10
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I apologize in advance for the lack of rhymes (as it seems quite difficult here). I have instead added a lot of 'depth' to this riddle (which should be easily unwound once solved) - Hopefully it isn't too obscure

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Make sure to explain each line!

Hint #1:

'water' could also be substituted with the word 'sea(s)' or 'ocean(s)'. - I admit this riddle is broad at parts, but once you know, the dots should connect.

Hint #2:

'animals' is a reference to an animal with no legs.

Hint #3:

Maybe this guy might know the answer.

Big Hint #4:

What can you 'have' when you are sick? How would you fill your hands with letters (What number might be associated with a hand)?

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closed as too broad by Aza Jul 8 '15 at 16:46

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh I was saying things like bandage / sport pain relief spray may also fits the answer, which makes it too board? Or i'm missing something here $\endgroup$ – Alex Jul 3 '15 at 16:38
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    $\begingroup$ Put a bounty on a question, and watch the crappy answers flood in... $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jul 6 '15 at 22:04
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    $\begingroup$ From your SO profile, I'm pretty sure it's java. $\endgroup$ – mmking Jul 7 '15 at 20:08
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    $\begingroup$ The cough/coffee pun is nice, but the post itself is less a riddle and more an exercise in mind-reading. There is nothing in the text that leads more specifically to coffee than any of a dozen other things. $\endgroup$ – dennisdeems Jul 8 '15 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ @dennisdeems I guess this attempted riddle was too ambiguous (which can be hard to determine without asking others). It was not meant to go on this long either... $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 8 '15 at 13:44

22 Answers 22

6
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Second try: I think it's

COFFEE.

Title: When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters

When you are sick, you might have a cough (coughy and coffee are homophones). A handful of letters (5 letters) would give you 'E' (5 fingers on a hand) so cough with 'E' equals coffee!

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Sports cups can be worn as a protective gear in some sports by males. In this case here, it references to one male, Joe. Why, because some people need their cup of Joe. - OP

A 'cup of Joe' is a synonym for a cup of coffee.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Java (another synonym for coffee) is a well-known kind of coffee, and Java is a programming language which isn't Python (animals) or C (sea/water). I'm flailing here with my poor knowledge of programming...

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

You can buy coffee in the shops. Some people don't like coffee and therefore ignore it instead of buying it; others never forget to buy it!

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Coffee is stronger than other stimulants (such as tea or soda), but weaker than a few (such as energy drinks). Some may have (or only need) one cup, other might have 2 cups of coffee.

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  • $\begingroup$ @MarkN Your latest hint made me think of several possibilities, one of which was "cough"; then I saw your comments on dennisdeems's answer and made the link with Java. Is it right then? :-D $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jul 8 '15 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ This is correct, however you now must explain each line (and how it can related). And your first point in your answers I noticed was a coincident after I posted the question, but still somewhat valid $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 8 '15 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkN btw, I hadn't even seen mmking's Java comment when I posted this! (just noticed it now) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jul 8 '15 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ "hand full of letters" = E - I never would've thought of that! Just my luck that "cough" is a 5-letter word :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jul 8 '15 at 12:30
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    $\begingroup$ The connection traced between sports and coffee is extremely tenuous. $\endgroup$ – dennisdeems Jul 8 '15 at 13:30
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Damn, I thought I had it with my first guess, here's a second:

BOTTLE!

In some sports I can be used, but only by some.

Water bottles are allowed in many team sports. However, for sports like hockey and soccer, only goalies can have bottles nearby on the field of play (usually on the goal netting). Also, bottle pool.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

The top google result for a search on 'bottle' is for bottlepy.org, a Python (legless animal) framework. Secondary uses for bottles related to water/sea/ocean would be 'ship in a bottle' as well as 'message in a bottle'.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Empty beer/soda-pop bottles are left outside of shops for collection by bottling companies. It can also refer to bottles to be sent to recycling which some people ignore, while others collect and turn in for CRV.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Bottles can be made of a variety of materials ranging from plastic to glass to metal with a range of strengths.

