Just a friendly reminder that in previous years many of the hints have been obvious, particularly in recent years. It doesn’t require complex examination of the metadata, it is usually right in front of us. Most years we are so far into the forest that we can’t see the trees. Frank even says that they don’t put too much time into the hints.
TL;DR Try not to look into it too much. It shouldn’t take 5 layers of extrapolation to figure out.
Well yes, but it was still a riddle even after being decrypted. Everyone figured out what it said, but we only half determined what it meant. There was some argument over what “SEAL” meant, and upon reading what Frank said it really meant afterward, I don’t think we ever quite came to the answer.