ROUND 5 META: WRITING

by Zack Butler and Mike Selinker

Starring as your demons: Greg Lohman and Evan Davis

Final activity: Submit an almost plagiarized Dan Brown work

Each puzzle in round 5 produces a word whose qualities are unclear. The book jacket shows a 7x7 grid with some oddly highlighted letters. The key to this is found in Justice Peter Smith's "Smithy Code" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithy_code), which he used in his April 2006 judgment in the Dan Brown plagiarism case. The Variant Beaufort cipher used by Justice Smith involves taking a message in blocks of eight letters and applying the following Caesar shifts based on the Fibonacci sequence:

each first letter: +0
each second letter: +0
each third letter: -2
each fourth letter: +2
each fifth letter: +4
each sixth letter: +7
each seventh letter: +12
each eighth letter: -6

This produces the result:

ALRFWUS => alphabe
ZIZGYJL => tizeans
KKRSVYG => werstak
XSBERAR => eeveryt
DBFJLEV => hirdlet
RAKFKAP => terreap
RJUVCJE => plycode

ALPHABETIZE ANSWERS, TAKE EVERY THIRD LETTER, REAPPLY CODE

The highlighted letters suggest that you need to start with the *first* letter, and take every third letter from there.

ATTLEBORO, MA-COLUMNED-FIRE-DAMAGED-KENYA-KNOBBY-KNUCKLED-
PEACE PRIZE-SNAPHOOK-WATER WAGON-YTTRIUM

Applying the Smithy Code to this new string gets the result:

ALOMOMDR => ALMOSTPL
AGKYNBNK => AGIARIZE
DAPZNHKT => DANBROWN
WOTI => WORK

Or ALMOST PLAGIARIZE DAN BROWN WORK. Submitting a nearly plagiarized piece of a Dan Brown potboiler gets you the certificate.