# A long overdue riddle

(I am writing the riddle in third person)

For some who believe, it is a ghost
Depending on others, it may boast.
Its elder twin is quite selfish.

Today, its uses are vast.
One can decide its caste.
one uses it all the time.
Doesn't cost one a dime.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go.
Begin to worry if one doesn't know.
After all, it's a masterpiece for a few..
No, it hasn't got anything with dew.

HINT 1:

There's a reason this riddle is written in third person.

• Is it a living being? You can skip to answer. Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 13:50
• Well, technically, YES!
– Sid
Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 13:50
• You're not 53 years old, Sid? Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 14:46
• Is Elvis a dead person or some kind of metaphor? Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 16:07
• @Techidiot It rhymed pretty well and there is also a connection to the answer...
– Sid
Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 16:08

I (the first-person pronoun)

But I'm having some trouble with the reasoning for almost all of the lines, so I'll make it a community wiki and maybe others can offer some insight.

For some who believe, it is a ghost.

In mathematics $i$ is the notation for an imaginary number.

Depending on others, it may boast.

Boastful statements might well contain the word "I".

Its elder twin is quite selfish.

Its elder twin is the Latin word "ego", a term which connotes selfishness.

Today, its uses are vast.

We use the word for all kinds of statements and speech acts.

One can decide its caste.

A play on "case". Letters can be lowercase or uppercase. Also, the first-person pronoun has different cases: subject ("I"), object ("me"), possessive ("my").

One uses it all the time.

It's probably the most frequently used pronoun.

Doesn't cost one a dime.

Speech is free.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go.

"I" is the symbol for Iodine, which has atomic number 53

Begin to worry if one doesn't know.

If one doesn't know about the pronoun "I", it's unclear how one could express oneself, let alone understand others. This would be cause to worry (???). OP's edit: if you don't know about yourself, you are in trouble.

After all, it's a masterpiece for a few..

Our uses of "I" are kind of like tiny self-portraits (???). (OP's edit: use of i(the imaginary number) in Euler's famous equation.)

No, it hasn't got anything with dew.

A pun on "I do" and maybe also "deux" (since "i" is the Roman numeral for one).

Hint

There's a reason this riddle is written in third person.

-

Because otherwise you'd have written the answer ("I") all over the puzzle.

• Yep, that's it. You need to find the rest of the clues. It's only I and not iodine...
– Sid
Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 17:18
• Not sure if this was @Sid's intent, but a note of interest on the "caste" line: in Japanese, at least, there are different forms of the word "I" which should be used depending on the circumstance i.e. using a more colloquial term around friends (there are several of these depending on gender and dialect) vs. the standard formal for everyday non-familiar usage, including elders and those in a station above your own, and even a very humble form for use around those demanding great respect. Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 17:31

Is it a...

Push Button Telephone

For some who believe, it is a ghost
Depending on others, it may boast.


For younger generation, the push button telephones are dead and gone. But for others it is proud possession.

Its elder twin is quite selfish.


If by elder twin you meant smart phones, they are selfish, as they are taking away more and more from other gadgets and making themselves better. Elvis feels bad because he did not get to use one.

Today, its uses are vast.
You can decide its caste.


Today we use smart phones for a lot of things. And they are 'caste-ized' as Android, iOS, Windows and more (you are welcome, BlackBerryOS)

You use it all the time.
Doesn't cost you a dime.


Literally, all the time.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go.
Begin to worry if you don't know.


The push button telephone made available to general public in 1963, is 53 now. And has no signs of slowing down.

After all, it's a masterpiece for a few..
No, it hasn't got anything with dew.


From a humble beginning, it has revolutionized the way we communicate, learn, share and connect. Truly a masterpiece.

• Good one! Elder twin might be the updated smileys. Elvis might be anagram for evils pointing to the evil smileys Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 15:47
• Good idea, but no... You haven't explained all the lines...
– Sid
Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 17:52
• @Sid, I don't know if you intended this to be the answer, but a lot of the clues point to 'Andy Warhol'... And if this is on right tack then the answer would be his painting 'Eight Elvises' painted in 1963. Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 19:49
• "Elder twin" would have preceded so "Elder twin" to "Push Button Telephone" might be "Rotary Dial Telephone". Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 0:30
• @KevinFegan, i thought on those lines. But that could not figure out how a humble rotary phone would be selfish. Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 0:34

Is it

Speech?

