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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"?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'll add a hint in November 3018 if nobody has cracked this before that. $\endgroup$ – jafe Nov 19 '18 at 14:03
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I think I've got the overall answer, but I'm missing substantial parts of the first stanza.

The answer is:

Dead Sea.

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:

    1453 xor cafe = dead.

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    $\begingroup$ I feel like the first stanza is about (gur fvyx ebnq, juvpu pbafgnagvabcyr cynlrq n ovt ebyr va naq juvpu jnf pybfrq va gur lrne lbh zragvbarq). And that the first line might have something to do with (fpenooyr inyhrf, fvapr x vf jbegu svir cbvagf - ohg f-v-y ner guerr barf, abg gjbf). $\endgroup$ – Walt Nov 19 '18 at 16:25
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    $\begingroup$ @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. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Nov 19 '18 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ The final answer's correct, although there's one typo in the year near the end. I'll leave this open for a while to see if anyone figures out the first part. $\endgroup$ – jafe Nov 20 '18 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ That's good. I've looked at it a bit today, but haven't gone anywhere. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Nov 20 '18 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ Everything's correct now. The tick is yours! $\endgroup$ – jafe Nov 22 '18 at 13:12

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