My friend was talking to me about his profession and what he did for a living and I was a bit confused about what it all entailed. When I finally got fed up and asked for clarification about what he did, he gave me this as an answer:



It's nonsense to me, I don't understand. Can you tell me what his profession is?

Hint 1 - Extended:

You don't need to replace any of the text. When viewed properly, everything lines up.

Hint 2 - Extended:

The title actually a double hint. Try reading part of it aloud a few times.

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Maybe he types commas for a living $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 0:35
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ He's a grammar nazi who keeps a ready stock of commas to use when people fail to use one where they should. $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 12:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Phylyp From Oxford, presumably. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 12:50
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ What's your job? $\endgroup$
    – Jordan.J.D
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 15:17
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "this"? There, I asked you "this". $\endgroup$
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 15:23

6 Answers 6


Your friend is a

Web developer / designer

If you

Change the encoding of your web page to Western European (ISO) (Easy to do on Internet Explorer)

then the message shows up clearly

Hidden Message

I arrived at this through

reading the beginning of the title. "Ask me" sounds a lot like "Ascii", which makes me think of different encodings.

As a [see answer] myself, this is the sort of thing I've had to do / deal with; so that is likely your friend's profession as well.

  • $\begingroup$ Please let me know if it's considered good practice to delete my other (incorrect) answer. $\endgroup$
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ I believe the accepted practice here is that if you post an incorrect guess, then make a second attempt, you should keep the first attempt. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 15:59
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A known wrong answer can continue to provide value in showing other would-be answerers what has been ruled out; but if the answer is clearly invalidated by the original puzzle or by an edit or added hint, then it has no remaining value (and such answers tend to start attracting downvotes). You're under no obligation to keep an older answer; many people who judge their earlier attempt to be valueless will outright replace it with their latest try, rather than create a new answer. Your call, really, as to whether or not you think the original answer is still worth keeping around or not. $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 16:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, that was the proper way to do it :) now in what main profession would someone do this? $\endgroup$
    – Sensoray
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @PaigeMeinke Updated. $\endgroup$
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 18:06

Doing what @thecoder16 does, but

with the other comma, and with 6 characters each. hackerman

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling SE! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 0:24
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ "Nachos" is a great choice for a six-letterd word $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 0:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm amazed you didn't use "puzzle" as your six-letter word! $\endgroup$
    – NL628
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ Getting closer.... similar to @thecoder16 as in its not quite the way to do it...you shouldn't have to replace any of the text. Think about the title some more! $\endgroup$
    – Sensoray
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 20:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Does it really matter the exact method of solving if we all get the same answer? $\endgroup$
    – Quintec
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 20:33

Changing one type of comma gives

enter image description here

I can read

hacker on the top row, and the bottom row seems to read "man", though I'm not sure.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not quite the way to do it, think a little more about it ;) $\endgroup$
    – Sensoray
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ FWIW, for the last 3 lines, if you delete the first 11 characters, then you can read "MAN" a little more clearly. $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 20:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Phylyp You shouldn't have to delete any of the characters! $\endgroup$
    – Sensoray
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 20:43

I may not quite be there still but going in the same direction as the other answers.

If you replace the weird commas with 6 of a char (i chose zeroes) and replace the normal ones with spaces you get a much more readable version of "HACKER MAN" but still not perfect, maybe the original font isn't monospaced. enter image description here

Edit: wasted too much time trying to get the text to paste and someone beat me to the same idea...

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling SE! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 0:24

Random Guess:

Superhero: hackerman

@thecoder16 looks like it is read correctly, but OP says no characters should have to be deleted to read it well.

Character Observations:

There are sets of 1,2,3 commas as follows enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ It'll read right if it's interpreted in the correct way $\endgroup$
    – Sensoray
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 21:21

This is a way too big leap but I wanted to put it out there.
Is he...

A Coder / Software Developer?

You mentioned that the title is a hint, so I...

Looked at your Stack Exchange account. It mentions you are a web designer/developer. Perhaps that his profession?


Making that answer would take a long time, plus it's meaning would be lost if he ever tried to write it by hand because it would lose it's encoding. She must've written a program to do it for him on a computer.


As many have pointed out, the answer says "Hacker Man". The term Hacker is usually associated with coders and tech whizzes, so that reinforces my theory.

I'll prolly get downvoted for this, but I wanted to take a gander at a puzzle here for my first time.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You make some good points... :) $\endgroup$
    – Sensoray
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, I didn't get it right. Oh well! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 1:18

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