# HELP! What's the password for my safe?

I've just been told some exciting news - I'm going on holiday! It's all booked and paid for, but I've not been abroad in so long, I've forgotten the password to get into my safe, which is where my passport is stored - D'Oh!

I do seem to remember that I wrote a mystic kind of clue to help me in this situation... Let me go and look for it - Ah, here it is!

Alas, it hasn't jogged my memory, I've made it too vague.

Here, you look - Can you work it out?

Text Version

I'm not always a person, but often I am,
I've been on TV and worked on the buses.
I could help with your program.
It's one of my plusses.
If I were given to you, I'd not be returned.
But you may not get me, I have to be earned.
What actually am I? Well it's hard to say,
I guess my action would be known as 'pay'.
Your final clue is merely this
I could be small, or I could be big.

• I've added a text version of the riddle to make it easier for people to read and access. – Techidiot Mar 27 '17 at 14:45
• There's something strange happening on the word "It's" near the middle. Does it have significance? (I would guess not.) – Gareth McCaughan Mar 27 '17 at 17:00
• @GarethMcCaughan I think that's just the cursor being left while a snippet of it was saved - as if that was the last place they edited or were typing at. – n_plum Mar 27 '17 at 17:37
• @GarethMcCaughan Yeah, it's just the cursor being left there - Apologies – David Mar 28 '17 at 8:07

Grant

Your friends name could be grant

I can make your life easier, you'll be glad I came. I'm not always a person, but often I am,

A grant for school or research would make life easier and make you glad it came. Also, not a person.

I've been on TV and worked on the buses.

Bob Grant played Jack Harper in a tv sitcom called the buses.

I could help with your program. It's one of my plusses. If I were given to you, I'd not be returned.

School grant would help with your program and would not have to be paid back.

But you may not get me, I have to be earned.

Grants need be earned

What actually am I? Well it's hard to say, I guess my action would be known as 'pay'.

When you are giving someone a grant it can be percieved as payment.

Your final clue is merely this I could be small, or I could be big.

You can recieve a big grant or a small grant.

• This should be it. Nice +1 – Techidiot Mar 28 '17 at 4:38
• Yep, you got it. Well done! The biggest clue I left was the On the Buses line imo. – David Mar 28 '17 at 8:09
• That was the biggest help indeed. Got stuck at the mate part for a while. I wad endlessly looking for another aussie word for friend... Thanks cobber. – AstroMax Mar 28 '17 at 16:22

This is probably wrong (because not everything fits, and because it would be an implausibly terrible password) but this fits some things in not-perfectly-obvious ways so here it is: Perhaps your password is

PAL.

"Pal" is another colloquial word for "friend", like "mate".

(This seems like it's just filler; it applies straightforwardly to a pal-in-the-sense-of-friend but brings nothing new.)

I'm not always a person, but often I am,

A pal can be a (human) friend, but see below for some other meanings that aren't people.

I've been on TV and worked on the buses.

PAL is one of the standards for analog(ue) television transmission. It is, e.g., the standard in the United Kingdom. There is a South African bus company called Pal Bus.

I could help with your program. It's one of my plusses.

There is an enhanced version of the PAL television standard called "PAL+". It would "help with your program" in the sense of broadcasting it with higher fidelity.

If I were given to you, I'd not be returned.

I don't have a good explanation of this.

But you may not get me, I have to be earned.

Friendship is (in some sense) a thing that has to be earned.

What actually am I? Well it's hard to say,
I guess my action would be known as 'pay'.

A reference perhaps to the company called PayPal.

Your final clue is merely this
I could be small, or I could be big.

I have no clever interpretation for this.

• Clever guess, but not correct! – David Mar 28 '17 at 8:08

Friends often keep giving us advises. Or it may be that, its better to have advises around like a friend in need. Some advises do make things easier.

I'm not always a person, but often I am, I've been on TV and worked on the buses.

It's not a person. But comes from a person. TV might be referring to this. Also, the GPS in the buses are for advising the route.

I could help with your program. It's one of my plusses.

If program is referring to code, may be its referring to code suggestions provided by IDE(Integrated Development Environment).

If I were given to you, I'd not be returned. But you may not get me, I have to be earned.

Advises are often given but not returned. And you need to earn good advises though mostly advises are free.

What actually am I? Well it's hard to say, I guess my action would be known as 'pay'.

A pay check is also called as Paying Advice which is similar.

Your final clue is merely this I could be small, or I could be big.

A small advise or a big one.

• Nope, not that! I think you got distracted and forgot line 1 - I would be your mate's name - Not sure about you, but none of my mates are called Advice or Advise ;) – David Mar 27 '17 at 15:21