Solution: A Satanic Message

Written by Tom Weisswange

When the link to this puzzle is clicked, what seems to be a "Not Found" error message appears. In fact, this is a fake, and the listing of the alleged URL that wasn't found contains a clickable link. When this link is clicked, another fake "Not Found" message appears, with the new message "Oh, go to hell" at the bottom. When "go to hell" is clicked, the puzzle finally appears: a long string of sixes, each of which is either "6," "VI," or "Six."

This string is a simple substitution cipher; when the sixes are divided up into sets of three, each triplet stands for a letter, according to the following rule: Each letter has been translated into a number (by the rule A = 1, B = 2, etc.), and this number has been expressed in base 3 (with "6" = 0, "VI" = 1, and "Six" = 2). When the string is decoded and "played backwards" (that is, reversed) to find the Satanic message, it consists of seven "dictionary entries":

Advertising: An industry combining the good taste of convenience stores with the morality of cabaRETS.
AErobics: Exercises that make your heart beat like a ferRET'S.
AEgis: Protection from attack by eagles and men in beRETS.
AErial: A device which gives cable TV executives most of their regRETS.
AEon: The amount of time SETI will have to spend searching foR ETS.
AEsthete: A poseur privy to imagined secRETS.
AErosol: Hairspray designed to give us longlasting holed.

Overlapping each adjacent pair of entries is the letter sequence RETSAE (shown in capital letters above); when this is "played backwards" (that is, forwards with respect to the original ciphertext) it becomes the solution, EASTER. (Apparently, if earthly records played backwards reveal hidden Satanic messages, conversely infernal records played backwards reveal hidden Christian messages.)