There will be four parts to this encoded puzzle, and I will give one paragraph of the code at a time, and I will not announce ahead of time when the next paragraph will appear.
When you figure out the day's message in the embedded code, send me that day's piece of the decoded statement. Each day, the first five people who send me the piece of the decoded statement will receive fifteen points. Everyone else who sends the correct decoded statement will receive ten points. Correct answers will be counted through the end of June. When you send an answer, I will tell you if it's correct or incorrect, but I will not tell you how much of it is right or wrong.
Each portion of the statement will be part of a larger assignment, but you won't be able to do the assignment correctly until you decode all four parts of the statement. Once you decode all four parts, read the entire, collected statement (they will be in order), and do what it says to do. The first three people to provide a correct response to the entire message will receive thirty points, while every correct answer after the first three will receive twenty points.
So, to complete the entire quiz, you will send me four pieces of decoded words, and you will also send a fifth message, the results of following the instructions that the entire decoded statement gives. When you email me your answers (to bryan (at) dragonsinourmidst (dot) com), please say that this is quiz number two, and tell me which part (one through five) you are answering.
The key to decoding the paragraphs is to use the scheme that Nathan and his father devised for sending and reading secret messages they send to each other. You will find that scheme in the book. One important factor is that after you solve the first paragraph, continue the scheme with the next paragraph as if the message continues. In other words, don't start over as if the second (or third or fourth) paragraph is a new message.
Here is the first part:
Is it fun creating puzzles that will make readers deposit a lot of time for such modest incentives? A reader’s effort represents the finest in fun distractions. So if you want to take a hiatus from your normal duties, take a cue from your writing conductor and solve this alien code. Even if it’s your fortieth try, don’t give up.