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I want to be upfront that everything I know about Perl - I just learned today. I had some Basic, Pascal, and Fortran classes in HS and college in the late '80s, but that background has not helped me at all here.

Anyway, I geocache. Most geocaches are straight forward. Some require you to solve a puzzle, after which the coordinates of the cache are revealed. That is where I need a little help.

On the geocache page in question, there was ASCII art forming the MIGO (Michigan Geocaching Organization) logo. After studying it for longer than I care to admit, I came to understand that the text was Perl. I ran the text on codepad.org (http://codepad.org/PruKUpjb) and the output was a web page (http://schartz.net/gpc?q=71126). If you change the number after the q, it gives you a hint, "Hmm.. perhaps you should think about how you got this URL."

I have tried running just parts of the code, and determined that everything after the eval command in line 48 can be removed without changing the output, but I am far from figuring out what any of the code means.

I hope that I am in the correct forum. The code sure seems unnecessarily complicated/obfuscated!

Any tips on how a complete novice might be able to break the code down? Any tools where I could step thru the code and track the values of the variables? Any tips on what parts of the code are meaningful and what parts are not? Is it obvious to someone who can read Perl what the next step would be, or what the coordinates would be? Any help or advice at all would be much appreciated!

$_ = q^$_V =q??; ?_?{$_V .=chr(ord ($_) -20)} _??_?//,q/P N; EhP7\c?kAWN: 9fQ;\ bOZIh?jQdLgqeC GPe@Dtt/; __?5?( u?4_k("\165",$_V)^;s/\?_\?/\155\x61p/; s/_\?\?\_\?/ \163 \160\x6ci\164/;s/__\?5\?/\x70r\151\x6et/; s/\?4\_/n\x70a\x63/; $/='-ddxxX888/.ls998l09\\99/88q\qqq\9988888_mI.oM//4448g8g8a9s99Mmm +MM8nAM\ =mj/q0q0=8889mK893343ds\\3ankMS-migo—M42d11m010orw83m07d343s/343// +3/?=//\ “”==HHHH+W+++W+++++s\\\\\ ---- - //// ---#-q0q000q0ew9rs \\ 8 +w888833/ “”=Vwwww[]ww8q0001””=======”” 992a0a00s/3242d.c99090 \\ + =jjij3333 _ “{{MmMMmmmsmmm.a8**EhP7\c?kAWNEhP7\c?kAW/ \\3 +as/\W=WWWW_\_mm\\ `###64/;s/__\?5\?/\x70\s/ “ +\/ JKLMM893343ds\8933 /.l + I \\VVMMMVVV--” //” /” +” 3m s/00q/8?/ “ II. +tokMMMMM\ HH(_#$” \$= + === =_@!\mm #wwwww/ __w +w.iwwMM12MM211nn /P9 o""M$_; +44 $_=/2/2//qw/.m\ {sw m P4,$a=_ +$__$ $$MM#M#3333PPL ` // M=#-d-4 +-_$;;$//x092/x092// .eMM H^/;$*= +$ff;;k/55/2398xxsK 08S**P ';$/=~/( +(?<=\.).).*?((?<=##\ ####. .#### ### .m####m. .m###mm. H0,87MmM164=;s=_ +_?5?x70r15xq09cat(8M ####A J#### ___ m##” “V##} m##”””w##m ^8?x70r15xq09;val; +8sqq=434f4e47524154P ###=#mJ#P### ### :### _____ :### ### X53425554544849534 +9534e534953;=x89\/8} ### #### ### ### '### ##### '### ### ##\/GCYXJOZIh?jQdL +gq??_???x61pn\x70a9 ### '##' ### ### '##m m##” '### m###' m-\....\.-\-.\-.-\. +..\x?aw^002073023^” ### ## ### ### `#####” “####” m\...\-\.-\-.\.-...\ +.-.\..-\-\....\0P #A..-.\---\.-.\-\.... +\.\..-.\..-\-.87 \.).).*?((?<=\.).).*? +(( ?<=\.).).*?[ mMMm. M I C H I G A N #}s X s\/x303aFaD0 +2aFa4\/033w00t! 8AF42N16A .#e4r5GKWYA_WIDJJ_HJQ +UA_PLOKD_LSS JA_PROQK_L G E O C A C H I N G ]*?[w('0d').e(ord(8a) +);hiJJM88\023\442\32\32\22\s #ewf(0)(0)(D)(G)#8(S0 +)(S2)x(s)(S4)(S1).(3)(F)(L)# O R G A N I Z A T I O N “]*((?<=\.).).*?((?< +=\.).).*?((?<=\.).).*?[a##@]* ((?<=\.).).*?((?<=\. +).)/xgs;$_M=q^//....?gorgehiK www.mi-geocaching.org \jj$4.$2.$3.$8.$3.$ +1.($4$8$2)MMMM\\""""?erRocks^; $q=qq($6$7$8$9);$q +='('.$1.$2.$3.$4.$5.$q.'('.$q. '))[6]*13,"\n"';$_ +.='.'. $q.") #($2q$q$GCP1P3^qq. [$_=$_$9-14-2-34-5 +-67-882-7-44-2-9-43-2-3-44-5-5” [cat($qq);$_=$@;@d +og(70,82,69,67,75,76,69,83);RM [dval;aval;$a$1000 +$6.qq?__?ww?__?d?__?4?81?_#@! [+4*2+3/2+5*1+3*3+ +2*7+7*4+$a;$a=5*9+2*19+14” M";s/\s*//g;eval;# +?$=GC;GC=12;GC2=14d;$_=q# /#$w=www=wq;$0x000q +0w0;$wcat=$9;#qq#qw#GC#M” /;#338a5f528d9s99a09 +3j00s900a93jd90j309s0M #H-#-#s--#k#-#-d#-#e# +-#l-#a-#w#a#s#here#>MP #{stash?}\014\030\037\ +017\052\033\#GCYXJW=$ $MM;#$_=;$=a67815;^Hin^ +TendGC019+TC=TT+71=@”

In reply to out of the box request for assistance by dpatrickallen

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