8
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Part 1: I'm something basic, made of 30-odd pieces;
Many will know me even among different speeches.
Part 2: Do I contain waves or particles? Depends on your context;
I am not what you think I am, there is one crucial difference.
Part 3: One of me has a bright streak yet its outlook is dreary;
My like has been here since the first, but not by name 'til 3.
Part 4: I'm a magical number: simple but powerful;
A single operation makes me uncountable.

Put them all together and what do you get? And in case anyone is concerned that I am too prolific a puzzler, this will be the last puzzle I contribute until one of them is solved.

EDIT: Seems I made it too hard indeed. See below for an easier version of the riddle.

Part 1: I'm something primitive, made of 32 pieces; many will know me, even among different speeches.
Part 2: If light is what you say I am, you're technically right; but you're head's full of me if you think that I am light.
Part 3: In games, in comics, in movies, in the dungeon; if solo's your style, then with me you'll have fun.
Part 4: I'm a magic number, a power of two; I make Cantor cock his head and say 'Ooooh'

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  • $\begingroup$ I can't figure out what meter you're going for. All I know is that the word ends in "-ate". $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Jul 16 '15 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ For the future, and for any future puzzles anyone else makes like this, it'll be helpful to put a hint towards the final word as well - it doesn't have to be part of the puzzle, but some nudge somewhere would have helped me be sure of my answer! $\endgroup$ – Bailey M Jul 16 '15 at 16:24
5
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Okay, got it. The word you're looking for is:

INTERROGATE

Part 1: I'm something basic, made of 30-odd pieces;
Many will know me even among different speeches.
Part 1: I'm something primitive, made of 32 pieces;
Many will know me, even among different speeches.

This is an int. Integers in coding are comprised of 32 bits and are primitive types, and are familiarly used across programming languages.

Part 2: Do I contain waves or particles? Depends on your context;
I am not what you think I am, there is one crucial difference.
Part 2: If light is what you say I am, you're technically right;
But you're head's full of me if you think that I am light.

This is air. Light waves are perceived through dust particles suspended in the air. Of course, light itself can also be a particle, which can lead to confusion about this clue. If you think it's light even though the puzzle says it's not, you're an airhead, which is a synonym for an idiot.

Part 3: One of me has a bright streak yet its outlook is dreary;
My like has been here since the first, but not by name 'til 3.
Part 3: In games, in comics, in movies, in the dungeon;
If solo's your style, then with me you'll have fun.

This word is rogue. The first reference is to the super hero, who's a member of the X-Men. She has a white streak in her hair, but she's generally gloomy since her power saps other people's powers on touch so she can't actually ever touch anyone. I'm not sure about the 'not by name 'til three' line. The roguelike is a specific kind of single player dungeon-crawler video game.

Part 4: I'm a magical number: simple but powerful;
A single operation makes me uncountable.
Part 4: I'm a magic number, a power of two;
I make Cantor cock his head and say 'Ooooh'

We've already come across the answer to this, which is the number eight. The clues reference that 8 = 2^3, and turning it to the right, or cocking your head to look at it, makes it resemble the sign for infinity.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To fill in some of the remaining gaps for you: The original air clue was referring to 'airwaves' and the fact that air is actually made up of gaseous particles. As for the second part of the rogue clue, it referred to the fact that the Rogue class was added in 3rd edition of D&D, but it actually just took over the existing Thief class. $\endgroup$ – NeedAName Jul 16 '15 at 16:29
3
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Sorted by confidence from little confidence, to negative confidence...

Part 4 Partial Guess:

The number 8. It is the magic 8 ball, but rotating it 90 degrees turns it into the infinity symbol

Part 1 Partial Guess:

Silver, Jesus, betrayal, or the Bible. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 silver pieces, and people know the bible in many different languages.

Part 2 Partial Guess:

Matter. It is well known that electromagnetic radiation and more generally all elementary particles have both wave and particle properties. Photons are too well known, so it is either Quarks or Leptons which are both matter

Part 3 Partial Guess:

Thunder/Lightning. This is really mostly a shot in the dark. Lightning flashes but comes in times of storms. Also they have been around since the Earth was formed, no idea about 3, something with the etymology of the word?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not all infinities are uncountable! $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jul 15 '15 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ Your guess for part 4 is correct (even though randal is correct, I was referring to the more abstract idea of infinity that the symbol refers to) $\endgroup$ – NeedAName Jul 16 '15 at 1:56
2
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A guess for part 1:

Month - The same calendar is used across the globe, and a month has 30-odd days in.

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2
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A guess for Part 1:

Water - has almost 30 parts (28 protons, electrons and neutrons). People drink it during speeches

A guess for Part 3:

A Planet or Mars- some pictures of Mars were reported this year to show a bright streak. The first planet to be named was earth (the third planet). There's not a lot of water on Mars.

Edit: I think I got it!

Part 1

Water (as above)

Part 2

Bottle - can contain waves or particles

Part 3

Rock - we're third rock from the sun

Part 4

8 as solved previously

Altogether

Water-bottle Rocket

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the part 3 guess, I was going along similar lines but couldn't decide whether it was specific or the name for the group. $\endgroup$ – Jamie Barker Jul 16 '15 at 13:34
1
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Part 1: I'm something basic, made of 30-odd pieces;
Many will know me even among different speeches.

The ALPHABET? It's made of roughly 30 letters (26 or 29 or 33 etc., according to which language you're looking at).

Part 2: Do I contain waves or particles? Depends on your context;
I am not what you think I am, there is one crucial difference.

The first line obviously refers to LIGHT, so changing it with "one crucial difference", it could be e.g. LIT or RIGHT.

Part 3: One of me has a bright streak yet its outlook is dreary;
My like has been here since the first, but not by name 'til 3.

Not sure.

Part 4: I'm a magical number: simple but powerful;
A single operation makes me uncountable.

Some irrational number, perhaps? My guess would be e.

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  • $\begingroup$ For part 4, I was thinking "1" myself because $\aleph_1$ is the first uncountable cardinal. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Jul 16 '15 at 2:40
0
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Partial answer

I think that part 2 is:

a slide.

Part 2: Do I contain waves or particles? Depends on your context;
I am not what you think I am, there is one crucial difference.

Most people think of a slide as something that you, well, slide down on, but a rockslide or landslide, which can either come down in waves or chunks, depending on context, is something entirely different.


I believe that, going off of my previous answer, part 1 could be:

dust, or rather sand.

Part 1: I'm something basic, made of 30-odd pieces;
Many will know me even among different speeches.

Sand, or debris in general, is made of a combination of many small materials, and is something rather basic. Even in different languages, everyone knows what dirt or sand is.

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