, 2016 by KermMartian

July 2016 July 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: June 2016 published July 11, 2016 by tifreak8x
» Coming Soon: The TI-Innovator System published July 16, 2016 by KermMartian
» Cemetech to Cover SIGGRAPH 2016 published July 24, 2016 by KermMartian
» Hands-On with the Gold TI-84 Plus CE (2016) published July 29, 2016 by KermMartian

August 2016 August 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» PT_ Releases ICE - An Interpreter/Compiler of CE-BASIC published August 6, 2016 by pimathbrainiac
» STEM and Exploring Mars: A Chat with Z. Nagin Cox of NASA published August 10, 2016 by KermMartian
» Projects of the Month: July 2016 published August 12, 2016 by tifreak8x
» Win TI-84 Plus CEs with Photos of Math for the Win published August 13, 2016 by KermMartian
» SIGGRAPH 2016 Highlights: Basketball with OptiTrack published August 16, 2016 by elfprince13
» Clouttery: Manage All Your Devices' Batteries Effortlessly published August 19, 2016 by KermMartian
» Back to School 2016: What Graphing Calculator Should I Buy? published August 26, 2016 by KermMartian
» OS 5.2 for the TI-84 Plus CE: New TI-BASIC Commands published August 31, 2016 by KermMartian

September 2016 September 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: August 2016 published September 4, 2016 by tifreak8x
» Hands-On with the TI-Innovator published September 20, 2016 by merthsoft
» Cemetech Going to World Maker Faire 2016 for 5th Year published September 26, 2016 by KermMartian

October 2016 October 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Cemetech at World Maker Faire 2016 Recap published October 8, 2016 by KermMartian
» Projects of the Month: September 2016 published October 17, 2016 by tifreak8x

November 2016 November 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Projects of the Month: October 2016 published November 11, 2016 by tifreak8x
» Unboxing the TI-Innovator Hub and Breadboard Pack published November 25, 2016 by KermMartian

December 2016 December 2016 [Back to News Archives Index]

» ticalc.org PotY 2016 Voting Begins published December 6, 2016 by KermMartian
» Contest #18: Winter Wonderland published December 18, 2016 by jonbush
» PT_ Promoted to Global Moderator published December 23, 2016 by KermMartian
» Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and New Year from Cemetech published December 25, 2016 by KermMartian
» 2016 ticalc.org PotY Results Announced published December 30, 2016 by PT_