# A debut riddle: What am I?

No orbit can I fully touch

At odds, I am constructed to house nothing

When back is met, new life may I give

If I belong to you, then supporting is a friend within

Update: A hint -

Your rich Uncle Pennybags encourages you to apply me to a market.

Update: Another hint (although this one is somewhat esoteric and meta):

A childe who remembers well the face of their father should be able to wrap their mind around me.

Update: Another hint. This will likely be the last one, and then I'll consider adding my own answer.

If rounded I am, no longer is your sight obstructed.

• @MikeQ I'm not sure what the cryptic tag means. I can add it if you think it should have it. – jwir3 Jan 27 '17 at 16:16
• Cryptic clues are part literal definition, and part wordplay about the spelling. Here is an explanatory guide. I ask because some of the lines have awkward grammar, which is common in cryptic clues. – MikeQ Jan 27 '17 at 19:04
• @MikeQ I think it's unlikely that he would accidently make a cryptic, if he doesn't know what it is – Melkor Jan 28 '17 at 10:04
• Official cryptic or not, what about the "wordplay" tag? If e.g. "at odds" means something to do with taking odd-numbered letters, or "within" means one word inside another, or "back" means writing something backwards or at the end of another word, etc., then perhaps this should be tagged "wordplay". (Unless of course you want to leave it unclear to solvers whether that's so, which is a perfectly reasonable choice.) – Gareth McCaughan Feb 2 '17 at 2:06
• @GarethMcCaughan Yes, you're right, I probably do want the 'wordplay' tag. It is wordplay going on here, for sure. :) – jwir3 Feb 2 '17 at 4:39

OK, I'm probably way off, but what about...

A bubble?

"I am constructed to house nothing"

Bubbles often contain nothing but air.

"When back is met, new life may I give"

When you touch the back of an existing soap bubble in the air with a bubble wand and blow into it, you can create many more new bubbles from it.

"If I belong to you, then supporting is a friend within"

We all have our own personal bubbles, a boundary that protects us from the outside world.

"Your rich Uncle Pennybags encourages you to apply me to a market"

This seems like a reference to market bubbles.

"No orbit can I fully touch"

Not so sure about this one... Maybe it's because a floating soap bubble will never make it into orbit? Orbit is also a brand of chewing gum and not a bubblegum (a bit of a stretch there).

• +1, because I think this is the closest yet. It's still not what I had in mind as an answer, mostly because it doesn't quite fit the clue No orbit can I fully touch. If you combine your answer with some of the other ones that solve that clue, you might come up with the answer I intended. – jwir3 Feb 11 '17 at 20:01

Are you

Animation

No orbit can I fully touch.

Animations can create reality but only virtual one and nothing is real.

At odds, I am constructed to house nothing.

It is built only for illusions and hence no real purpose. e.g an animated house cant provide a shelter.

When back is met, new life may I give.

Ani(mate) - back is met - Gives life.

If I belong to you, then supporting is a friend within.

Ani(mate) - A friend.

• Not quite what I was going for, but I didn't see this as a possible answer to the riddle. I'm not 100% sure if the 'When back is met, new life may I give' clue is really satisfied. – jwir3 Jan 26 '17 at 20:36

Not totally sure, but are you

A Circle

No orbit can I fully touch

Orbits are in the shape of ellipses, so a circle could partially overlap with an orbit, but not fully

At odds, I am constructed to house nothing

A circle includes all points a certain distance from the center, but none of the points in between, so it essentially 'houses nothing'

When back is met, new life may I give

Not entirely sure how to interpret this line, but maybe something to do with the circle of life

If I belong to you, then supporting is a friend within

If you have a circle, this contains your friends who support you (a circle of friends)

• Welcome to Puzzling! I suggest you take the site tour. Great answer, by the way, +1. – boboquack Jan 28 '17 at 4:20
• Close. It's not quite right, though. The clue you are having trouble interpreting is the key here. Also, an orbit could be circular, as a circle is a type of ellipse (although they aren't usually). – jwir3 Jan 28 '17 at 5:04

I don't believe most of this, but since progress seems to be lacking I might as well put it out there.

Perhaps you are a

CORNEA.

No orbit can I fully touch

The cornea lies at the front surface of the eye. It doesn't extend quite as far back as the eye socket, which is also called the orbit.

At odds, I am constructed to house nothing

Odd-numbered letters of CORNEA are CRE, which can "house nothing" in that inserting an O makes the word CORE. (But why CORE in particular? Ah, there I can't help you.)

