This is Perl; just about everything is "possible". However, I fail to see why the two column example is functionally different than a full line comparison. "261293\t'snow > equipment > goggles'"
will equal "261293\t'snow > equipment > goggles'"
just as much as the two substrings would. Are you dealing with a case where the numbers change and you need to be insensitive to that?
Breaking the two columns apart can easily be achieved with code like my @terms = split /\t/, $line;. See split.
#11929 First ask yourself `How would I do this without a computer?' Then have the computer do it the same way.