Again, there is an unexpected change of the rule of the game. Although the official rules state that the game is starting at 1pm EST, now ( 9 am EST) the game is already available. I hope to do it right now but I cannot because I have to go to school and teach two classes today. (Fortunately, the first phrase didn't end at Friday. Otherwise I would have no chance to enter the final phrase due to the time conflict). Anyway, I will probably start the game late this afternoon when I am back and post my solutions here if I could succeed in completing them. I am just curious about the final puzzles and care less about the grand prize because even if I can win it, I have to turn it down. I don't have $40,000 to pay the taxes. Therefore, the grand prize is of little value for me. Let's wait and see what we will have for the final quest.
BTW, I posted a modified photo yesterday to show a possible way to make the cryptex fully functional. Tekee actually did it in this way. Here is his blog post about how to modify the cryptex.