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The answer to this puzzle is a two-word phrase.

Note: It's not super precise, but with the help of the title and spotting some pattern, it should be solvable. Good luck!


< v< >  ^> ^> ^> v  v  >        
> v< ^< ^< ^< v  ^> ^> ^
^ v< ^< v< >  <  v> ^> <
< v< v> v< v> v> v> ^> ^
                    ^>  

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
 |P E G D I N O H Q|      
 |M T C A R X A L C|
 |D N R S A L E D G|
 |Q I O N I T C I Z|
 |__ __ __ __ __R__|

Hint1:

Not everything is relevant, some are just there to confuse. Count everything you see (I really mean everything), and you'll hopefully see what's relevant.

Hint2:

If you look at the characters(on top), there are two different types. Focus on one of them only. And like I mentioned before.. count.

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ While I can't quite figure the pattern out, here's a little something for others: ygeo zbfg yvxryl zrnaf yrsg gbc evtug obggbz $\endgroup$
    – Auribouros
    May 27 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ The “box” formed by the lines around the letters - are the holes in the box above the P and Q in the upper corners intentional? Can/should letters be pushed in or out through them? Is the bottom of the box supposed to be solid? Or is this all irrelevant? $\endgroup$
    – SQLnoob
    May 28 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ @SQLnoob All I can say is. No, the holes are irrelevant and you're not supposed to push letter in or out through them. I'll add a hint in 1 or 2 days. $\endgroup$ May 29 at 7:07
  • $\begingroup$ That is, if its still unsolved ofc $\endgroup$ May 29 at 7:14

2 Answers 2

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Here we go!

We notice that the first chart consists combined arrows and single arrows. We remove the single arrows and the corresponding letters in the second chart.

      v<    ^> ^> ^>
      v< ^< ^< ^<    ^> ^>
      v< ^< v<       v> ^>
      v< v> v< v> v> v> ^>
                        ^>

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ | E D I N | | T C A R A L | | N R S E D | | I O N I T C I | |__ __ __ __ R|

Now

we see that the number of letters remaining is equal to the number of lines surrounding them. Then we follow the directions implied by the arrows.
v< bottom/left
^< top/left
^> top/right
v> bottom/right

Then we start from the bottom left corner to get,

          C A R D I N A
     R                    L
     E                    D
     T                    I
     N                    R
     I  S  N  O  I  T  C  E 

As per the title

left, top, right, bottom is the way to go

it spells

INTERCARDINAL DIRECTIONS

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  • $\begingroup$ You're almost there! Rot13(gel gb vapyhqr gur yvarf fheebhaqvat gur qverpgvbaf naq frr vs lbh pna pbzr hc jvgu gur pbeerpg nafjre. Ubj znal yvarf naq yrggref qb lbh frr?) $\endgroup$ Jul 31 at 5:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Prim3numbah , thanks for the hint. Please check now. $\endgroup$
    – Jarvis
    Jul 31 at 7:53
  • $\begingroup$ Looks good now, well done! $\endgroup$ Jul 31 at 8:16
2
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Partial solution/spoiler?

I was moving letters around the grid in the directions of the arrows, and ended up with something that looked like it was approaching the phrase "CHARACTER INSERTION", but it was still a bit jumbled up. I'm guessing that this phrase is supposed to appear after performing a series of operations, inserting characters into the grid using the arrows, but I haven't been able to figure out the exact method for getting all the letters to appear where they should be.

In other words we start with this:

1 and end with something like this:

2

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm surprised it could end up like that, but no, not on the right track. $\endgroup$ May 27 at 16:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow! Interesting, ok, back to the drawing board then. $\endgroup$
    – SQLnoob
    May 27 at 17:36

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