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Part of the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #35: Restricted Title 1


Super busy today :$ so here's a riddle

My first is nothing at all

or maybe everything combined.

Adding or subtracting,

just depends how it's defined.

My second is everything combined

or maybe nothing at all.

It took us years to get there,

though there is no wall.

Together I'm nothing at all,

but with both halves combined

I am right at the source,

here for you to find.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Is the first line part of the riddle? $\endgroup$ – puzzledPig Jun 4 '18 at 3:19
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    $\begingroup$ Real programmers will write a program to solve this riddle. $\endgroup$ – jpmc26 Jun 4 '18 at 9:56
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It looks like the answer is

spacetime (Thanks Deusovi!)

Much of the riddle clues

Whitespace, an esoteric programming language (Again, thanks Deusovi!)

My first is nothing at all or maybe everything combined.

White can be thought of as colourless or all colours combined

Adding or subtracting, just depends how it's defined.

White is colourless in a subtractive colour model, and all colours together in an additive colour model.

My second is everything combined

Space is sometimes used to refer to the universe, which is certainly everything combined (thanks noedne!)

or maybe nothing at all.

Space is a vacuum, which is nothing

It took us years to get there, though there is no wall.

It took a long time to develop space technology

Together I'm nothing at all, but with both halves combined

Whitespace is "nothing", as it just spaces words and paragraphs

I am right at the source, here for you to find.

The riddle is actually source code for a Whitespace program that outputs the word "spacetime"!

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  • 13
    $\begingroup$ For that last line, [rot13.com for spoilers] gur cbfg vf npghnyyl Juvgrfcnpr fbhepr pbqr! (Juvgrfcnpr vf na rfbgrevp cebtenzzvat ynathntr.) Vg fcryyf bhg fcnprgvzr vs lbh eha vg. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jun 4 '18 at 5:15

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