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A coworker sent this message around on his birthday. Apparently it has a secret message. Here is the exact email body:

Good morning FakeCorp,

I am turning 25 today so I'm offering loads of tasty treats on worktop by sink. Flapjacks and stuff as is tradition.

And just for a bit of fun, a bonus reward for any person first to observe a secret message cruelly hidden in this mail. Hints to start you off:

Don't include others, not many should thrive
Bring few itsy words through,
Rub out any surplus you places find
Note this aclue,
It's made with alphabet in mind.
Applied with purpose, digits 2 and 5.

So do you think you can crack it abosultely, mmmmm, at 14:42:35.3?

Logan

What is the secret message?

Also Logan is a developer and, like all developers, cannot be understood by anyone. He provided the following clue which is somehow meant to help:

(?six).*?(?=(?:\ |^|\n)\w*
[?] #change me
).
{?} #change me
(\w)\w*(?=\W)

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    $\begingroup$ rot13(Gur uvag vf ertrk) $\endgroup$ – marcellothearcane Sep 18 '19 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ rot13(Gur ertrk va gur "uvag" ybbxf sbe juvgrfcnpr (fcnpr, erghea, be gur irel ortvaavat), vzzrqvngryl cerprqvat n jbeq naq purpxf vs gur jbeq gung sbyybjf pbagnvaf bar bs gur punenpgref va gur svefg "punatr zr" oenpxrgf (ercerfragrq ol ?). Vs vg qbrf, gura vg fryrpgf fbzr ahzore bs punenpgref (vapyhqvat gur juvgrfcnpr vs abg ng gur ortvaavat) va gur oenprf ({}) naq gura fryrpgf gur erfg bs gur jbeq vs vg qbrfa'g raq ng gur raq bs n jbeq. Gur raq bs n jbeq vf qrsvarq nf n punenpgre gung vfa'g n yrggre, ahzore, be haqrefpber.) $\endgroup$ – Skylar Oct 6 '19 at 21:09
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That looks like a RegEx string in verbose mode, so I used this Python code:

import re
print("".join(re.findall("(?six).*?(?=(?:\ |^|\n)\w*).(\w)\w*(?=\W)",
"""Good morning FakeCorp,

I am turning 25 today so I'm offering loads of tasty treats on worktop by sink. Flapjacks and stuff as is tradition.

And just for a bit of fun, a bonus reward for any person first to observe a secret message cruelly hidden in this mail. Hints to start you off:

Don't include others, not many should thrive
Bring few itsy words through,
Rub out any surplus you places find
Note this aclue,
It's made with alphabet in mind.
Applied with purpose, digits 2 and 5.

So do you think you can crack it abosultely, mmmmm, at 14:42:35.3?

Logan""")))

I got this:

omFIat2tsImolottowbsFasaitAjfabofabrfapftoasmchitmHtsyoDtionmstBfiwtRoasypfNtaIsmwaimAwpd2a5Sdytycciama1433

Is this helpful?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hey, welcome to Puzzling SE! This is a good start to an answer, but I'm not sure whether your result is the intended next step or not. Again, welcome! :):) $\endgroup$ – Voldemort's Wrath Aug 30 '20 at 15:46
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    $\begingroup$ The question marks pointed to by "change me" in the unmodified regex probably need to be replaced by the correct values $\endgroup$ – Lukas Rotter Aug 30 '20 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ The M's are a hint, perhaps? $\endgroup$ – Someone Aug 31 '20 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ Also, I simply deleted the "change me"s $\endgroup$ – Someone Aug 31 '20 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ Did you notice that "absolutely" has misspellings? $\endgroup$ – Someone Aug 31 '20 at 16:01

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