16
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I explore the final frontier
Or do harm to ships that cruise it
Hackers may know much about me
I've played with a deadly gambit

Turn your back on me? I'll stab you
I do what the law won't allow
In my trades I'll try to cheat you
One of me is very big now

A river, a valley
Cars, books, films, brews
I made quakes get bigger ...
Are you now confused?

Who am I?

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12
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The answer is

Rogue

I explore the final frontier

A rogue planet explores space

Or do harm to ships that cruise it

A rogue wave endangers ships

Hackers may know much about me

Rogue security software is used by hackers

I've played with a deadly gambit

References Rogue and Gambit's relationship from X-Men

Turn your back on me? I'll stab you

Rogues are notorious for backstabbing, especially in online video games

I do what the law won't allow

Rogues are frequently criminals

In my trades I'll try to cheat you

A rogue trader describes dishonest tradesmen

One of me is very big now

Rogue One is a very popular movie that released this week.

A river, a valley

Rogue River and Rogue Valley in Oregon

Cars, books, films, brews

Nissan Rogue, many books and films with Rogue in the title, Rogue Brewery

I made quakes get bigger ...

Rogue Entertainment produced expansions for the Quake video games

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 very nice! You're missing just a couple of the clues: the first 3 are not correct, and neither is the trades one. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Dec 20 '16 at 18:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Rogue trader might be this $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Dec 20 '16 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ I take it you found the disambiguation page :) Well done. (The hackers clue was intended to reference the game Hack, a descendant of an earlier game that fits the riddle; your answer works just as well.) Welcome to PSE - hope you stay awhile! $\endgroup$ – Rubio Dec 20 '16 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the welcome. I've read a number of puzzles on here, but this is the first (and probably the last) I have solved. $\endgroup$ – Mike Nichols Dec 20 '16 at 19:03
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I'm going to say

Ice.

Explanations -

I explore the final frontier

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the last place on Earth yet to be fully explored by man - the "final frontier". Alternately, as Scimonster pointed out, frozen Alaska is known as "The Last Frontier". For a non-terrestrial example, comets are large balls of ice that whizz through space - the true final frontier.

Or do harm to ships that cruise it

Icebergs.

Hackers may know much about me

Google tells me there's something called "Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics" (ICE) - security programs that protect against hackers.

I've played with a deadly gambit

No idea, sadly.

Turn your back on me? I'll stab you
I do what the law won't allow

To "ice" someone is to murder them, such as by stabbing. With an icepick, perhaps? Alternately, if we "turn our back" on the melting ice caps, it'll come back to bite us through rising sea levels.

In my trades I'll try to cheat you

Again, Google tells me there was a roaring "ice trade" back in the 19th century, don't know whether that's relevant though.

One of me is very big now

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is 14,000,000 sq.km, which is pretty darn big.

A river, a valley

Rivers often spring from melting glaciers; you can also get glacial valleys

Cars

Cars are powered by Internal Combustion Engines (ICE)

Books

I'm thinking "A Song Of Ice And Fire"

Films

The actor (and formerly rapper) known as "Ice Cube"

Brews

Ice tea (tea is often referred to as a "brew")

I made quakes get bigger ...

To quote that one Pokemon comic, "That thing where water gets into cracks in the ground, then freezes and expands, and the cracks get bigger?"

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Final frontier could also be Alaska. $\endgroup$ – Scimonster Dec 20 '16 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ Good call, I'll add that to the answer. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Dec 20 '16 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ For a wrong answer this fits surprisingly many of the clues. But the correct answer will fit all of them with no feeling of hand waving. +1 for a great attempt. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Dec 20 '16 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ Darn... thanks anyway, though! This is gonna bug me now... $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Dec 20 '16 at 16:14
4
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(Updated) Is it -

Bang

Explanations -

I explore the final frontier
Or do harm to ships that cruise it

Big Bang Theory may represent the final frontier. And a bang can destroy the ships/spaceships travelling to outer space.

Hackers may know much about me

It's a term for exclamation point stating - "Common alternate name for EXCL"

I've played with a deadly gambit

Card game Bang has 12 bandit characters.

Turn your back on me? I'll stab you
I do what the law won't allow

Bang can be used as stabbing in the back.

In my trades I'll try to cheat you

Not sure..

One of me is very big now

Big Bang Theory?

A river, a valley Cars, books, films, brews

Bang River, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang(car), The Bang-Bang Club Book, Bang Bang Film

I made quakes get bigger ...

Again, either Big Bang or Sonic Boom/Bang


Old answer -

Nuke

Explanations -

I explore the final frontier
Or do harm to ships that cruise it

Final frontier may refer to High-altitude nuclear explosion. And the nuclear missiles destroying the ships/cruise.

Hackers may know much about me

Nuke is a Hacker's term stating - "To intentionally delete the entire contents of a given directory or storage volume."

I've played with a deadly gambit

Still thinking about this one..

Turn your back on me? I'll stab you
I do what the law won't allow

Nuclear weapons usage is strictly prohibited.

In my trades I'll try to cheat you

Nuclear weapons trade may be..

One of me is very big now

Tsar Bomba may be.

A river, a valley
Cars, books, films, brews
I made quakes get bigger ...

Nuclear explosions may tend to seismic activities leading to quakes.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nope, sorry. The correct answer fits all the clues well, if you know how. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Dec 20 '16 at 9:59
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, still no. :) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Dec 20 '16 at 10:29

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