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Sometimes we play catch;
Though you'd hope it more like fetch.

I'd be the second; an honorable mention.
Indeed it'd be, as if I've spent my life in detention.

You'd know where, if you found the tether;
Around about which, he and I dance together.


Cliches away; your usual meeting need not be so verbose.
PROPERLY told, I don't even have to come close.

Intrinsic you'd have a gut full of fear;
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Dying time's here!


Given me a name;
Then please explain:
Where, when and what is,
That which I'll do,
Should you ever find out:
Me,
I am true.


Hint and caveat:

The answer to this riddle; here a search would lead to little.

Hint about the hint:

The answer to this riddle does not as of yet appear in any question or answer on Puzzling.SE.

1984 was a long time ago, here's another hint:

For a while my imaginary sister, she had stolen my thunder. But now by the wise, she too is considered yet another blunder. (Extra credit: What's her name? What can the wise see that we cannot?)

-Quote credit: Dr. Dealgood

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6
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Are you, perhaps:

Nemesis, the (now debunked) hypothetical brown dwarf star orbiting the sun beyond the Oort cloud.


Sometimes we play catch; / Though you'd hope it more like fetch.

Part of the hypothesis was that Nemesis' orbit throws debris from the Oort cloud into the inner solar system (catch), which can cause "problems" (we'd rather it was fetch so we could return it).

I'd be the second; an honorable mention.

If it existed, it'd make our solar system a binary star system, with Nemesis being the second after Sol.

Indeed it'd be, as if I've spent my life in detention.

As above, beyond the Oort cloud.

You'd know where, if you found the tether; / Around about which, he and I dance together.

If you could calculate the barycenter of the Sun/Nemesis system you could pinpoint its location.

Cliches away; your usual meeting need not be so verbose. / PROPERLY told, I don't even have to come close.

We could observe its existence via many means (infrared telescopes, eccentric orbit calculations, etc) without needing to actually go anywhere near it.

Intrinsic you'd have a gut full of fear; / Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Dying time's here!

Nemesis was one of the proposed causes of cyclic mass extinction events on earth...

Given me a name; / Then please explain: / Where, when and what is, / That which I'll do, / Should you ever find out: / Me, I am true.

If it truly existed, it would cause another mass extinction in a few million years.


On the hints:

"Nemesis" did not exist in any question or answer at the time this riddle was posted in 2015.

1984 (from the last hint) was the year Nemesis was proposed.

For a while, another hypothetical object, Tyche, which was "the name of 'good sister' of Nemesis", was proposed (this time a gas giant within the Oort cloud, but with similar reasoning). However, both have since been debunked as not existing ("another blunder") thanks to the WISE infrared telescope surveys in 2014.


On the title:

The dictionary definition of nemesis is "the inescapable agent of someone's or something's downfall", or in other words, "an agent destined to be someone's or something's defeat".

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh thank god. It only took three years ;) $\endgroup$ – Mazura Mar 16 '18 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Mazura - better late than never. :) (Makes me wonder what the record is) (and fixed the typo, made that edit on my mobile). $\endgroup$ – Alconja Mar 16 '18 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry I didn't reply in rhyme; I just don't have the time. But I'll just say the answer to that one, is mine. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Mar 16 '18 at 0:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @John, you're right... possibly the cliche is more about being an "archnemesis" hunting you down, when in reality it'll just float millions of miles away and casually sling comets our way to end us... $\endgroup$ – Alconja Mar 16 '18 at 4:26
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    $\begingroup$ Yep, they always want to explain their evil plan for half an hour. Not today. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Mar 16 '18 at 13:29
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I'm going to guess you are:

Entropy

Sometimes we play catch; Though you'd hope it more like fetch.

Everything we do throws off our energy and increases entropy, though we'd like that process to be reversed (fetch implies bringing the energy back).

I'd be the second; an honorable mention.

Second law of thermodynamics refers to entropy.

Indeed it'd be, as if I've spent my life in detention.

Only applies to closed systems.

You'd know where, if you found the tether; Around about which, he and I dance together.

This one I can't quite fit in since the "I" should theoretically refer to entropy... but I think it's referring to the Sun (around which the Earth & Moon "dance"), perhaps indicating the sun burning out, as per the next point below...

Cliches away; your usual meeting need not be so verbose. PROPERLY told, I don't even have to come close.

Heat death of the universe is the cliche, the verbosity is implying we won't have to wait that long since the sun will burn out long before (not even close to the same time scales)

Intrinsic you'd have a gut full of fear; Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Dying time's here!

When either of the above happen, the Earth will be destroyed.

Given me a name;

Entropy

Then please explain: Where, when and what is, That which I'll do,

Where: everywhere. When: in the stupidly distant future. What: you'll destroy everything.

Should you ever find out: Me, I am true.

Increasing entropy is considered "law" and thus unavoidably "true".

