# Unclutch those pearls

Can you see the hidden gems in this string of pearls?

Here they are:

Now, in the same way, can you find the pearls of wisdom in this longer string?

Text version:

<< MEREGENTTOGOLDIODETONCOESOJOUNDAGISMSENDOWNTIMESTETHIONGOLYCOAUTODEMELONSTIFFERGOMESTEXTURPEARNIGENTICEDELAYINJUDASLOTSATTOFFHATETHRATYCOOMETSUNFEWERODIMBETADEJUXDPG >>


Clarification:

1. The longer string is composed of several quotations by famous-ish people.
2. The quotations are written clockwise around the string.
3. The letters of the quotations are interspersed amongst each other in some way with no intentional pattern.
4. Each pearl (letter) is used once and only once. In other words, each pearl (letter) is used in one and only one quotation.

The gem example is just a demonstration. Any patterns found within their letter placement is purely coincidental and has no bearing on solving the longer string.

• First thought- this seems extremely difficult
– JLee
Jun 22 at 23:33
• So I've found a few potential answers but some of them use the same letters so they can't all be right... trying to narrow it down, can you confirm if rot13("rkcrpg gur harkcrpgrq") is one of them? Jun 23 at 20:13
• @SQLnoob — No, the fragment that you wrote in rot13() is not contained in any of the quotations that I used to construct the long string of pearls. Jun 23 at 20:22
• rot13(1. Ner nyy yrggref va gur ybatre fgevat hfrq va gur dhbgngvbaf? 2. Vf gurer pbafvfgrapl jvgu rnpu yrggre jura qrgrezvavat gur arkg yrggre bs gur jbeq be cuenfr (abg pbhagvat gur ynfg yrggre bs gur dhbgngvba)? Sbe rknzcyr, nf ybat nf "N" vf abg gur ynfg yrggre bs n dhbgngvba, vf gur arkg yrggre nyjnlf 5 fcnprf njnl (trareny pybpxjvfr qverpgvba)? V qba'g frr ubj obgu bs gubfr pbaqvgvbaf ner cbffvoyr ng gur fnzr gvzr.)
– JLee
Jun 25 at 11:31
• @MOehm and JLee — I have added clarification. See above. Jun 25 at 13:14

The quotes are:

"Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment"
"Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late"
"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it"

Method:

Scrape quotes from a website until server blocks requests, find one of those quotes by computer, find the rest by hand (which is far easier with only ~100 letters left)

• Well done. And a well-deserved, but hard-earned bounty, it seems. Jun 27 at 10:24
• Holy Toledo, Batman!! I was wondering if someone would/could take such an approach. And you did. I would give you even more points if I could. Jun 27 at 16:26

Yes. I was able to find

THE PEARLS OF WISDOM (not counting the spaces, obviously)

in the longer string as follows:

MEREGENTTOGOLDIODETONCOE S OJOUN D AGISMSEND O WNTI M ES T ET H IONGOLYCOAUTOD E MELONSTIFFERGOMESTEXTUR PEAR NIGENTICEDE L AYINJUDA S L O TSATTO F FHATETHRATYCOOMETSUNFE W EROD I MBETADEJUXDPG

There are at least 3 different ways to find that same string within the longer string.

• Hm. I don't think this is hidden "in the same way" as the gems. rot13(With the gems, the number of pearls to skip are always the same for each letter, for example: Take the next pearl after M and R, skip three after E, skipt four after A.) Jun 25 at 6:45
• @M Oehm That's a great observation that I didn't consider. Also, in the original example, all letters are used, so they will probably all be used here.
– JLee
Jun 25 at 11:03
• That, on the other hand, is a great observation I didn't consider. (And I'm apparently not very good at pasting the correct parts from my rot13 app.) Jun 25 at 13:00
• It is impressive that you took a literal interpretation of the instructions and actually managed to find it. What are the chances?? Jun 25 at 13:13
• @SlowMagic Yeah I know it is very hard to judge puzzle difficulty. I face the same issue fairly often. With something this large, even using a computer, I wouldn't even know where to begin since there are so many possibilities for words and word combinations, and zero confirmation of correctness until the very end when no words/phrases can be made from the remaining letters. Maybe having a pattern restriction would help, but I think it would have to be very strict, like all letters in a quotation are grouped in 3s in the long string and each group is x letters apart, or something like that.
– JLee
Jun 25 at 14:03