Finally, When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters.

Prescription bottle with the prescriptions (letters) or the letters may refer to the labels on the pills themselves. I thought about 'message in a bottle' but couldn't come up with anything.

My previous guess:

SALT!

In some sports I can be used, but only by some.

Smelling salts are used in boxing and similar sports.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Cells use ion pumps to generate membrane potentials which are used to contract muscles. Salts are a necessary part of living organisms and is a key component of ocean water. Salts/ions are used in batteries to store electrical potential energy.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

You can purchase salt most everywhere. Since it is ubiquitous you may ignore and forget to purchase it when out.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Various salts have differing strengths in their ionic bonds. There are salts with varying numbers in their ionic composition. NaCl has 1 ion each of sodium and chlorine while CaCl2 has 1 ion of calcium to 2 ions of chlorine.

Finally, When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters.

Bath salts can be used as homeopathic treatment of some ailments. Most salts are recognized by their elemental symbols. I.e. NaCl, KI, etc. Which are a few (handful) of letters

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  • $\begingroup$ Also for the some sports and sicknesses where excessive fluid loss can occur - sodium chloride is an important electrolyte to monitor and regulate (granted also Calcium, Phosphate, etc...) $\endgroup$ – JGreenwell Jul 6 '15 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the explanation for the "nearby the shops to get" part. $\endgroup$ – valuable_asset Jul 7 '15 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ You are getting the right idea now....very close with some of the clues! Although this was not my intended answer, it seems to be fitting the riddle quite well. $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking bottlenose dolphin for the animal. $\endgroup$ – Kingrames Jul 7 '15 at 14:41
6
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I can't resist...

BALLS!

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Balls are used in many sports, but there's only one in the game at a time.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Ball bearings can be used in work. Not sure about the animals/water bit.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

You can buy balls in the shops. Some people aren't interested in sports (they ignore balls) but some are always thinking about it (they don't forget).

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Balls/cojones symbolise courage, which is similar to strength. Many people have two (ahem), although some - such as Adolf Hitler, reputedly - have just one.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good attempt, however billiards can be considered a sport..and it has many balls in play. $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 3 '15 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ It also seems the first line of my riddle is really throwing people into the wrong direction.....good! $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 3 '15 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ I laughed when I see your answer and reading the last sentence on the question =P $\endgroup$ – Alex Jul 3 '15 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ can the animals part mean that old computer mouses used to use "balls" for the motion detection. $\endgroup$ – valuable_asset Jul 7 '15 at 6:49
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I think you are talking about

a die.

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

A die is used in games (not exactly sports) such as ludo, snakes and ladders etc. A die is a singular item, the plural of which is dice.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

Dies are used in die casting processes to produce several everyday items.

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Dyes (homophone of die) can be derived from animals or could be water based.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

You can buy a die in many shops and those that play board games on a regular basis will always remember to buy one when they lose them, while the others wouldn't really care about them.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few.

Not sure about this clue... I suspect this might be related to dyes. Which may be of a temporary or permanent nature.

Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Games like ludo and snakes and ladders use one die, while games like Yahtzee and two-dice pig can use two dice.

The title: When you are sick you might have me, with a handful of letters

When you are sick, you might have a disease, which is di(seas)e. The word 'seas' sounds like C's, which could mean a handful of letters.

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  • $\begingroup$ A very good try! You are getting closer with some of the 'deeper'/indirect meanings...But this was not my intended answer however :( $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 4 '15 at 15:01
6
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I think the answer is

a sign.

When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters

illness - has signs and symptoms; hands can make signs eg ASL.

