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The postwar confusion
by Avigrail, 2016

There's no one left but a group of 5
Two of the group in an ongoing strife
The rejoicing third taking all the pride
Dear stranger, will you pick your side?
One who's fallen, no chance of return
All burnt out and down by the stern
Yet, another one hidden in the dark
Only waiting for this single spark
He's lying in wait in his covert hutch
Merely longing for a finger's touch

So much for their history
Can you reveal their mystery?

Hint:

- The title is a red herring and the riddle is super easy.
- If you end up searching weird things on the internet trying to make your theory work you're probably barking up the wrong tree.
- The solution is within this site's scope. So no need to think too big or search other places (unless translation is needed).

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  • $\begingroup$ I keep thinking it's about fingers but I can't make it all fit. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jun 20 '16 at 20:27
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    $\begingroup$ Be careful where you make your fingers fit :O $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 20 '16 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ I hope it isn't about fingers, since fingers are mentioned explicitly towards the end... $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 21 '16 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ Some great riddles in the past made fun of everyone by explicitily mentioning the solution. But don't worry, "fingers" isn't the solution here - or wait... is it? I must have forgotten :o) $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 5:39
  • $\begingroup$ postwar confusion - WWI/WWII? $\endgroup$ – Alex Jun 21 '16 at 16:03
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Is it something to do with

enter image description here

There's no one left but a group of 5

They appear on the left of a question, and there are 5 items.

Two of the group in an ongoing strife

Upvote vs. downvote

The rejoicing third taking all the pride

Overall score (up-down) gets all the attention/pride

Dear stranger, will you pick your side?

Do you like this question or not? Vote!

One who's fallen, no chance of return
All burnt out and down by the stern

A fallen star, near the bottom and burnt out = dimmed
Also, from OP, "stern" is German for "star"

Yet, another one hidden in the dark
Only waiting for this single spark
He's lying in wait in his covert hutch
Merely longing for a finger's touch

The number below the "favorites" star, hidden until someone clicks it for the first time. From OP: you can still see the cursor as a pointer when hovering there.

So much for their history Can you reveal their mystery?

Their mystery is the value of the question!

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  • $\begingroup$ Well done! You solved the mystery :) The idea behind the "hidden one" is also correct. Additional info: Note that the number below the star is not visible until someone clicks the star for the first time. See how the mouse index changes into a hand with an index finger when hovering over the star ;) Also "stern" is the German word for "star". $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ Nicely done! And now I remove my spark for the mystery is solved. $\endgroup$ – Mark Peters Jun 21 '16 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ You saved me from coming back to this question every 5 mins! $\endgroup$ – Alex Jun 21 '16 at 19:05
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Are you talking about

Webbrowsers?

There's no one left but a group of 5

there are only 5 relevant browsers left

Two of the group in an ongoing strife

Chrome and firefox are fighting about the top market share

The rejoicing third taking all the pride

Safari is 3rd, maybe pride because of apple users

Dear stranger, will you pick your side?

maybe a filler

One who's fallen, no chance of return

opera

All burnt out and down by the stern

All browsers have some weaknesses

Yet, another one hidden in the dark Only waiting for this single spark He's lying in wait in his covert hutch Merely longing for a finger's touch

Microsofts edge is gaining market share and is also known as defintly better then the IEs, so this is like a comeback...

So much for their history Can you reveal their mystery?

Here is some actual browser statistic (in german) https://www.browser-statistik.de/

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  • $\begingroup$ The "pride" and the "spark" clues are not quite fitting but other than that your solution fits the riddle surprisingly well. Guter Versuch but think smaller. $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ there are only 3 browsers, edge, webkit, gecko. $\endgroup$ – Jasen Jun 21 '16 at 20:52
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postwar solution

There's no one left but a group of 5

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council

Two of the group in an ongoing strife

USA and Russia still fighting wars by proxy

The rejoicing third taking all the pride

China

Dear stranger, will you pick your side?

(I feel this is filler)

One who's fallen, no chance of return All burnt out and down by the stern Yet, another one hidden in the dark Only waiting for this single spark He's lying in wait in his covert hutch Merely longing for a finger's touch (translation depends whose propaganda you listen to)

So much for their history Can you reveal their mystery? (more filler)

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  • $\begingroup$ Another good idea but you didn't even use half of the clues ;) Don't stick too much to war and politics. $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 11:43
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These are the 5 options to flag a post here at SE.

There's no one left but a group of 5

5 Options

Two of the group in an ongoing strife

spam and rude or abusive are often the same, so it's not easy to choose the right

The rejoicing third taking all the pride

close gets all attention, because most of the post gets closed, when they are flagged

Dear stranger, will you pick your side?
One who's fallen, no chance of return
All burnt out and down by the stern

This could mean it's a duplicate... It's all burnt out.. everything was already there...

Yet, another one hidden in the dark
Only waiting for this single spark
He's lying in wait in his covert hutch
Merely longing for a finger's touch

Waiting for a finger's touch could mean the 'moderation intervention' pictured as a single spark.

