1
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Though the answer I'm looking for is a number and there is a little calculation involved. There are no hard sums here and each step is fairly simple (except maybe the last two)

EtodKsteergytfifmilatertphoneqAladyaKauwsweenehW.================================================================etonwhopfiftyddhcumdidaohhn.=====================================================================================AXeH"theaegonenengas,nsyNyHgtaddnuopNYytrofxOzaaieherahBshnIme.,nrepeekpohssPSWvhWgveWo.eilessserdtOTsclown"=====MIesnneitgwrvocudehdiashsadnXr.==================================================================================aastNahkghlsioifntW,=============================================================================================TGTedlwMsuptSrY.=================================================================================================htggSgagklnuo.===================================================================================================rehtyvlMertuehixycSsnemursooonmesdnif,===========================================================================tdeeNgenmetimiinoaepcpmotqKdrXuuftrsmxgWnuvKwhyordvsgaoabteanmihhti.=============================================dsnootOooLrhfBehnrlntoiufAeghhenYimTzhrHdLcpoisijYuomrtgshueotusteiHhrlnandfandmrTKtyeehiaauookhnkapooa.=========sdnuopnshathhtttddrnpoeinaCbsesucxeRssUeoeseOibehnsJondkufieidehsinifHoluherDlariazlseHWhX?tPgTladyKkmrfSthLslhuo

Just un-jumble the letters, find some words, make sense of those words and work out what happened in the little story they tell.

Hint:

Align, Remove, Re-align, Search, Re-arrange, Solve.

Extra Hint:

There are 2 ways to "Re-align" only 1 will allow you to "Search" properly working out which is one of the (second) hardest parts of this puzzle.

Update (with hint):

Len has extracted the correct word search arrangement. Beware there are quite a few decoy words the have crept in purely by chance. Pay attention to the punctuation which is stuck to the beginning and ends of words.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you make the text copyable? $\endgroup$ – mmking Jun 11 '15 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ @mmking Is that easier? $\endgroup$ – Bob Jun 11 '15 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it is better now. $\endgroup$ – mmking Jun 11 '15 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ maybe just coincidence but I notice the following words in it without scrambling: phone, fifty, clown, lady $\endgroup$ – Ivo Beckers Jun 11 '15 at 20:19
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    $\begingroup$ It's probably significant that the length of the string is 1243, which has factors 11 and 113. $\endgroup$ – Aza Jun 11 '15 at 20:27
1
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Here is a partial answer.

1. Align

As suggested by Emrakul, 1243 characters are arranged into 11 rows with 113 characters in each row. Align1

2. Remove

Remove all of the "=" characters

3. Re-align

The remaining 589 characters can be arranged into 19 rows or 31 rows. I chose 19 rows of 31 characters because many more search words can be found in the next step.

4. Search

Words can be found in all directions as shown. It seems unusual that there are multiple occurrences of words like daughter, fifty, and pound. The longest words are policeman and shopkeeper. Align2

5. Rearrange / 6. Solve
If correct so far, perhaps somebody can figure out how the words need to be rearranged.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well done Len. I really though someone would unscramble the grid a few minutes after I posted. The punctuation marks form important clues without which I doubt the next step could be solved, $\endgroup$ – Bob Jun 14 '15 at 19:07

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