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

signs are used in some sports

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

signs are used in some type of work, eg road works; signs of the zodiac - water/animals etc

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

I can be near shops, some people ignore signs.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

some signs in illness are stronger than others; some illnesses have one or more signs and symptoms

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think this is a brilliant answer. Explains the last line by way of zodiac cusps. $\endgroup$ – CodeNewbie Jul 6 '15 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ @CodeNewbie I didn't know what those were until I Googled them :-l $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 6 '15 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ my apologies for not formatting correctly :( $\endgroup$ – amh Jul 6 '15 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE, amh! Hope you have as much fun with this as you did with notpron ;) $\endgroup$ – Demesne Jul 6 '15 at 16:58
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    $\begingroup$ How do you "get" a sign in line 4? $\endgroup$ – mmking Jul 6 '15 at 18:07
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Partial answer

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Code golf, with java?

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Programming in java. Not Python (animal), C (sea), or Ocean (another programming language)

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Coffee shops outside the shopping mall. Some people don't drink coffee and will ignore, while others will die without.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Java is known as a strongly typed language. It's more strongly typed than C and possibly less strongly typed than some other languages.

Some people may use one programming language, or more. Sometimes there are several languages in a project.

Title: When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters

Drinking coffee in a mug with letters on it while you're sick? (You probably shouldn't do that. The caffeine will make you dehydrated, and it doesn't go well with medicine. Some people say it make a sore throat feel better, though.)

Or you are drinking coffee while reading your get well letters.

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  • $\begingroup$ For weaker and stronger, I was meaning to refer to other similar entities, but not the same. If you 'know' the answer, 'unwind' the rest ;-D $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkN I've made an edit about that part, but it feels kind of weird. $\endgroup$ – mmking Jul 7 '15 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps the other similar entity is javascript (at least in name)? Or even coffeescript? $\endgroup$ – itriedacrab Jul 7 '15 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ @mmking weird indeed, I suggest you review your answer and make some observations. $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 22:23
4
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I would like to expand on Kate Gregory's answer but I have different explanations for the clues that would be too long to explain in a comment.

To save people from looking, Kate Gregory proposed that the answer is

The letter C

When you are sick, you might have me, with a handful of letters

The word 'sick' contains the letter C, along with a handful of other letters.

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Some sports have the letter C in their name but in the phrase 'this case here', there is only one.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

C is a programming language that gives you very specific control over the hardware - more than other programming languages. For the brothers, Python is the name of another programming language as well as a type of snake - an animal with no legs. 'Water' could be substituted for 'sea', which is a homonym of C.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

A reference to another homonym, 'see'. There are plenty of things to see near shops and some things you see are easy to ignore while others are hard to forget.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

The letter C can be pronounced many different ways, with some pronunciations being stronger than others. The letter often appears in words one at a time but is doubled or certain words.

Other notes:

The third clue is simply a link to the author's profile, where we learn that he works with computers and likes wordplay. This answer seems in line with his personal interests and style of riddles.

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  • $\begingroup$ You may wish to re-read my riddle in comparison to how you responded for each line. You might 'C' something funky ;-P Even if you find it, you will have some ways to go :-D $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 18:04
4
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Third Attempt:

When you are sick you might have me, with a handful of letters

T (tea)

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

A golf tee

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

A T-square; the programming language T

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

You're not talking about Python or C (credit to Aggie Kidd)

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Well tea would be IN the shops, so I'm not sure how to gloss this.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Some like their tea strong, others like it weak.


Second Attempt:

When you are sick you might have me, with a handful of letters

Elixir

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Elixir is the name of a sports drink.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

Elixir is also the name of a programming language.

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

You're not talking about Python or C (credit to Aggie Kidd)

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Someone who wanted an elixir would go to a Pharmacy. Pharmacies are generally located near grocery stores.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Some elixirs contain alcohol, making them "stronger" than others.


PREVIOUS ATTEMPT: Could it be

a net?

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

A net is used in tennis to divide the court into opposing regions.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

This could be a reference to hair nets worn in kitchens

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Nets are used to catch animals, especially fish in seas and oceans

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Does this refer to recycling bins?? I can't relate it to nets...

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few.

