New Year's #sophoscrossword 2013/2014: And the winners are...

Filed Under: Featured

Well done to everyone who tried the New Year's #sophoscrossword for 2013/2014!

And very well done to the 54 people who submitted correct solutions by the deadline.

You'll find the full leaderboard below.

But first, here's what the finished grid was supposed to look like:

To give you a bit more detail, here are the clues and their corresponding answers.

If you tried the puzzle this time and struggled with some of the clues, this will give you some insight that will be (OK, that may be) be of assistance next time:

We have two winners: the fastest to finish, and a randomly selected finisher from the rest.

Our fastest solver was: Ross Younger, of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Our random winner styled him or herself k3p13r of California, USA.


Here's the list of all 54 solvers:

And, because a few of you emailed us to say you were looking forward to seeing where the solvers came from, here's a leaderboard showing the number of solvers from each country:

By the way, a number of readers sent us messages to say that they loved the look of the prize shirts, and that they'd buy them if we put them for sale on the web.

We hear you!

No promises, but we're hoping to make some cool Sophos and Naked Security merchandise available online sometime soon.

If we go for it, we'll definitely do T-shirts; when we (half jokingly) suggested mugs as well, we got a couple of big "Yes pleases," so there may yet be Naked Security crockery, too!

→ If you're one of the people who'd like to see Naked Security merch, let us know in the comments, and tell us the sort of products you'd like to see. While you're about it, please let us know what your favourite T-shirt colour scheme is. We're a bit old school, so we think that techie shirts really ought to be white-on-black. No choices. But we made our recent AusCERT 2013 puzzle shirts in black-on-grey as an experiment, and they looked super-cool. What do you think?

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13 Responses to New Year's #sophoscrossword 2013/2014: And the winners are...

  1. Thierry P · 635 days ago

    You claim one of the winners was selected "randomly" - are you sure the randomness was sufficient to prevent the contest being rigged?

    Is this so-called kp13p really just another NSA stooge, now revelling in a totally undeserved tshirt?

    I think we should be told.

    • Paul Ducklin · 634 days ago

      Well, I did it programmatically, and I tested my code *thoroughly*. The first few versions of the program didn't work properly - the results were all over the place - but eventually I got the bugs out. I even ran it 10 times in a row to make sure it came up with the same winner every time!

      (Actually, I used /dev/random on OS X 10.9.1. Consider it a security experiment :-)

  2. Ad · 635 days ago

    I'd love to see witty online risk-related shirts, like the "if you can read this, I need to fix my privacy settings" design. I'd likely buy the black version, but all black & white does get boring. A little splash of color somewhere would be nice, and you've got those adorable robots to play with. Please choose tshirt blanks that are soft and comfy, and that resist picking up lint. We've all got shirts that never make it back out of the closet because they're irritating or weld themselves to dustbunnies when we crawl under a desk. For drinkware, how about a double-walled glass travel tumbler for those of us who take our caffeine cold & carbonated?

  3. k3p13r · 635 days ago

    It's actually k3p13r (as in Johannes Kepler), but I ain't even mad. :-)

    • Paul Ducklin · 634 days ago

      Aaaaargh! Sorry about that. I thought it was some HAM radio handle type thing. I'll fix it, old chap. In the meantime, here is some planetary holding music for your listening pleasure.

      Anyway, now you know you won (because I forgot to tell you, as well as mis-spelling your handle), so if you email us a delivery address, your shirt size, and whether that's US or Euro measure, we'll get on it.

      Assuming your victory survives a randomness audit! (See above. There are concerns you might be an NSA stooge. Which would actually be pretty cool.)

  4. Adam · 635 days ago

    I do enjoy the classic white-on-black, but a bit (and I do mean a bit) of color wouldn't be bad once in a while. For example, the Sophos logo shields on the AusCERT puzzle shirt could have been blue. The color doesn't have to be overwhelming to make an impact. And full color shirts (like the red & green version above) would definitely be out. Oversized coffee mugs and high quality travel mugs are also great ideas...

    • Paul Ducklin · 634 days ago

      I put that psychedental/transcendelic red-white-green shirt in there to prove to everyone why you wouldn't EVER want anything like THAT...

      ...and then I thought, "Hey! I want one of those!"

      Hoist by my own GIMP Colorize filter...

  5. Jh · 635 days ago

    Just FYI chaps, and no need to publish this, but the answers dont render well on iPad (wheezy V1 at least) - right end is hidden under the poplar/recent/related sidebar...

    • Paul Ducklin · 635 days ago

      Hmmm. I'd say "complain to Apple," but Cupertino long ago disowned your wheezy old iPad :-)

      I adapted the content in a way that would probably make Sir Tim apoplectic (replaced the preformatted ASCII text with a prerendered image) so it should work now.

  6. Steve · 635 days ago

    I like the black with white and the white with black, something about the red, green, and white that hurts the eyes.

    • Paul Ducklin · 634 days ago

      Exactly! It's GREAT, isn't it!

      (The green aura wouldn't be there in real life. That's a GIMPism, of course. So it might not be quite as, ah, wacky-looking if we actually made one.)

  7. roy jones jr · 605 days ago

    I am looking forward to the merchandise section. Color doesn't matter to me. I just want to be able to say "I'm not smart enough for decryption, but this shirt means people think I am!"

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About the author

Paul Ducklin is a passionate security proselytiser. (That's like an evangelist, but more so!) He lives and breathes computer security, and would be happy for you to do so, too. Paul won the inaugural AusCERT Director's Award for Individual Excellence in Computer Security in 2009. Follow him on Twitter: @duckblog