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This is a puzzle from a scavenger hunt website (the solution should be a series of numbers for coordinates - I need someone smarter than me to solve it!

"It often occurs to me that I must have somewhat of an obsessive personality.

With frequency, I find myself thinking about geocaching even when I am at work.

I subtracted an hour or two from my timesheet just yesterday as I found myself thinking up this puzzle when I should have been working.

Hopefully you will enjoy it. All the information you need is on this page.

HOOEEMAIOMOEOOSDHNAIEOCOSIOIEMILONSIILRE LADHIESINNIEESNNOHFNNAIERHLARSCOIIRIAAON IOONOHDSOHDIANMNNAHAESSSSENPAAHNOEEOOHSH HHIDEOSOREFEORIHEILISAEROIANAMPEENSASAPE REMAOONILSRHASIEMHENIRISSOEEGNNNENEIH"

One hint has been given which states "Everything you need is in the description. But, equally, you need everything in the description"

....I've checked letter frequency which seemed obvious but don't know what else to do.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is what you have transcribed here everything that was on the page? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jul 11, 2016 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ And are you absolutely certain that the letters are transcribed correctly? I ask because unless I have done something weird the first four blocks are 40 letters long but the last one is only 37 letters. Perfectly possible but slightly surprising. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jul 11, 2016 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ Can you be more precise about this "series of numbers for coordinates"? How many numbers of what sort? (Degrees plus decimal minutes with some fixed number of decimal places? Something else?) Do you have any information about the place the coordinates are likely to refer to? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jul 11, 2016 at 11:29
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    $\begingroup$ Link the page.​ $\endgroup$
    – f''
    Jul 11, 2016 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, this is everything on the page, transcribed correctly. The page is a paid website so I cannot link it. Coordinates should take the form of: s27 xx.xxx, e153 xx.xxx. So it may be 10 digits or 15 depending on whether it left out the 27 and 153 which as a certainty for the approximate location. $\endgroup$
    – AlexShultz
    Jul 12, 2016 at 9:34

1 Answer 1

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I think the solution is

s24 13.850, e153 13.212

Because

I split up the "description" and the "code" and perform letter frequency analysis on both of them to get:

 Code  Desciption
A   19  17
B   0   4
C   2   6
D   5   6
E   29  32
F   2   10
G   1   6
H   17  17
I   26  25
J   0   2
K   0   4
L   6   11
M   7   10
N   23  22
O   27  24
P   3   5
Q   0   1
R   10  11
S   20  18
T   0   25
U   0   14
V   0   4
W   0   8
X   0   0
Y   0   11
Z   0   2

I noticed there were exactly 15 letters that show up in the code, which is consistent with the suggestion by AlexSchultz that the location may be 15 digits.

I then subtracted the code letter frequency values from the description letter frequency values, leaving out the letters which had 0 frequency in the code, for a result of:

A   2
C   4
D   1
E   3
F   8
G   5
H   0
I   1
L   5
M   3
N   1
O   3
P   2
R   1
S   2

Taking that result in alphabetical order gets 241385015313212, or s24 13.850, e153 13.212

EDIT: This answer is most certainly wrong, because the location I calculated is in the middle of the ocean.

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