"SLEEP IS A SYMPTOM OF CAFFEINE DEPRIVATION"
How I solved it:
Step 1: Notice that there are 36 numbers, 1 through 36. Assume that this is a 36-letter sentence, and that the order of letters in that sentence are
1 through 36.
Step 2: Notice that each letter is surrounded by four beans, each one oriented either vertically or horizontally. Assume that each arrangement of
four beans represents a different letter.
Step 3: Plot out the 36 letters in numerical order as a cypher:
Step 4: Notice that the numbers are in two different shades of yellow; one lighter and one darker. (Actually that was the first thing I noticed.)
Circle the light yellow characters and discover that the light and dark numbers run in strings that suspiciously look like the words of a sentence:
ABCCD EA F AGHDIJH JK LFKKCEMC NCDOEPFIEJM
Step 5: Solve as a regular ol' cryptogram.
The first letter I substituted was A for F because that lonely F was either A or I, and I figured that the quote was more likely to include the word
"a" rather and "I". Having A in place, it seemed natural to preceed it with "is".
Then, with the "a"s, "i"s and "s"s in place, and since "C" appeared the most frequently (5 times), I went with that as "e" and the word
"sleep" jumped out me.
"Of", at that point, was a gimme (Edit to add: Actually I tried "on" first but nevermind )
which then led right to ending the sentence
with "-tion", and the word "CAFFEINE" now had everything but the C. Well call me butter 'cuz I'm on a roll.
So now we've got:
SLEEP IS A S**PTO* OF CAFFEINE *EP*I*ATION
Golly Gee, what could that be?
Excellent puzzle, Ian!
[edit on 24-2-2009 by Tuning Spork]