An oracle proclaims an ominous message:

Calling for help, something is not right
Justice strikes them down, all in one night
Cry havoc, no one will be left
Run to your homes, downcast and bereft
Kneeling and standing up, one disappears without a trace
In that year this disaster will take place

What year is the oracle talking about?


Each line (except for the last one) contains three elements. The year does not have thousands of digits.


For each line (except for the last one), you just have to start at the beginning and follow the instructions.

  • $\begingroup$ Just to be clear, does "thousands of digits" mean (1) literally thousands of digits, (2) more digits than one would reasonably expect, or (3) a thousands digit? (Perhaps you intended the ambiguity, in which case fair enough.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 17 '16 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan It was in response to paste's comment and a bit joking, but it means that the year doesn't contain more digits than you would reasonably expect (and therefore it also doesn't consist of literally thousands of digits) $\endgroup$ – Wu33o May 17 '16 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ OK, thanks. (That was my guess at what you meant, for what it's worth.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 17 '16 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ I like this puzzle. Short, clear, and has an "Aha!" solution. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Jun 6 '16 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ @DanRussell Tnx! It took some time to get everything in a short riddle without the solution being too obvious, and I'm glad you like it :) $\endgroup$ – Wu33o Jun 7 '16 at 10:19

The three elements in each line are:

The capital letter, a number, and a direction.

If we combine these by

starting at the letter on a QWERTY keyboard, moving in the direction for the number of keys indicated

we get

MMXVI, or 2016.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, yes. Couldn't figure out that third element. Nicely done. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Jun 6 '16 at 14:10

Partial answer:

Each line except the last has a direction in it. Starting with the first, they are right, down, left, down, up. It's possible that the first one is not right, though.
Each line also contains a number word or a homophone thereof. Starting at the top we have for, one, one, to, one = 41121 (credit to @f'' for pointing out the for and to)

Possible answer:

If we match these directions to number on a numpad, we get 62428

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are a lot more possible numeric associations too. "Calling for help" = 911, "one" appears three times. $\endgroup$ – Mark Peters May 12 '16 at 20:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And on a keyboard there's a 7 on the "HOME" button (well, usually) $\endgroup$ – Deusovi May 12 '16 at 21:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ At this rate, the year will have thousands of digits by the time we're done. $\endgroup$ – paste May 12 '16 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ Your possible answer is not correct, but you are on the right track. Maybe the hint can help. $\endgroup$ – Wu33o May 17 '16 at 9:23

Here is a wild guess:


And here is my reasoning:

None of these lines are more then nine words long. So we can't have a 6-digit year. I took the place of the word and counted each word until I stopped at the direction word.

Special case for the fourth line:

It it in the word downcast.

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