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    $\begingroup$ Nice idea. In a way you aren't that far away from the intended solution. Some of your conclusions are a bit off IMO but keep going and you may find out about the real mystery! $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 11:41
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Well, I'll go for :

fingers

There's no one left but a group of 5

the hand

Two of the group in an ongoing strife

you can not bend your middle finger without the ring one moving

The rejoicing third taking all the pride

it is the middle finger again, and he is the most known of em all, well , because middle finger...

Dear stranger, will you pick your side?

right or left (referring to the two hands)

One who's fallen, no chance of return

well, cut one finger and I doubt he will come back from himself

All burnt out and down by the stern

well my english maybe don't allow me to understand this phrase correctly, but I guess it is a reference to scratching my back? (if someone could rephrase this one in a easier way it would be very nice)

Yet, another one hidden in the dark Only waiting for this single spark He's lying in wait in his covert hutch

these ones are for the pinkie, the most "useless" finger. I guess the hutch refers to a pocket

Merely longing for a finger's touch

well.

Sadly I found no way to match it with a red herring.

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    $\begingroup$ Good try there but "fingers" is not the intended solution. The lines "Two of the group [...] The rejoicing third..." indicate 3 different entities of which two are in a fight plus a third one not fighting. So your middlefinger theory doesn't work here I'm afraid. Also the other clues will fit a lot better with my solution. So please don't cut your fingers! $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 6:51
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    $\begingroup$ @RiddleNewComer also check out the meaning of "red herring". There's more to it than just the animal ;) $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 6:53
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! is it possible to rephrase all burnt out and down by the stern? I don't really understand the meaning of this sentence. If not i'll deal with it :D $\endgroup$ – RiddlerNewComer Jun 21 '16 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ I chose the words for a reason that may or may not have nothing to do with the meaning of the phrases. Your question: "Burnt out" could mean out of power/weak. You know the "burn-out syndrome"? "Down by the stern" is used for ships with a heavy back end as far as I know. $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 7:05
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Could be

Video game consoles

There's no one left but a group of 5

PC, Wii U, Xbox, PlayStation, Oculus Rift

Two of the group in an ongoing strife

Xbox and PlayStation share many games and are constantly the subjects of a "which is better" battle

The rejoicing third taking all the pride

PC Master Race!

Dear stranger, will you pick your side?

People (at least in internet flame wars) are loyal to their console

One who's fallen, no chance of return
All burnt out and down by the stern

Could be Wii U, since there are very few good games for it people don't want to buy one

Yet, another one hidden in the dark
Only waiting for this single spark

Oculus Rift hasn't gained that much steam yet but could explode with a few good games.

He's lying in wait in his covert hutch
Merely longing for a finger's touch

Game consoles just want to be played!

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  • $\begingroup$ Good attempt, I like it! +1 for you. Yet there is much more to this riddle by looking more at the words rather than solving it only metaphorically. $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 13:13
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Along a similar line as @kl78's answer, are they

Smartphone Operating Systems?

There's no one left but a group of 5

Windows, iOS, Android, Blackberry, and ?

Two of the group in an ongoing strife

Microsoft (Windows Phone) and Apple (iOS) have historically been "enemies" in so far as they were the major competitors in the battle for PC dominance.

The rejoicing third taking all the pride

Google (Android) was a newcomer to the OS scene, and yet Android has gained 80% market share. You could say they have the "lion's share" of the market, maybe where "pride" is pointing to.

Dear stranger, will you pick your side?

One who's fallen, no chance of return
All burnt out and down by the stern

Would probably refer to Blackberry, who has lost their once-ubiquitous place in the market. There is little chance for them to return to that status, and are shifting their strategy to more enterprise software.

Yet, another one hidden in the dark
Only waiting for this single spark
He's lying in wait in his covert hutch

This is where my answer is weakest (and thus likely wrong). This could refer to any of the tiny players in the mobile OS game. Sailfish is probably the newest and most probable, though historically this could point to Ubuntu or Firefox OS. Tizen is another possibility. "Spark" could refer to the need to "flash" the device's firmware to install these systems, as they can be put on consumer hardware but generally do not ship with it yet.

Merely longing for a finger's touch

"Finger's touch" would be literal here, because fingers are how you interact with your smartphone's touchscreen.

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  • $\begingroup$ Same as the other answers. You've worked it out all well but some clues are not fitting properly from my point of view. Once the correct answer is up you'll see how "the third" is working out and "the spark" will shine again ;) $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 17:15
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I think it is:

Doctor Who actors who are alive: Chris Eccleston, David Tenant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi and John Hurt.

Two of the group in an ongoing strife

Peter Capaldi and the future Doctor.

The rejoicing third taking all the pride

Matt Smith is most popular.

One who's fallen, no chance of return.

Although all those actors have appeared more than once in regeneration, Chris Eccleston hasn't (but it also applies to John Hurt, so I'm stumped on this.)

All burnt out and down by the stern

All of them "burnt" with regeneration energy.

Yet, another one hidden in the dark Only waiting for this single spark He's lying in wait in his covert hutch Merely longing for a finger's touch

The future doctor.

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  • $\begingroup$ As you mentioned not everything fits perfectly. I've never seen a single episode but maybe I'll give Doctor Who a try some time. $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Jun 21 '16 at 17:30

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