put a man on the moon, put Lara Croft into the
What Wiles achieved was finding a one-to-one mapping that completed the circle between the tentacles of two towers of proof that had gone off from the baseline in completely different directions. The two unstable chains of connected ideas became stronger because of this link and have doubtless served as the jumping off point for many other wonderful mathematical advances. Shortly after Wiles declared his hand, it was shown that there was a glitch in his proof, over which he tore his hair for another 450 days until he was struck by an insight "so indescribably beautiful... so simple and so elegant" that he knew he'd cracked it - and the mathematical community agreed. Another thing that is important in this story is that Wiles had his field of expertise where, after years of cogitation on a series of related ideas, he knew a lot - possibly all there was to know about about that area of mathematics. One day, he went to a seminar presented by a visiting speaker from another area of mathematics entirely - well outside of Wiles' comfort zone. At that lecture Wiles had the revelation that he could fulfill his boyhood ambition and solve Fermat's Last Theorem. We should all go to any and all opportunities to listen to new ideas from visiting speakers.