Dear MTC3 team,
I have a simple question, and unfortunately I believe I know the answer. You mention in the above post that some Handycipher challenges will be underrated from level III to level II. I understand that this affects only three members of the contest, the only successful solvers of the "advanced" Handycipher challenges (Integral,michaelm and me). So I have to ask. We should expect our points to be adjusted according to this change?
Handycipher part-3 is a level III challenge for almost two years. It took me a whole summer to solve it. I had to develop cryptanalytic techniques that I had not ever imagined I could develop in order to break this cipher. And it was fun, more fun than any other challenge I have solved. So as I am in the top ten of the hall of fame I believe I have the right to say that it is a hard challenge, a level III challenge. I believe that it was not easier for the other two users as well (I would like to know their opinion).
The new change in the algorithm that exposes a weakness did not affect our work (because we do not know that change yet). So, in case you are thinking of reducing the points awarded for these challenges, do you believe it is fair for this three users?
This is a natural question for the level III challenges. The contest was open 5 years ago, is open now and I hope it will be open in ten years from now. But a challenge published now in 2016 as level III, maybe in ten years from now will be of level II difficulty due to new discoveries. A user that solves it now in 2016 should be awarded the points of a level III challenge because that is the actual difficulty at this time. After 5 years maybe a paper appears that reduces it to a simple programming challenge. That does not mean that the first one that solved it put the same amount of work as the one after five years.
I participate in this contest for more that 4 years and I believe it is a fair contest. I want to believe that. So I would like to suggest to the MTC3 team to think carefully how they are going to handle this change.