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Less one, and my maker is often said to be the mightiest between us.

Alone I smite, yet my greater does not.

Who am I?

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up vote 26 down vote accepted

I think the answer is:

sword - Omitting the first letter gives us 'word.' The maker of a word can be a pen, which is said to be mightier than the sword.

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I believe this is correct but can a **** actually smite on it's own though? – Arth Jan 8 at 17:32
@Arth I think the "Alone" might be referring to the answer as opposed to "One Less" than the answer. – Aggie Kidd Jan 8 at 19:32
@AggieKidd If that's the case, what does the "greater" refer to? – GentlePurpleRain Jan 8 at 23:52
@GentlePurpleRain The "one less" as explained in the answer. – Aggie Kidd Jan 8 at 23:55
@AggieKidd Oh, I see. The first line says the "one less" is mightiest, so mightiest = greater? I interpreted it as "alone" being the answer, and "greater" being something added to the answer, so there is a progression from "one less" -> "answer" -> "greater". – GentlePurpleRain Jan 8 at 23:59

One option:

A ruler

Less one, and my maker is often said to be the mightiest between us.

Remove the 'r', and you get rule. Often, those who make the rules seem to be greater than the rules themselves (and don't live by them).

Alone I smite, yet my greater does not.

Rulers are often used to "smite" kids who misbehave in class.

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The second explanation is shakey, and makes the intended answer make more sense. Great try though! – Quiquȅ Jan 8 at 15:34

I'll put my guess out there as a


My reasoning:

Less one, and my maker is often said to be the mightiest between us.

There are two ways I have read on deactivating a Golem:
1. Remove the mystic scroll from its mouth (less one scroll)
2. Remove the character א (aleph) from אמת (emet, "truth") to make מת (met, "dead") (more likely)

So less one character and the creator of the Golem (Rabbi, Elder, Judge, or Sage typically) is now mightier than a lump of clay

Alone I smite, yet my greater does not.

First, though Golems were not created to "smite enemies" in all traditions - there is a definite leaning in Jewish Mythology towards Golems being created to defend Jewish communities and in pop culture most Golems I have seen lean strongly toward militaristic tools or monsters (with the exception of Disc World). Yet I would say the Rabbi is the greater, so the Golem smites enemies alone.

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This is actually a very good creative answer drawing on Jewish mythology. I made some minor typographical/grammar edits, feel free to roll back if it's not representative of your intention. – March Ho Jan 9 at 4:44
@MarchHo Actually I was planning on adding the actually Hebrew when I had a chance so thanks – JGreenwell Jan 10 at 2:31

Power is described as the ability to destroy.Thus the answer is minus one (-1)

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I like the idea of exponents and -1 as an answer but you need to expand your explanation to show how it fits the given clues. – JGreenwell Jan 9 at 16:26

I think it's:



Less one, and my maker is often said to be the mightiest between us.

Less one is also minus one. "1" would therefore be "my marker". 1 is one "mightier" than -1 in fundamental mathematics because it preserves identity in multiplication.

Alone I smite, yet my greater does not.

In addition -1 smites by taking one away from a number, whereas "my greater", zero, doesn't take anything away from a number in addition.

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