This could refer to network strength

Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

At work we have a private intranet, and also the external net

The title: When you are sick you might have me, with a handful of letters

No idea

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  • $\begingroup$ Search top 10 programming languages....since you don't seem to know them very well :( $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ I know Java and SQL, but I never drink them when I'm sick. ;) $\endgroup$ – dennisdeems Jul 7 '15 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ I have mentioned many times, there might be more behind things than what you think ;-) $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ Upvote for the 3rd answer, since that seems to fit the clues at least as well, if not better, than other related answers. There have been a lot of references to the word 'depth' in the author's comments, which could be a hint towards "T-depth" - a term used to describe the temperature of bodies of water at various depths. T-depth is important for weather forecasting but exists 'under the weather', which is another term for when you are sick. T-depth is also very important in hurricane forecasting and since hurricane names are assigned alphabetically, that could be the "hand full of letters". $\endgroup$ – aleppke Jul 7 '15 at 21:35
  • $\begingroup$ @aleppke That is a lot of reasoning (which is quite impressive!). I did not know about these things, but if you can make it fit, feel free to post it! (Like most riddles, there are normally unintended answers that fit just as well - Which aren't found until the question is asked) $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 22:31
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I think its:

Drugs

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Some drugs are used in sports as a diet supplement.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

Drugs are used for fighting diseases and targeting pain in a specific organ/body part.

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Some Drugs/Medicines are made from Animals.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Medicine can be of more importantce for some people(sick) than others (healthy).

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few.

This could refer to strength of a medicine. Some are 250mg and others are 500mg.

Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Many people may be prescribed just one medicine by his other physician and others more than one.

TITLE: When you are sick you might have me, with a handful of letters.

When you are sick, you might have medicine/drugs with a prescription (handful of letters)

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  • $\begingroup$ This would be the closest answer in terms of relation, but it was not what I was expecting. A good answer though! $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 6 '15 at 19:00
3
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Looking at the responses that seem to be the closest, I'm thinking it could be:

Alcohol

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

One obvious connection would be drinking sports but another possibility is with doctors/medical staff present at many sporting events. They would carry only one kind of alcohol (rubbing alcohol) that only they would be able to use.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Bartending is a form of work where specific alcohols are mixed together in specific quantities and order to produce various drinks. Alcohols are related to water and some even make use of animals, most notably the tequila worm.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

There are often bars, pubs or liquour stores near shopping centers so people can go get a drink. Some people will ignore a bar when walking by while others can't resist the urge.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Different alcohols have different strengths. The second part could refer to certain drinks containing one or two types of alcohol or perhaps to people consuming one or two drinks.

Title: When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters

Some people drink when they are sick and many consider alcoholism to be a sickness. Hand full of letters could refer to the many words printed on the label of whatever they are drinking, implying that they keep the drink in hand pretty much all the time.

Hint #1:

This isn't a hint I drew anything particularly useful from. Substituting 'water' for 'sea' or 'ocean' doesn't really change anything for this answer. So while it doesn't help, it also doesn't hurt.

Hint #2:

An animal with no legs could refer to the tequila worm.

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2
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I guess:

A puck

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Though there are a few sports that make use of pucks: people are typically talking about "hockey pucks".

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

In computer terms a "puck" is a little sensor pad device used by CAD and designers for drawing.

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Puck is apparently a penguin on animal crossing and yes water hockey is a sport derived from ice hockey (also ice & water for brothers)

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Hockey's popularity can be quite random so some ignore hockey equipment and other's buy it (not forget).

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few.

The hockey puck is much stronger than those used in other sports (Novuss, Air hockey, street hockey) but is weaker than those used in Shuffleboard or Water Hokey (both use metal in their designs)

Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Most hockey derivatives use a single puck during play but games like Novuss uses two "pucks" (like the cue ball in billards)

For the title: When you are sick you might have me, with a handful of letters - I have a few guesses

One "pucks" has five letters (five fingers). Second Hockey becomes hacking (cough) with a few letter changes. And finally "He's in the bathroom puking up his breakfast" needs only a few letters.

