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enter image description here

Hi, my friend gave me a puzzle, and I need help in solving it. I am required to decrypt this code and get a password. Please help! The hint is: $100 bill.


Here's the text version of the image above:

A,M,L, ,F,M,A,A
N,L, ,C,F,H,E,G
L,U, ,E, ,E,T,
H,W,I,I,S, ,L,T
F,N,O,T,H,E,C,E
 ,N,R,O,M,O, ,E
 , ,E,A, ,N,T,T
M,T, ,R,E,T,T,E

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  • $\begingroup$ Can we assume USD $100? Does it matter which version of the bill we reference? Does it matter that some of the letters are indented with spaces or is that in error? $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Oct 27 '15 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure that spacing is correct? Some of them look off. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Oct 27 '15 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ I have a hunch regardless... $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Oct 27 '15 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. I did my best to match the image but, given that it's an image, I can't be positive. I'd like OP to weigh in if the spacing even matters. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Oct 27 '15 at 16:04
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So it was reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol that got me the answer to this one, along with that one deleted answer that mentioned "Benjamin Franklin" (because his face appears on the US $100 bill).

The key is to use the "order eight Franklin square" mentioned in that book, and map each letter of the grid to that position. Specifically, this one (from this site):

Benjamin Franklin's magic square.

If we do that, we get:

TELL WON THE NAME GF THE ELEMENT TTHAT COMES AFTER CALIFORNIUM

Which I assume was supposed to read:

TELL NOW THE NAME OF THE ELEMENT THAT COMES AFTER CALIFORNIUM

Which is, of course, einsteinium.

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    $\begingroup$ @Beef: If my answer is correct, click the green tick mark to accept it. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Oct 27 '15 at 20:36
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    $\begingroup$ IHHDWNLR GESAA TP EOO TTIII R ROC SKGOEAW NTUNIORRASSRNGASPSIPE $\endgroup$ – r3mainer Oct 28 '15 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ @squeamishossifrage That message starts with "SAGHEIS" and is only 63 letters long, so I assume you missed a space somewhere. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Oct 28 '15 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ @squeamishossifrage _TSK_PTSNIHY_LOGN___A_UPYIDOLRFBWNSHIOEEW_A_H__TREHONPUEWTNEVC_I ;-) $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Oct 28 '15 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. _IAAAAN_DGNSDAFDAVVEN_GDRE_NNEN_DA__BWLAPUD__SORNC_I_T_ENIIOMREG :-( $\endgroup$ – r3mainer Oct 28 '15 at 18:44

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