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You seem to have figured out that the page separation is truly not just another page separation

Ready for some fun and to break out of your normal day-to-day business?

Let’s face it, document processing can be a pretty dry subject, can’t it?! To show some empathy for you and your everyday professional life, we’ve come up with a little puzzle that’s not only aimed at taking you out of your everyday stress for a brief moment but also to test your problem-solving skills. When you made it to the very end, you’ll find a cracked Easter egg. So, watch out!

To solve the puzzle, you have to try yourself at some coding

Imagine we have conducted a group survey consisting of 26 questions yes-or-no questions marked a through z. Your job is now to find out to which questions anyone of the group participants has answered with “yes”. For every participant in a group, you write down the questions (the respective character) for which they answered with “yes”, one per line. Here an example of a group consisting of 3 people:

abcx
abcy
abcz

In this group, there are 6 questions to which anyone answered “yes”: abcxy, and z. (Duplicate answers to the same question don’t count extra; each question counts at most once.)

Each group’s answers that you collected are separated by a blank line, and within each group, each person’s answers are on a single line. For example:

abc

a
b
c

ab
ac

a
a
a
a

b

This example list represents answers from five groups:

  • The first group contains one person who answered “yes” to 3 questions: ab, and c.
  • The second group contains three people; combined, they answered “yes” to 3 questions: ab, and c.
  • The third group contains two people; combined, they answered “yes” to 3 questions: ab, and c.
  • The fourth group contains four people; combined, they answered “yes” to only 1 question, a.
  • The last group contains one person who answered “yes” to only 1 question, b.

In this example, the sum of these counts is 3 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 11.

Now it’s your turn. For each group, count the number of questions to which anyone answered “yes”. What is the sum of those counts?

You can find the aggregated answers to solve the puzzle in this txt-file here.

After you find the answer, try to use the following code as a base and your result as its extension to continue in the game.

aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cucGFyYXNoaWZ0LmlvL2VuLw==

If you like this kind of puzzles and want to let off steam further, we can highly recommend you to check https://adventofcode.com/ for more puzzles (for during the cozy winter time). Have fun!

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