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I used to have a name like a valediction,
Others say it's purely fiction.

My surname keeps your valuables safe,
My upbringing was completely as a waif.

You've seen me in many a grand time,
Up the ladder did I climb.

I can be found picking on the smaller man;
There are many that I am better than.

My lover found a life of empty space,
Vowing that I would never see her face.

I decided to live like a camelid,
In hopes to overcome what I did.

Even in death I provided support,
Though to base pleasures I did resort.


What is my name?

Starter Hint/Clarification:

The first line of each stanza leads you to a homophone. Don't look for it in the second line of the stanza. Each stanza (after you find the homophone, of course) leads you to either one or two clues (but usually one), so if you can only relate a stanza to one, there may be no extra meaning.

Hint 2:

The answer to each line (I think) is a homophone to the synonym of the last word/phrase. e.g. Cain's sibling --> Abel --> Able

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That bit about homonyms isn't making sense to me. In riddles, we usually only care about the exact strings, which are then left to interpretation. To tell us to find a homonym is telling us to find a word with more than one definition, which is a lot of words. Is there a chance you mean homophone, like pole and poll, or Lock and Locke? $\endgroup$ – Roland Aug 14 '15 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Roland Oh yeah i did. My bad. Completely my bad. Editing now $\endgroup$ – Moose Aug 15 '15 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ This one is rather interesting. I think I have stanza two and six, but the others are hard. $\endgroup$ – Illyasviel Sep 4 '15 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Moose Hey, you still around? A clue or two might be nice. $\endgroup$ – Rohcana Sep 17 '15 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Illyasviel If you have them, then post them. I would love my bounty not going to waste (although Roland did provide a good starting point). $\endgroup$ – Rohcana Sep 17 '15 at 18:16
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Here are some guesses. It still isn't clear to me how this is supposed to be solved; we'll have to wait for the correct answer to see if this was worth our efforts, apparently.

I used to have a name like a valediction,
Others say it's purely fiction.

The valediction Bye, which has the homophones By and Buy.

My surname keeps your valuables safe,
My upbringing was completely as a waif.

Lock has the homophone Locke, a surname.

The rest are wild guesses
You've seen me in many a grand time,
Up the ladder did I climb.

Rose (rows), Peace (Piece), Flower (Flour)

I can be found picking on the smaller man;
There are many that I am better than.

One (Won), Weak (Week)

My lover found a life of empty space,
Vowing that I would never see her face.

None ("empty space") is a homophone with Nun. Some cloisters forbid contact with the outside world ("never see her face"). Does anyone know of a story where a man fell in love with a nun who lived in a place like the Monastery of Angels?

I decided to live like a camelid,
In hopes to overcome what I did.

Desert (the verb, not the noun) is a homophone with Dessert (the food)

Even in death I provided support,
Though to base pleasures I did resort.

Prophet (dying as a martyr) is a homophone with Profit (arguably a base pleasure)

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  • $\begingroup$ You're on to something with lock, but it's not Sherlock. Look at my comment under Kishan's post $\endgroup$ – Moose Sep 17 '15 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ I've been the lone member of Team Locke (not Sherlock Holmes) for a month now. Just wish I knew more people than John Locke, the philosopher. $\endgroup$ – Roland Sep 17 '15 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ Oh boy, it would have helped to know that my None/Nun answer was pretty much exactly correct... >:( $\endgroup$ – Roland Sep 18 '15 at 2:00
  • $\begingroup$ If not for this answer my bounty would have been a complete waste. So, thanks. $\endgroup$ – Rohcana Sep 18 '15 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I sympathize if you found all of this (the riddle and its "correct" answer) quite unsatisfying. $\endgroup$ – Roland Sep 18 '15 at 22:19
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Well I don't have it all but:

Sherlock Holmes! (Elementary my dear watson)

I used to have a name like a valediction,
Others say it's purely fiction.

not done yet

My surname keeps your valuables safe,
My upbringing was completely as a waif.

Sherlock -> sure lock [though surname implies last name?]

You've seen me in many a grand time,
Up the ladder did I climb.

not done yet

I can be found picking on the smaller man;
There are many that I am better than.

Watson is picked on in some cases of sherlock holmes. Also Sherlock is sort of the best (detective among other things) so that implies a few may be lesser than he.

My lover found a life of empty space,
Vowing that I would never see her face.

Not done yet (not a holmes scholar)

I decided to live like a camelid,
In hopes to overcome what I did.

not done yet

Even in death I provided support,
Though to base pleasures I did resort.

he dies in The Final Problem taking out moriarty and his gang in the process. he is a noted used of strong drugs in excess.