For some who believe, it is a ghost
Depending on others, it may boast.

For the mute, speech is a ghost. But braggers use it to boast

It's elder twin is quite selfish.

The twin could be thoughts, which are kept private and are older as we learn to think before we learn to speak, and Elvis needed speech to sing

Today, it's uses are vast.
You can decide its caste.

You use speech for any things, and you decide what to say

You use it all the time.
doesn't cost you a dime

Some people use it too much.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go
Begin to worry if you don't know.

Martin Luther King's speech 'I have a dream' was read out by him 53 years ago.

After all, it's a masterpiece for a few
No, it hasn't got anything with dew.

Some speeches are very memorable

• Lovely. Should be the answer I guess +1 Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 12:40
• @Techidiot I only got this because I looked up what happened 53 years ago, and MLK's speech was there. Rest fitted nicely Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 12:41
• Good try, but no.
– Sid
Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 12:48

This is pretty far fetched but I liked the idea :

For some who believe, it is a ghost

A voice without a physical person emitting it may seem like a ghost for people without the science.

Depending on others, it may boast.

It could be seen as an achievement to be heard on radio

It's elder twin is quite selfish.

Television has taken a bigger place than radio in our lives

Radio still plays music from dead people like Elvis, earning them no money.

Today, it's uses are vast.

This technology is used for communications and other things everywhere.

You can decide its caste.

Some radio channels are aimed at a particular audience.

You use it all the time.

It's almost always on in your car.

doesn't cost you a dime

But listening to it doesn't cost money.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go

Although it has been invented in 1933 (83 years ago), American car company introduce the use of FM band in 1963 (53 years ago). See : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1963_in_radio

Begin to worry if you don't know. After all, it's a masterpiece for a few No, it hasn't got anything with dew.

• Far from the right answer.
– Sid
Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 14:59

Could it be:

The Global Positioning System

Tearing it down line-by-line:

For some who believe, it is a ghost.


You can't really see the satellites by naked eye.

Depending on others, it may boast.


Some may see it as a power statement of US capabilities.

Its elder twin is quite selfish.


Its predecessor NAVSAT was mainly reserved for the US Navy. Alternatively, elder twin could refer to its even older land-based predecessor LORAN, which was also mainly reserved for military use.

Even the dead feel bad, especially Elvis.


It was conceived during the height of the Cold War, while also fighting in the Vietnam War (which Elvis also fought in), to be used within the military.

Today, its uses are vast.


Well, GPS is used for a vast array of things.

You can decide its caste.


Blank on this one.

You use it all the time.


We use our phones for navigation, location services.

Doesn't cost you a dime.


Using GPS on a compatible device doesn't incur any direct costs.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go.


The concept of GPS was conceived 53 years ago, in 1963, as a result of a study on how space systems could be used in military applications.

Begin to worry if you don't know.


It would be worrying if GPS would be unfamiliar to someone on the internet.

After all, it's a masterpiece for a few.


Some may regard it as a masterful feat of engineering.

No, it hasn't got anything with dew.


Dew shouldn't appear in medium earth orbit.

Probably I'm wrong, but I guess it's

spirit

For some who believe, it is a ghost
Depending on others, it may boast.


The word "spirit" can mean a ghost, but also an alcoholic drink.

Its elder twin is quite selfish.


On that one I must pass.

Today, its uses are vast.
You can decide its caste.


It's very common to speak of the "spirit of something". And it is often not well defined what is meant, so you can decide for yourself.

You use it all the time.
Doesn't cost you a dime.


You use your (mental) spirit all the time, and you don't have to pay for it.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go.
Begin to worry if you don't know.


OK, this is a bit weak, but maybe it refers to the Spirit of America, a jet-propelled car that set its first record in 1963, 53 years ago.

After all, it's a masterpiece for a few..
No, it hasn't got anything with dew.


OK, I'll have to pass on this again.

Is it -

Hypertext?

For some who believe, it is a ghost Depending on others, it may boast.

For the ones who know a little of programming, they know hypertext is not visible but does a lot of things. Which symbolizes to Ghost.

Its elder twin is quite selfish. Even the dead feel bad, especially Elvis.

