6
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I decided to make a second puzzle. I think this one is very tough, but then again it might be very easy for some. Perhaps it's a bit niche.

A child  
born as the result of eight betrayals  
I played in the sand, when everyone else played elsewhere

I practiced as I grew  
half way to becoming a maestro  
then I became a key player in big business  

my success was amplified by my logical approach  
my ambition guided me, and those I supported, in giant leaps  
when things got too noisy I went one way  

is this fair  
I was betrayed many many times like my parents before me  
and eventually I was no longer special

Who am I?
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  • $\begingroup$ Is the 'who' necessarily a person? $\endgroup$ – Rayanth Jan 22 '16 at 4:41
10
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In this case, the riddle is not referring to a person, but a company: Fairchild Semiconductor.

It took some research to verify the clues that were standing out to me, but I pieced enough together to be rather certain of my answer. Below, I don't have ALL of the clues answered.

A Child

'child' is in the company's name.

Born as the result of eight betrayals

The Traitorous Eight is a term given to the eight employees who left Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, to create Fairchild Semiconductor. Shockley considered this a 'betrayal'. (so Fairchild Semiconductor was "born as the result of eight betrayals") Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traitorous_eight

I played in the sand, when everyone else played elsewhere

"Playing in the sand" could refer to the fact that silicon is used to make semiconductors. Silicon is a primary ingredient in common sand. Fairchild was focused on a different type of semiconductor than most research at the time, which could allude to "everyone else played elsewhere"

I practiced as I grew

The Traitorous Eight worked in a garage at first, "practicing", or rather perfecting, their methods of creating a special type of transistor known as a Moore transistor.

half way to becoming a maestro

I'm not 100% clear on this one.

then I became a key player in big business

They eventually would beat out all competition for their product.

my success was amplified by my logical approach
my ambition guided me, and those I supported, in giant leaps

I don't know a lot about the specifics here. I notice many references to things that semiconductors can be used for - amplifiers, logic gates, 'guide' might refer to rectifiers...

when things got too noisy I went one way

Most likely a reference to the in-fighting within the company. The Eight never really did get along with each other, brilliant though they were.

is this fair
I was betrayed many many times like my parents before me
and eventually I was no longer special

After more reading, we discover that Fairchild Semiconductor itself lost the original eight over time to its infighting... more betrayals, if you will... and quickly became a nobody in the market that it was once the king of.

A great riddle, it was fun to solve!

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  • $\begingroup$ You are correct, although a few clues were missed you pretty much got it all. Every line has meaning and is a clue. I'll post an answer with full explanation in a day or two if nobody expands further. Well done, I thought this was tricky, guess I'll have to make a harder puzzle :D $\endgroup$ – jhabbott Jan 22 '16 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ here I thought I was totally wrong. I'll admit I'm not intimately familiar with the story so I probably did miss some clues - like the Maestro one. I'll edit my answer for better formatting later. $\endgroup$ – Rayanth Jan 22 '16 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ By line No. - 1. Yep. 2. Spot on. 3. Correct, germanium was used for semiconductors at the time, 4. Yes, improving tech while the company grew. 5. Think "half" and another word for "maestro" - alludes to both the name and tech. 6. Intended as a red herring (key player) after the prior musical reference, but literally, they were a big player and had big customers like IBM. 7. Very successful in logic circuits and amplifiers. 8. Think guide/guidance and "giant leap"? 9. Diodes to eliminate noise. 10. Clue to name. 11/12. Exactly correct. $\endgroup$ – jhabbott Jan 23 '16 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ Do you want to flesh out the reasons in lines 5, 8, and 9 (I pretty much gave 9 away already) from the clues in the above comment? Or shall I just post it? $\endgroup$ – jhabbott Jan 27 '16 at 3:54
  • $\begingroup$ ah, go ahead, I'm short on time lately :) $\endgroup$ – Rayanth Jan 30 '16 at 7:49
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This has already been answered correctly by R. Daughtry, but as per the comments, a few clues were not fully understood. So this answer only serves to fill in those blanks for anyone who wants to know.

Line 5: half way to becoming a maestro

A maestro is a talented and distinguished conductor, and another word for half is semi, so we get semi-conductor, which is part of the name and also the primary industry.

Line 8: my ambition guided me, and those I supported, in giant leaps

The clue here is giant leaps, like the "...one giant leap for mankind" in Neil Armstrong's moon-landing speech. Fairchild's chips were used in the guidance computer for the Apollo missions, an ambitious project. Thus, they guided both the company and literally supported the astronauts' lives in making such leaps.

Line 9: when things got too noisy I went one way

Noise was an issue in logic circuits, but diodes (a one-way conductor) were used to manage this noise.

Line 10: is this fair

This is another clue to the company name, not just a lead-in for the final two lines.

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