I intend to add more details when I wake up on the morrow.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not quite. Remember that every first line is a homonym. You got lock right, but what's a homonym that could also be partially a surname? $\endgroup$ – Moose Aug 14 '15 at 3:36
  • $\begingroup$ i meant to say homophone* $\endgroup$ – Moose Aug 16 '15 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Moose I am passively working on this one very little active work but it is still on my plate... Just it is one of those cases where I am not sure it will be in my wheel house what it is referencing so I am slow to go all in. I will keep it up some though. $\endgroup$ – Going hamateur Aug 16 '15 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ Alright; I kinda came up with this one on a whim, I made a really tough solution in my head and I'll be surprised if it's completely solved by one person. The best course of action would probably be many partial answers and a compilation by one riddler $\endgroup$ – Moose Aug 16 '15 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ I think the second stanza's homonnym is homes as we keep our valuables in homes. $\endgroup$ – Kishan Kumar Sep 17 '15 at 16:02
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Well The Answer Seems to be

Sherlock Holmes

I used to have a name like a valediction, Others say it's purely fiction.

Valediction means to say something at fare well, thats good luck or say sheer luck which is homophone for Sherlock

My surname keeps your valuables safe, My upbringing was completely as a waif.

Holmes homophone for homes, which keep our valuable safe.

You've seen me in many a grand time, Up the ladder did I climb.

Not Done Yet

I can be found picking on the smaller man; There are many that I am better than.

Bully syn. noun:Domineering Person, whose homophone could be dominating person. And we know how much dominating Sherlock could be.

My lover found a life of empty space, Vowing that I would never see her face.

Working on Irene Adler and empty.

I decided to live like a camelid, In hopes to overcome what I did.

Not Done

Even in death I provided support, Though to base pleasures I did resort.

Not done

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  • $\begingroup$ Homophones are words with the same pronunciation, not just sounding similar. Examples: To-too-two, Have-halve, sea-see, die-dye. Dominating and Domineering are not homophones, nor are sheer and sure. $\endgroup$ – Roland Sep 17 '15 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ well sheer luck and sherlock are homophones, as i found in one article $\endgroup$ – Kishan Kumar Sep 17 '15 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ And I have said, Dominating could be for domineering. Not sure on that $\endgroup$ – Kishan Kumar Sep 17 '15 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Can you link the article? Homophones sometimes depend on the accent, but I can't imagine any accent for which Sheerluck and Sherlock are homophones. They have the same consonants, but the vowel sounds with any British or American accent are still noticeably different; They are as much homophones as Good-God, or favor-fever (which are absolutely not homophones). $\endgroup$ – Roland Sep 17 '15 at 19:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It's not Sherlock Holmes. It is a European literary character found in British Literature, but not Sherlock $\endgroup$ – Moose Sep 17 '15 at 21:22
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Well, many people have responded with Sherlock Holmes, which isn't true. I haven't been very active on puzzling so I'll just publish the answer:

Sir Lancelot du Lac

I used to have a name like a valediction,
Others say it's purely fiction.

Goodnight = Good knight. He was one of the greatest knights in King Arthur's domain, and before having an affair with Guinevere was a good (just, fair) knight.

My surname keeps your valuables safe,
My upbringing was completely as a waif.

Lock = Lac. He was raised by the Lady of the Lake as an orphan, which is why he has the last name Lac.

You've seen me in many a grand time,
Up the ladder did I climb.

Epoch = Epic. Lancelot is one of the most recurring characters in history, being part of Le Morte D'Arthur and many other writings.

I can be found picking on the smaller man;
There are many that I am better than.

This is awkward. I forgot the homophone to this one.

My lover found a life of empty space,
Vowing that I would never see her face.

None = nun. His lover, Guinevere, became a nun, and declared that Lancelot would never again see her alive.

I decided to live like a camelid,
In hopes to overcome what I did.

llama = lama. He became a monk (à la Dalai Lama) and so lived out the rest of his life.

Even in death I provided support,
Though to base pleasures I did resort.

Well, I honestly forgot what this one was.

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  • $\begingroup$ As this answer is a helpful answer containing correct information, I have undeleted it. Thanks for understanding. $\endgroup$ – Aza Sep 18 '15 at 3:01
  • $\begingroup$ These are not homophones. As noted by @Roland on Kishan Kumar's answer, homophones must sound the same, not merely similar. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Sep 18 '15 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain I added links to all of the pronunciations. They're all exactly the same. Lancelot du Lac was French, raised in France by the Lady of the Lake (or, du Lac). $\endgroup$ – Moose Sep 18 '15 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Okay; I concede. I personally pronounce "Lac" and "Lock" differently, as well as "Epoch" and "Epic", but I concede that they could be pronounced identically. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Sep 18 '15 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Moose In the U.S., at least, I've only heard "Lac" pronounced closely to "lack", and "Epoch" closely to "eppock". Also, for those unfamiliar with Lancelot's life (like myself), can you explain the clues as well? His name used to be "Good Knight"? He climbed a ladder? "Overcome what I did"? To base pleasures he resorted? $\endgroup$ – Roland Sep 18 '15 at 17:20

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