14
$\begingroup$

A wave of the hand is all it takes to dismiss,
But when it gets started, it's greater than this!

A bringer of gifts. A destroyer of food.
It helps win the race. It ruins the mood.

See it, then not... or the other way 'round?
Answer this wrong and it's still most likely found.

Puzzlingly meta, you'll answer with glee,
So tell me, dear riddlers, what the heck can it be?

$\endgroup$
11
$\begingroup$

The answer is

The spoiler tag

A wave of the hand is all it takes to dismiss,

Run your mouse off of the tag and it disappears

But when it gets started, it's greater than this!

When you start to wave your pointer across it, the answer appears

A bringer of gifts. A destroyer of food.

It helps win the race. It ruins the mood.

You can get the answer from the tag quickly. If you get it without guessing, it may "spoil" the puzzle.

See it, then not... or the other way 'round?

Toggling the spoiler tag's availability, redundant from earlier verses

Answer this wrong and it's still most likely found.

People tend to have guessed (as they have on this question) even if the answer is not correct.

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Well done! This is the correct answer, though you made the leap while missing some clues: a spoiler tag is literally started with "greater than this!" (noting that "this" is indicating the exclamation mark, so ">!"). The next stanza is more literal, you spoil someone with gifts, food spoils, racing cars have spoilers, movie/book spoilers ruin your mood. "See it, then not" is meant to refer to the fact that the spoiler tag says spoiler, but then you reveal the actual spoiler. People who "Answer this wrong", most likely still use spoiler tags, which is the answer. "Answer with glee" because of t $\endgroup$ – Alconja Mar 19 '15 at 14:16
7
$\begingroup$

The answer is:

The posts' votes (up or down)

Explaination line by line:

A wave of the hand is all it takes to dismiss.

You can easily delete an answer and dismiss all the votes you got.

But when it gets started, it's greater than this!

I'm not quite sure about this line...

A bringer of gifts. A destroyer of food.

Bringing gifts is the equivalent of earning reputation (up votes), and destroying food is the equivalent of losing reputation (the "food" of the SE users).

It helps win the race. It ruins the mood.

Upvotes help your answer "win the race" with the others and be marked as correct by the OP. An high number of downvotes can destroy your mood.

See it, then not... or the other way 'round?

The vote count can disappear if there is an equal number of up and down votes, and it can also reappear with another vote.

Answer this wrong and it's still most likely found.

If you answer this question wrong, you'll probably get a bunch of downvotes.

Puzzlingly meta, you'll answer with glee.

When on Meta SE sites, the up and down votes don't make you earn or lose any reputation, so you can answer any question with glee.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Not bad... Most your explanations work, but there's still some gaps (and some stretches). $\endgroup$ – Alconja Mar 19 '15 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Alconja is this the right answer, then? $\endgroup$ – Marco Bonelli Mar 19 '15 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ No, sorry. Bret solved it below. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Mar 19 '15 at 14:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @rand al'thor thanks for your edit: actually that wasn't an italian-related error, but a simple typo (I was on my cellphone) $\endgroup$ – Marco Bonelli Mar 19 '15 at 16:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MarcoBonelli I was just joking! :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 19 '15 at 20:55
3
$\begingroup$

Inspired by Marco Bonelli's answer.

Answer:

SE reputation

Explanation:

A wave of the hand is all it takes to dismiss,

Deleting the account also deletes all your reputation (and reputation you gave to others with votes)

But when it gets started, it's greater than this!

When you use the system well, your reputation will start to grow.

A bringer of gifts. A destroyer of food.

Reputation gives you badges, the food I think is just for the sake of the rhyme.

It helps win the race. It ruins the mood.

You can have the greatest reputation, but if you start to lose it...

See it, then not... or the other way 'round?

Upvote, then downote. Correct answer, then revoked.

Answer this wrong and it's still most likely found.

Also if this is wrong, I hope to get some upvotes :)

Puzzlingly meta, you'll answer with glee,

Upvotes and downvotes in meta sites of SE doesn't change your reputation.

So tell me, dear riddlers, what the heck can it be?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I like your optimism. You're wrong, but I'll give you your upvote. :) $\endgroup$ – Alconja Mar 19 '15 at 12:39
3
$\begingroup$

I would say that the answer is

Desire.

Explanation:

Desire can take one wave of the hand to dismiss, but when it gets started it's very hard to get rid of. Desire can bring you many gifts, but it can also destroy many things. On some people desire can clearly be seen, whilst on other people it is hard to see.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You didn't answer that with glee, so unfortunately not. But don't feel bad, you personally are very unlikely to get the answer. ...which is more a clue to others than an indictment of you. :) $\endgroup$ – Alconja Mar 19 '15 at 8:23
2
$\begingroup$

I think it is

a clue

A wave of the hand is all it takes to dismiss,
But when it gets started, it's greater than this!

clues are easy to dismiss, but great to push you in the right direction

A bringer of gifts. A destroyer of food.
It helps win the race. It ruins the mood.

catching a clue can lead you to the right answer, missing a clue can make you bang your head in the wall. So, either you win or you end up frustrated

See it, then not... or the other way 'round?
Answer this wrong and it's still most likely found.

clues are not always detected right away. if someone posts a wrong answer, usually the author gives more clues.

Puzzlingly meta, you'll answer with glee,
So tell me, dear riddlers, what the heck can it be?

I suppose the last part is just a clue to the answer -> clue (meta puzzling)

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ oh, noooez :) too late and too wrong again.. $\endgroup$ – zlobi.wan.kenobi Mar 19 '15 at 14:20
1
$\begingroup$

After reading the other possible answers, I realized that the answer could be many things... ;)

The answer is:

babies, plants, animals...

Explaination line by line:

A wave of the hand is all it takes to dismiss.

You can easily dismiss/destroy any [answer] if you wave your hand hard enough.

But when it gets started, it's greater than this!

Yes, once [answer] is started, it's more than it was before, and surely greater than [this].

A bringer of gifts. A destroyer of food.

Gifts can be joy or food or knowledge. Each [answer] destroys/eats literal and figurative food too.

It helps win the race. It ruins the mood.

Without [answer], the human race wouldn't last as long. [answer] ruins the mood by crying, growing weeds, and being an annoying animal.

See it, then not... or the other way 'round?

I will turn my head to not see [answer]. Or, maybe I'll turn my head to see [answer]

Answer this wrong and it's still most likely found.

If this answer could ever possibly be wrong, surely other ones found will bring less joy.

Puzzlingly meta, you'll answer with glee.

I sure had fun answering this. :D

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.