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  • $\begingroup$ You are close with some of my references, however this is not the correct answer. $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 6 '15 at 15:43
2
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I think it is

The letter C

When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters

With a cold, "the Cs" might come out as "duh zees" or disease. Also, some people like to take Vitamin C when they have a cold.

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Many sports (hockey for sure) use a C sewn onto a sweater to denote the (only one per team) captain.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

There are a handful of jobs that start C - CEO, CIO, CTO, etc. Even C*O which isn't very specific.

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

In the sea, there is water and animals. C and sea sound alike.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Brand names are often marked with a copyright symbol, a C in a circle. Many people leave these out when referring to products, but others care a lot about that.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

For this, I have nothing

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  • $\begingroup$ You, like many others, are getting bits and parts of the riddle, but not the whole thing :D! Good attempt! $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 6 '15 at 16:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ that makes no sense. The current crop of answers is drugs, balls, a sign, a die, a puck, the letter C, a condom, a vitamin, a net and a glove. It is not possible that many of those are "getting bits and parts". Not one answer explains a clue the same way. $\endgroup$ – Kate Gregory Jul 6 '15 at 19:09
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe I'm just going crazy! I've already given away some of my rep! Who would do such a thing?! Mwhahahaha....... $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 6 '15 at 19:14
2
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PARTIAL ANSWER

From mmking, it's

Java

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Not 100% here. Could be code golf.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Animals (Python), water/ocean (C).

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Coffee near the shops.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Some cups of coffee are made stronger than others. People drink different amounts of coffee.

When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters

I guess people might have coffee with their supplements? This doesn't seem too common.

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  • $\begingroup$ You're so evil! I was just typing it up. For sports, could it be a javalin? $\endgroup$ – mmking Jul 7 '15 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ @mmking you can post you're own answer and work on it if you would like $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ @mmking I'll upvote whatever you post, since mine is definitely only partial! $\endgroup$ – itriedacrab Jul 7 '15 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe it's code golf? $\endgroup$ – itriedacrab Jul 7 '15 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ I think this could fit. The word 'reference' in the first line certainly takes on more meaning with this answer. I'm having a hard time connecting it to the title, though. It isn't something I would typically associate with being sick (unless perhaps there's another meaning of sick that I'm not thinking of). $\endgroup$ – aleppke Jul 7 '15 at 20:39
2
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I have one more crazy idea that seems to have more support from the author's comments and subtle clues than from the riddle itself. There are a few answers that feel like they're really close but the OP seems to be wanting us to dig deeper so this is an attempt at that. It looks at the riddle from another direction so maybe I'll knock something loose.

PARTIAL ANSWER I think the answer could be

STACK. There have been numerous references to "depth" and "unwinding" and when Googling these words, callstack is among the most common results. Since a lot of answers have been related to programming and the suggested languages all use a callstack, this is a logical extension of that thought process. In order to arrive at STACK from the clues, I can only assume that, including the title, each clue represents a single letter of the answer. To make it easier, I'll be assuming that the answer to each clue is a word that starts with the appropriate letter.

When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters

S -> Soup is a common home remedy for many ailments and is often be taken with vitamin supplements. Vitamins are named after letters so if you're taking an assortment of pills, you would have a hand full of letters.

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

T -> A Tee is used in golf as well as in teeball and resembles some representations of the number 1. The use of the word 'references' seems deliberate, perhaps to further emphasize the relationship to coding.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

A -> Not entirely sure. I was investigating possibilities relating to Specific Work equations but couldn't find anything that seemed to fit with the animals and water clues.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

C -> I'm going to go with Coffee. There's always some around shops and some people need it more than others. Plus, Coffee is related to Java, one of the programming languages that uses a call stack.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

K -> Drawing a blank here too. There are probably lots of words that could fit so I'm just gonna say Kidneys.

