I was listening to AM radio (frequency 1480) the other day and an odd message came through in what seemed like an infinite loop.

Drop 5.

Echo 0.

Negate 0.

Split 4.

Enter 1.

A few hours later, my friend stopped by in disbelief of this message; I turned it back to the radio station and the message had changed and repeated itself every second.



I can't seem to figure it out; maybe you can help?


I listen to that station once a day to listen for new messages; and each time it seems a new message is playing. Maybe these are clues?

Take all.
No light.
What's my name?
There exists, a list of extraordinary objects.


3 Answers 3


Partial answer.

I think the message may be about:

A black hole.


The acrostic of your puzzle's first clue spell DENSE. Black holes are believed to have a region of infinite density.


Your subsequent hints: "Take all" may refer to the fact that black holes draw everything into them, and "no light" exists in a black hole.


I believe the lines are telling us to modify the AM radio frequency 1480 to either form a message or possible "spell out" a word. I just can't quite figure it out.

My working so far:

- If you "drop 5" from 1480 you get 1475
- If "echo 0" means add a 0 on the end you get 14750 but I'm not sure that is what it means.
- If "negate 0" means make the 0 a 'negative' you get 1475-0 but again I'm not sure that is what it means.
- If you "split" the number at the number 4 you get 1 475-0
- If you "Enter 1" into the gap you just made you get 11475-0

If you look at that number backwards the last 3 digits "411" look rather like the word "ALL", and the first hint is "TAKE ALL". Also the remaining digits 7, 5 and 0 all look a bit like alpha characters - L (or possibly T?), S and O; and we are also asked in the final clue to "Add S" which suggests that we are meant to view the numbers as alpha-characters.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ROT13(V jbhyq fnl 7 ybbxf zber yvxr n G guna na Y. Nyfb, lbh sbetbg gb nqq na F, gubhtu V'z abg fher jurer vg jbhyq tb.) $\endgroup$
    – JR_M
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ So you're diving down a rabbit hole; the acrostic is simply DENSE; the knowledge tag is included for a reason. You are correct in using the frequency; but you're going to need to utilize the lateral-thinking with its relationship to that message. I wouldn't say all of the instructions are correct. ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ You are correct on what the message is about, and that you need to modify the frequency. Added a hint. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 14:10

Following Astralbee's conclusions:

Starting with the "negate 0", we simply drop it completely. That leaves us with the following number at completion: 11475

If we straight up convert that to possible letters, we have two options: 11 4 7 5 and 1 14 7 5

Using basic numerical substitution, the former gives us K D G E and the latter gives us A N G E

Now we add "S", which gives us K D G E S and A N G E S. While I can't do anything with the former, the latter can be rearranged to spell AGNES


Partial Answer

Based off Astralbee's and Larry Alton Garrett's logic, I believe you may be referring to

a quasar

Pivoting off of the prior two answers, my logic is as follows:

Taking the AM frequency 1480 as a raw number, we follow the instructions as below:

"DROP 5" = Subtract five: 1475
"ECHO 0" = Append a zero at the end: 14750
"NEGATE 0" = Invert the zero (as if it were a bit): 14751
"SPLIT 4" = Split at the number four: 1_4751 or 14_751
"ENTER 1" = Place a one in the gap: 114751 or 141751

Taking the sequence of numbers to stand for letters, there could be several groupings (I only list the ones that felt the most pertinent; there's bound to be several others that may be more revealing):

1. 114751 = 11 4 7 5 1 = K D G E A
or 2. 1 14 7 5 1 = A N G E A
3. 141751 = 14 17 5 1 = N Q E A
or 4. 14 1 7 5 1 = N A G E A

(Interesting that #2 and #4 are anagrams...)

Taking one of these sequences, we notice the word

AGN, which stands for "active galactic nucleus," an attribute to quasars

…and from your hints, we can make some reasonable assumptions, since

quasars are quite D-E-N-S-E, supermassive, and certainly "extraordinary" interstellar objects! Furthermore, you mention that this was from a radio frequency; quasars can be classified as radio-quiet or radio-loud, which might explain why it's a "strange message from space".

The parts where I'm unsure:

- I think you are asking for a specific type of quasar (or a named one, at least), given the extra letters "EA"; adding "S" (as per the second set of instructions) doesn't seem to clarify anything alphabetically or by value.
- Not sure if the fact it is an AM frequency (and not a FM frequency) has any difference; perhaps these are extra letters?
- Your hint, "No light", seems to contradict the idea that this is a quasar, since quasars can emit quite a lot of light (EM radiation).
- I'm also making an assumption on which sequence is a viable one, given I'm not quite sure of all the possible sequences available.


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