We are five,
Without us you will definitely strive.

Eldest one always believes in us,
Next one believes in nothing,
(so remaining four said him goodbye)

Youngest three together, are not so cruel or unkind,
But sometimes they can be insane.

When together, we will be airy,
Though we are likely to fall apart,

But controlling our misbehaviour,
We will try to be your favourite.

Who are we?

note :
I will add a hint later, but I will say this : we encounter them in our day to day life. And as tag:wordplay is added, you have to play with words-letters (homonym, synonym, antonym)

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Why the downvotes? This riddle seems perfectly legit. $\endgroup$
    – McMagister
    Jul 7, 2016 at 9:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You should use @user to notify a particular user. $\endgroup$
    – A J
    Jul 7, 2016 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ @AJ well, its for everyone, but its not a hint,so I was confused, should I add this information in question? $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Jul 7, 2016 at 11:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Business days. If you're unemployed you'll strive to survive. Sometimes Fridays are insane. Am I right? $\endgroup$
    – Coomie
    Jul 8, 2016 at 2:29

6 Answers 6


The brothers are

the vowels a, e, i, o, u of which in English, there are five.

Without us you'll strive...

It is impossible to write meaningful English text without using vowels.

Eldest always believed in us...

U, being the furthest along in the standard English alphabet, believes in us, or rather, in Us (where the -s is a suffix to the root u)(this is wordplay)

Next one believes in nothing
(So remaining four said him goodbye)...

O appears similar to the cardinal 0, zero, representing nothing. O itself is also contained on the word "nothing". This combined with the hint for U/us leads me to think that believes is read as a pun on pronunciation, it be lives in .... Finally, the remaining four vowels but not O itself, are used in " adieu*, French for goodbye (per the questioner, smriti's comment).

Youngest three together, are not so cruel or unkind,
But sometimes they can be insane...

The remaining three vowels are A, E, I. All are needed for, and thus sometimes in, the word "insane" but are not sufficient to make "so cruel or unkind" as this would need O and U.

When together, we will be airy, Though we are likely to fall apart...

Vowels are often linked together as diphthongs - as an example, in the word "airy". However, words spelled this way may have the vowels pronounced separately. The vowels themselves are also spread quite separately throughout the standard English alphabet. This might also be a subtle pun. A homophone of "airy" is "eerie" - and when all the vowels are placed together in order, they make a very eerie ghostlike word, "aaeeiiooouuuu!"

But controlling our misbehaviour...

The vowels must follow a number of rules, some of which can be labyrinthine. The case of "I before E, except after C and in some arbitrary other weird words" is an easy example.

We will try to be your favourite.

The word "favourite" contains all five of the vowels! Additionally, the vowels are very overrepresented in use compared to their proportion of the standard English alphabet.

  • $\begingroup$ ding ding ding..... we have a winner!!! Just correct explanation for "Next one believes in nothing;(So remaining four said him goodbye)..." and I will accept the answer $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Jul 7, 2016 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ So, it's neither of my proposed explanations? Or it's just one of them? $\endgroup$
    – Nij
    Jul 7, 2016 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ i disagree. my answer was valid and before this. so i believe mine is correct. $\endgroup$
    – jsky
    Jul 7, 2016 at 12:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Finding the overall answer is not nearly so important as justifying its fitness to the clues. $\endgroup$
    – Nij
    Jul 7, 2016 at 12:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ on a side note, goodbye:adieu(no O) , also airy is AERIOUS, its not a common word, so I let it slide $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Jul 7, 2016 at 12:39

I think you're

The fingers on a hand.


Five fingers on a hand,
Without them, it would be pretty difficult to do anything.

The elder and the next one :

The thumbs is up when we agree.
And the index is waving left and right when we disagree.

The youngest three :

The "okay" sign when the 3 last fingers are raised up and the index & thumb are making an O.

Falling apart

Clenching a fist makes all fingers "fall" on the palm of the hand.


Hand twitching ?

I still have no clue for the insanity part, the airy part and the favourite part.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ excellent explanation!! +1 for that, but not the answer $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Jul 7, 2016 at 8:32

It's a bit of a stretch..

Our 5 senses.. ? Sight Hearing Taste Smell Touch

Eldest one always believes in us:

Seeing is believing ?

Next one believes in nothing,

Dont believe what you hear

Youngest three together, are not so cruel or unkind, But sometimes they can be insane.

Taste, smell, touch : We all taste smell and touch things at a different reception to others so that can be crazy ? "You are crazy to enjoy the taste of Avocados! "

When together, we will be airy, Though we are likely to fall apart

When all your senses are tuned and in sync, you are supposed to reach nirvana ? But nirvana state is not permanent ?

But controlling our misbehavior, we will try to be your favourite.

Favourite sense like smell maybe ? But only when we smell something nice ?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ whoa! another good one! but not the answer!+1 though $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Jul 7, 2016 at 8:50

This is probably not the answer but I found it pretty fitting so, are you :

Monday , tuesday, wednesday, thursday and friday (luna, mars, mercury, jupiter, venus )

we are brothers

All romans god

without us you'll strive :

We need time conception in our everyday's life, days are a must have

Eldest one always believe in us

Jupiter is the supreme roman god and believe in his brothers and sisters

Next one believes in nothing

after jupiter comes venus, goddess of love and beauty who cheated on her own husband (for the not believing part, seems quite ironic for this goddess)

Youngest three together, are not so cruel or unkind, But sometimes they can be insane.

Goddess of moon, god of war and god of commerce are not related to crualty or evilness, but they did lead to wars or mystical events (for the insane part)

When together, we will be airy, Though we are likely to fall apart,

Romans god are (most likely, not proven unexistant yet :D ) a myth (airy) and did fall apart since this worship doesn't exist anymore.

But controlling our misbehaviour, we will try to be your favourite.

Each god always tried to get the favour of the people, this is why they try to control their misbehaviours

  • $\begingroup$ good fit, but not the answer $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Jul 7, 2016 at 9:59

Are they Five Elements of Life(Space,Earth,Air,Fire,Water)....
Without them we would strive to live...
Earth believes in us......
Fire,Air,Water are not so cruel but they can be insane sometimes....

  • $\begingroup$ nope, not an answer $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Jul 7, 2016 at 9:23
  • $\begingroup$ SPACE is not an element! Oh, and, by the way, welcome to Puzzling.SE! $\endgroup$
    – EKons
    Jul 7, 2016 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ *** Not space the upper bound region beyond cloud which is said to be sky....(Sorry new to Puzzling....) $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2016 at 9:56


the five world religions?

My reason behind it was based on

  • Eldest, the god from the old testament maybe?

  • believes in nothing - Nirvana

  • sometimes insane (all the crazy stuff done in the name of religion)

  • airy - non-physical

  • misbehaviour - again bad stuff done in the name of religion

  • try to be your favourite - all religions want you to believe into them.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Maybe you should add reasoning or explanation for why your answer is correct. See other answers for example. $\endgroup$
    – A J
    Jul 7, 2016 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ I think it's not so easy to add something for each line, without knowing if i'm right. I think "the eldest" and "nothing" are some hints, the last lines are hinting at it as well. $\endgroup$
    – allo
    Jul 7, 2016 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ (btw. are there spoiler tags for comments?) $\endgroup$
    – allo
    Jul 7, 2016 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ sorry, not the answer $\endgroup$
    – smriti
    Jul 7, 2016 at 11:49

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