Other notes:

As with one of my other answers, this seems to fit with the themes of some of the OP's other riddles, notably ones related to StackExchange.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for an interesting attempt. I thought about "stack" too with all that unwinding going around in the comments, but I doubt that this could be right. $\endgroup$ – Aioros Jul 8 '15 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ This was not what I had in mind, however I enjoy it when people try to find different solutions to the same problem! I'll let you know this much, you have one part completely right! $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 8 '15 at 12:02
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Second attempt!:

It is:

Condom!

In some sports I can be used, but only by some.

Some use it in this 'sport', some don't

In this case here, it references to one.

Some kind of 'sports'

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

Condom does have many usage such as strengthen concrete road / water storage / making fire. And of course it's main usage - to protect

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

In old times condom are made from animal parts and reuse by cleaning with water O.O

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

you could buy condom at nearby shop. If you're intended to go there for the condom, you'll not forgot. Otherwise you will ignore

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Different textures...? Using 2 is actually dangerous as well...


Here was my first attempt which failed:

Could it be:

vitamin?

In some sports I can be used, but only by some.

Athletes can have vitamin in certains sport to improve performance

In this case here, it references to one.

Not sure on this one

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

work such as pharmacy? And you usually take vitamin with water.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

you could buy vitamin at nearby shop. If you're intended to go there for the vitamin, you'll not forgot. Otherwise you will ignore?

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Taking different vitamins

For title:

You might have vitamin when you're sick, with a handful of vitamin A,B,C...

Also..

MarkN is sick at the moment? =D

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  • $\begingroup$ A good try. Closest so far! Some parts of the riddle are a little more 'indirect' however. $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 3 '15 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ It seems you have boarded Rand al'thor's train of thought....I suggest getting off at the next stop. (But at least you gave it a try!) $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 3 '15 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ I blame Rand al'thor =D $\endgroup$ – Alex Jul 3 '15 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ There are articles about ppl using condom as a layer between concretes, for waterproof. Also if you fill it with water and make a globe, it has the same effect as magnifying glass, using sunlight to make fire (survivalman-skill sort of thing) $\endgroup$ – Alex Jul 3 '15 at 17:19
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GUESS 2:

sedatives

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

sedatives can be used by archers for calming. Other sports, such as certain olympic sports have banned the use of sedatives, often used as downers.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Tranquilizers can be used as a calming sedative. In that case, they have beneficial properties, unlike dangerous tranquilizers that might be used in hunting. Ocean, water, or seas have a natural calming effect, unlike synthetic sedatives.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Some sedatives can be over the counter. e.g. Sleeping pills.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Different types of sedatives have different levels of strengths. Dosage/type may vary.

When you are sick you might have me, with a handful of letters

sedatives to relax, along with perscription/ingredients/dosages/etc...

#

GUESS 1

therapy.

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Physical therapy, specifically relates to physical sports based therapy.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Other types of therapies: aquatic or animal assisted therapy (AAT).

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Many therapists available in small shopping plazas: psychotherapists, physical therapists, massage therapists, etc...

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Different types of therapy have different levels of strengths. Visits or sessions may vary.

When you are sick you might have me, with a handful of letters

Therapist. Degreed.

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1
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Is it

cards

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

cards are used to signal in sports (example: yellow/red cards in football)

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

cards are used for signalling during work, or for motivating in case of motivational messages. Don't know about the animals and water thingy, but if i have to give a stupid guess, maybe cards are used to play FISH, which can be a reference to animals and water

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

cards can often kept on shelves outside a general store to be bought. When one gets cards, inviting them for weddings, parties, you may choose to ignore them (if you are rude) or use them to remember the date of the function.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Maybe a reference for some cards being weaker [example: red cards are more powerful in football than yellow cards]

When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters

when you are sick, you recieve "get well soon cards", full of letters

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1
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Try 2:

MUMPS

When you are sick, you might have me, with a handful of letters

Mumps is a sickness, but is also an acronym for a programming language.

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

This is where I am not quite sure yet. Perhaps the programming language is used in some sports?

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

The programming language has a set of things that it can do, mostly transaction processing.