(and as per your caveat, this answer has never appeared on this site before)

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow, this answer is so neat; yet sorrowfully incomplete. Beginning with my name, but some is the same. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Apr 1 '15 at 6:19
  • $\begingroup$ (Not selecting this as the answer is going to be embarrassing. Excellent work.) $\endgroup$ – Mazura Aug 25 '15 at 15:19
3
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You are

Charon

Sometimes we play catch; Though you'd hope it more like fetch.

I'd be the second; an honorable mention.

"We" refers to the pair Charon and Pluto. From earth, they sometimes appear merged as a single blob, and sometimes separated by a small distance. Charon is the smaller among the two, and was discovered later, hence "second".

Indeed it'd be, as if I've spent my life in detention.

Charon was unknown until 1978

You'd know where, if you found the tether; Around about which, he and I dance together.

"he" refers to the Sun. Charon orbits the Sun, as if tied to him with a tether

Cliches away; your usual meeting need not be so verbose. PROPERLY told, I don't even have to come close.

Recently New Horizons came very close to Charon, and this created a lot of press coverage for Charon. However "very close" was 27,000 Kms!

Intrinsic you'd have a gut full of fear; Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Dying time's here!

The name Charon refers to the ferryman of the dead in Greek mythology

Given me a name;

Charon

Then please explain: Where, when and what is, That which I'll do, Should you ever find out: Me, I am true.

If I find out who you are, you will start appearing on search results of this site, I guess :P

About the hint :

Charon did not (before posting my answer) appear in any question or answer on Puzzling.SE

Extra Credits :

For a while my imaginary sister, she had stolen my thunder. But now by the wise, she too is considered yet another blunder. What's her name? What can the wise see that we cannot?

Explanation:

The sister is Pluto. It would seem that Pluto is more widely-known than Charon. However Pluto was recently demoted from the status of a planet.

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  • $\begingroup$ So close you are and far am I, yet never seen with aided eye. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Feb 19 '16 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ The answer appears to be a "Black Hole" $\endgroup$ – Neha Karanjkar Nov 20 '17 at 6:18
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I think the answer is

quote

Sometimes we play catch;
Though you'd hope it more like fetch.

Sometimes you need to catch the quote, hopefully a reference allows you to fetch it.

I'd be the second; an honorable mention.
Indeed I've spent my life as if in detention.

Quoting means mentioning something a second time. The quoted text is sort of locked in, it doesn't have much freedom.

You'd know where, if you found the tether;
Around about which, he and I dance together.

A quote is usually tethered by quotations marks.

Cliche away; your meeting need not be verbose.
Properly told, I don't even have to come close.

A quote doesn't necessarily repeat everything, just an essential part. It doesn't even have to come close.

Intrinsic you'd have a gut full of fear;
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Dying time's here!

This is actually a quote, Dr. Dealgood.

Give me a name;
Then please explain:
Where, when and what is,
That which I'll do,
Should you ever find out:
Me, I am true.

You quote.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It was not my intent to mislead with quote; indeed it has already been WROTE. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Mar 20 '15 at 1:29
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My inclination is that you are the second player at horseshoes.

Sometimes we play catch; Though you'd hope it more like fetch.

(You throw my way and I throw toward you. Each of us hope the other has to run after his throws)

I'd be the second; an honorable mention. Indeed I've spent my life as if in detention.

(You are the second player, no explanation for the detention comment)

You'd know where, if you found the tether; Around about which, he and I dance together.

(We're aiming at our respective posts and one might call it a dance)

Cliche away; your meeting need not be verbose. Properly told, I don't even have to come close.

(The player coming closest to the post scores, meaning I don't have to be close at all, just closer than you)

Intrinsic you'd have a gut full of fear; Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Dying time's here!

(No explanation at all for these lines)

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    $\begingroup$ Good to see you adhered to my one caveat; but I'm sorry to say, nope, it's not THAT. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Mar 20 '15 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ I did not downvote your answer but edited it. You can create hidden blockquote using this in front of your line: >! $\endgroup$ – Alex Aug 25 '15 at 17:32
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Is it a timekeeper?

The first two lines says "play catch" which makes me think of clock hands which go at different rates, meeting only at specific points.

The second two says "I am the second, an honourable mention" which I think means literally the second. Most people omit the second when setting a time

The third couple seems to reference the point where the hands of the clock are connected. The point where "Around about which, he and I dance together"

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    $\begingroup$ If time it was kept by Me, 'soon' but dust would you be. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Aug 25 '15 at 14:33
0
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Is it the Ministry of Truth from 1984? I haven't read enough of the book to know it well enough, but the "1984 was a long time ago" and the "Me, I am true." seem to hint towards that.

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  • $\begingroup$ I would agree but there is no lateral-thinking tag soo $\endgroup$ – ALinuxLover Mar 15 '18 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ 1984 is when the first Planet Earth series came out. See accepted answer for also why. It was a mean quasi red herring of a hint ;) $\endgroup$ – Mazura Mar 16 '18 at 0:16

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