# The thousand-year enigma

Three two and five versus one five and three twos,
sellable merchandise made out of these clues,
latter being northern the first's in the east,
country's name one thousand years back at least.

Find out the year when that state found its winner,
then pick a Roman wife but no beginner,
take her out somewhere for coffee or tea,
our destination's a quite well-known sea.

Looking for the name of a body of water.

Hint:

What is another term for "sellable merchandise"?

• I'll add a hint in November 3018 if nobody has cracked this before that.
– Jafe
Nov 19, 2018 at 14:03

I think I've got the overall answer, but I'm missing substantial parts of the first stanza.

Three two and five versus one five and three twos,
sellable merchandise made out of these clues,

The "sellable merchandise" are products. The products of the numbers in the first line are 3 × 2 × 5= 30 and 1 × 5 × 2 × 2 × 2 = 40.

latter being northern the first's in the east,

This line tells us to treat these numbers as latitude and longitude, 40° N and 30° E. This is a location in Anatolia.

country's name one thousand years back at least.

Or Asia Minor, as it was called earlier. 1,000 yeaars ago, it was part of the Byzantine Empire, whose capital was Constantinople, today's Istanbul.

Find out the year when that state found its winner,

Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453.

then pick a Roman wife but no beginner,

Uxor means wife in Latin. Without its first letter, we get xor.

take her out somewhere for coffee or tea,

To a café, that is.

our destination's a quite well-known sea.

Xor is not a part of the solution, it is the bitwise exclusive or. The operands are 1453 and cafe, but both interpreted as hexadecimal. (That's 5,203 and 51,966 in decimal.) We get:

• @Walt: Funny, I knew what the "barf" meant without decoding it. :) Thanks for your help. Your way to relate the numbers is ingenious, but I don't quite see it. Hmmm, now I wonder whether "sellable" is a near-homophone of a part of a word. Nov 19, 2018 at 17:40