(This is not a part of the puzzle. I am posting this here for two reasons: first, I've already spent ~8 hours trying to solve this. Second, I find it quite interesting and want to share.)
The puzzle from https://www.janestreet.com/puzzles/current-puzzle/ says:
The answer to this puzzle is a country you’ll find in the news.
Following with a table:
I am not looking for the final answer yet, though any particular help how to proceed after the following hint is super highly appreciated.
Each line is a country name + 1 extra letter, S + Malawi, E + Bangladesh, A + Samoa, R + Ireland, C + El Salvador, and so on (not that hard). So the message is: Search 4 direction
Hope you like it!
(All credits to Jane Street).