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Agreed, @NicoleJohnson! I've realized the hard way that exponentially increasing records process exponentially slower, even in Alteryx. This reminded me suspiciously of trying to brute force one of the previous day's challenges, so I stopped and redesigned my macro instead.
I realized tokenizing and concatenating billions of characters wasn't my friend for the second part of the challenge. Instead, I realized I could focus on counting the number of letters added per iteration. If I could keep track of the pairs and the resulting combinations, the full string itself didn't actually matter to find the answer. Workflow