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Not talking about Python or C (sea) which are other programming languages.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Mumps the disease was very contageous. With vaccinations though, it is mostly been eliminated. Some ignore vaccines, and many have forgotten about mumps.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

The programming language is better than others, not as good as some. The disease is worse than some, but weaker than others. Some people might have the language or the disease, but there is the chance some could have both.



Previous Answer:

Pain Killers, more specific than drugs.

When you are sick, you might have me, with a handful of letters

Some take painkillers when they are sick to help with headaches, and often when you are sick you take vitamins as well (which most are named after letters).

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Some sports allow for pain killers, but generally not all. And, generally they can only be given by one, the team doctor.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

Those in manual labor will use pain killers to help with sore muscles. Also, doctors will give pain killers to patients.

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

The symbol for the medical field involves a snake wrapped around a staff (referencing doctors), and many think that the sea has healing and pain relieving properties.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Pain killers are often found in the pharmacy section of stores. Some try to ignore and fight through pain without taking anything, and older people may just forget to take their medicine, of which pain killers may be a part of.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Pain killers come in different strengths (Give me MAXIMUM STRENGTH!). Also, some take one or two depending on the dosage.

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  • $\begingroup$ I had high hopes for you Aggie Kidd. Loud buzzer sound $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ I often disappoint, unfortunately :-( $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Jul 7 '15 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkN Well, I tried again. I kept wanting to say "Men at Work" or the "Village People" but couldn't make them work. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Jul 7 '15 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkN I'm guessing I'm still a ways off from that comment. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Jul 7 '15 at 16:15
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I think it is

a glove / gloves?

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Glove is used in baseball say the out fielders?

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Work gloves, protective gloves?

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Need safety gloves for some work

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Some gloves are for hard work, others are just like latex? 2 gloves? Or MJ style!

When you are sick you might have me, with a handful of letters

Wearing gloves to prevent others from getting sick?

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Ok, here is mine. I got same guess as denisdeems, but my explanation is full.

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

A simple reference to sport discipline such a volleyball for example.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

People catch fish with nets, be it in seas or lakes.

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Net prices! Some folks just ignore net/gross value difference. Some of them pay attention.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

This is related with meaning of internet connection (in my country often referred to as 'net'). People may have local (cable) at home, some got mobile...

As for the title... It seems that 'treatment' may be a 'net' letters +(some letters) concatenation.

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Hand?

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

In football (soccer), and other sports (such as baseball), only some players (goalkeepers/fielding team) can use their hands. Here, one hand.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others. I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Some jobs use hands more often. Animals/water could refer to "farmhands" or "deckhands".

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Handicap parking spots. Some people ignore the rules and park there illegitimately.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

People have different strength hands, and different numbers of them. May refer to hands of cards?

When you are sick you might have me, with a hand full of letters

Not so sure, unless it's something like handicap again, or some kind of medicine.

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  • $\begingroup$ This answer is somewhat similar to glove, which is incorrect. :( $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 14:27
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One more try... Probably my last.

The Band the Village People

When you are sick, you might have me, with a handful of letters

YMCA - a handful of letters

In some sports I can be used, but only by some. In this case here, it references to one.

Many sports teams play Village People songs at games, but the Los Angeles Clippers have been banned from playing "YMCA" by the band.

I can be used in some work, more specific than others.

The Village People dressed up as different characters, such as a construction worker, police officer, etc.

I'm not talking about animals or water which could be seen as my brothers.

Not "White Snake" or "Styx"

I am nearby the shops for others to get. Some might ignore me, some might not forget.

Perhaps referencing characters in the band? Some people tried to ignore the Village People, but others are huge fans and can't forget them.

I might be stronger than others, or weaker than few. Some might have just one, or maybe even two.

Macho Man is a strong man. The line in the song goes "Macho Macho Man" with two "Machos"

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  • $\begingroup$ When you say 'The Band' I assume you are referring to a musical band? (As I have not heard of them before) $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 7 '15 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkN $%@^ Yeah, the band. Well, I guess that wasn't it either. I'm done. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Jul 7 '15 at 16:45

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