When back is met, new life may I give

Replacing the last part of the word with MET yields COMET. It is sometimes suggested that the very first living things on earth didn't develop here from scratch, but arrived on a comet that hit the earth.

If I belong to you, then supporting is a friend within

I have no idea how this might work if any of the above is correct. I suppose CORNEA+MINE contains AMI, which is the French word for "friend", but that falls a long way short of making sense of the clue.

Of this,

lines 1 and 3 might actually be right (line 3 more likely than line 1, I think). But line 2 is a terrible stretch and line 4 mystifies me completely. (All of which suggests that line 1 at least is probably wrong.)

• This is an interesting take. Not what I was going for, but definitely interesting. I don't think the last clue is satisfied, and if I may give a slight hint: you're overthinking the riddle. I did intend wordplay in the meaning of the words, but not in the composition of the words themselves. – jwir3 Feb 3 '17 at 15:39
• @jwir3 Wordplay in the synonyms will almost be impossible to figure out and will require a lot of brute-forcing I guess. – Techidiot Feb 13 '17 at 17:48
• In view of the hints, it's tempting to change just one letter and get CORNER. Cornering a market is just one step short of monopolizing it, which makes some sense of the Pennybags hint. Orbits are smooth and corners not, which kinda explains "No orbit ...". "When back is met ..." would work the same as for CORNEA. But it still doesn't make much sense of lines 2 and 4, and I don't see much connection with the "childe" hint, and I'm still relying on composition-of-words wordplay. So I assume this also isn't it. – Gareth McCaughan Feb 15 '17 at 13:56
• It fits the latest hint too; when you round a corner you are no longer unable to see what lies past it. – Gareth McCaughan Feb 24 '17 at 17:15

With the hint, I think you might be

Monopoly.

No orbit can I fully touch


No "monopoly" in Monopoly can go fully around the board.

At odds, I am constructed to house nothing


Not sure about "at odds", but when a monopoly is first put together it has no houses or hotels.

When back is met, new life may I give


When you get back to "Go" you get \$200, which may be the difference between survival and bankruptcy.

If I belong to you, then supporting is a friend within


If you own a monopoly, it can support you when a fellow player lands in it.

Hint:

Your rich Uncle Pennybags encourages you to apply me to a market.

"Rich Uncle Pennybags" is the mascot of the Monopoly game franchise, and having a monopoly in an economic market can be very beneficial to you.

• Oh! This isn't the answer I was thinking of, but it definitely is an interesting answer. You're on the right track, but you're thinking too literally about the hint. – jwir3 Feb 7 '17 at 21:00

Just one letter different from my earlier answer, perhaps you are a

CORNER.

No orbit can I fully touch

Orbits are smooth, corners not. An orbit never has a sharp corner in it.

At odds, I am constructed to house nothing

I don't see that CORNER is any different from CORNEA for this. So I'm left with the same feeble speculation: the odd letters are CRE, which can "house nothing" by having an O inserted to yield CORE.

When back is met, new life may I give

Here as with CORNEA, I observe that replacing the end of the word with -MET yields COMET, and that there are kinda-semi-plausible theories that the first living organisms on earth didn't develop here but arrived on a comet.

If I belong to you, then supporting is a friend within

This line baffles me about as much if the answer is CORNER as if the answer is CORNEA. Perhaps a little more since we don't have AMI inside CORNER+MINE as we do instead of CORNEA+MINE, but that was always totally unconvincing anyway. [EDITED to add:] In TSL chat, @Rubio suggests that this is about the idea of having "a friend in your corner"; I have not often heard this phrase but on reflection I think Rubio is right.

Your rich Uncle Pennybags encourages you to apply me to a market.

Cornering a market is one step short of getting a monopoly in it. ("Rich Uncle Pennybags" is the mascot of the game Monopoly.)

A childe who remembers well the face of their father should be able to wrap their mind around me.

Dunno what's going on here. Perhaps something to do with the phrase "round the bend", though that seems pretty improbable. No obvious connection with Childe Roland or Childe Harold, so far as I see.

If rounded I am, no longer is your sight obstructed.

When you round a corner, you are no longer unable to see what lies past it.

• You're on about the answer, nice work. There is still some work to be done on some of the justifications. I should tell you that the clues aren't designed as wordplay in the sense that adding or removing letters will resolve the clue. The answer to the riddle (the word itself) should be sufficient to justify the clues. (I apologize if I misled you about this with the tag 'wordplay'. – jwir3 Feb 24 '17 at 19:16
• Sorry I didn't see your comment to your previous answer. I must have missed it in some other SE updates in my inbox. – jwir3 Feb 24 '17 at 19:21