HTML can be the elder brother who takes all the attention away. Elvis is a text editor which is not widely used. It might also symbolize that its not based on Elvis Presely's name who was well know for "Elvis". This editor comes with Hypertext help.

Today, its uses are vast. You can decide its caste.

Its widely used as we all know. And it has various types Axial, Arborescent, Networked, Layered

You use it all the time. Doesn't cost you a dime.

They are free to use and is being used all the time.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go. Begin to worry if you don't know.

Ted Nelson coined this term in 1963 and hence 53 years old. Pity if you don't know what it is.

After all, it's a masterpiece for a few.. No, it hasn't got anything with dew.

Obviously!

If not this, I guess, 53 is not related to time line as all the inventions of 1963 have been taken off. :)

I'm fairly sure this is wrong but my first thought was

Rock and Roll

For some who believe, it is a ghost

Some say "Rock and Roll is dead"

Depending on others, it may boast.

Others claim "Rock and roll is here to stay"

It's elder twin is quite selfish.

it's mostly just called 'Rock' music now

Elvis is known for Rock and Roll music

Today, it's uses are vast.
You can decide its caste.

Many different kinds of rock and people split it into subgenres

You use it all the time.
doesn't cost you a dime

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go

This is where my argument falls apart, Rock is far older than 53.

Begin to worry if you don't know.
After all, it's a masterpiece for a few

Again, masterpiece made me think of music

No, it hasn't got anything with dew.

This part again I don't know, perhaps something to do with the idiom about 'a Rolling Stone gathers no moss' The Rolling Stones are 54 years old, so they might be a possible answer as well?

• Not even close,I am sorry..
– Sid
Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 14:59

Ok, I'm going to have a try...
At first I thought of

Time, age

But they didn't really fit some lines.

So then I took a look at

Things that happened in 1963

and so came up with

Zip Codes & weight watchers (fat elvis) But weight watchers isn't used all the time, so... Zip Codes!

It seems to fit a lot of the riddle;

For some who believe, it is a ghost
Depending on others, it may boast.


Not sure of the first line. But you may boast if you live in an affluent zip code, or you may not have to because your zip code does all the boasting for you.

It's elder twin is quite selfish.


Elder twin? Didn't elvis have his own zip code or something?

Today, it's uses are vast.
You can decide its caste.


well everyone has a zip code I think... and you relate zip codes to poor parts of a city.

You use it all the time.
doesn't cost you a dime


This fits nicely without explanation.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go
Begin to worry if you don't know.


It is 53 years in use, and if you don't know where you are, you have something to worry about.

After all, it's a masterpiece for a few
No, it hasn't got anything with dew.


?

• Nowhere close to the intended answer.
– Sid
Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 16:05
• Well, I'm out then! Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 16:17

It is

Smiley Face

For some who believe, it is a ghost Depending on others, it may boast.

Face without the body seems like a ghost

Its elder twin is quite selfish. Even the dead feel bad, especially Elvis.

Today, its uses are vast. You can decide its caste.

Smileys are used all over the internet. Even local version of these smileys have arrived.

You use it all the time. Doesn't cost you a dime.

We use them whenever we chat or message someone. It doesn't cost us anything.

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go. Begin to worry if you don't know.

Smiley Face was invented in 1963.

After all, it's a masterpiece for a few.. No, it hasn't got anything with dew.

It is such a great thing. We can express our emotions with them.

• Unfortunately that answer's already been submitted and eliminated. You can't see it now because they've replaced it, but you can look at this answer and the comments to see the history. puzzling.stackexchange.com/a/44939/25802
– John
Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 15:16

It is

Love

For some who believe, it is a ghost
Depending on others, it may boast.


It's not physical, some people in love boast?

Its elder twin is quite selfish.


Hate or (original) sin and heartbreak (hotel)

Today, its uses are vast.
You can decide its caste.


doesn't fit i know

You use it all the time.
Doesn't cost you a dime.


, it's free

It's only 53. So, still a long way to go.
Begin to worry if you don't know.


no clue

After all, it's a masterpiece for a few..
No, it hasn't got anything with dew.


some people find love?

Other things that fit a couple of lines, but not all:

time, sin, heart break, electricity

You said it was (technically) living:

fire