On the downside, this would probably take me longer to understand than kcott's code when coming back to it after a year. Your solution is probably a lot faster, but for some strange reason i can never really wrap my head around map() (and similar functions) without looking at the perldoc.
perl -e 'use Crypt::Digest::SHA256 qw[sha256_hex]; print substr(sha256_hex("the Answer To Life, The Universe And Everything"), 6, 2), "\n";'
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