7
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I'm a rag with power

A part of me bears fruit

Another part is lighter than a fly

I can come in very large groups,

We can be more than exponential in size

What am I?

* Title is also a hint

Hint (extra line)

I'm a Japanese noodle with a g

Hint (title)

Periodic table

Hint (last two lines)

The size of the group is more than an exponential function of something

Hint (extra line)

I'm a sheep of the nagging type

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    $\begingroup$ 555 Rep :P sorry to ruin it but +1 $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Dec 15 '17 at 16:31
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    $\begingroup$ The title made me think SUNSHINE - N and Ne = SUSHI but that doesn’t fit and neon nor nitrogen are metals $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Dec 15 '17 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ I like the puzzle. Too many hints in a too short period though. Don’t spoil your own puzzles by being impatient! Give it 48+ hrs or so. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Dec 16 '17 at 9:58
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    $\begingroup$ Japanese noodle with AG (silver), but silver needle noodles is chinese. $\endgroup$ – ibrahim mahrir Dec 16 '17 at 17:52
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    $\begingroup$ Some short-named Japanese noodles are ramen/lamen, soba and udon. Ramen with G can be gramen, which has "gram" ("lighter than a fly"). But that's as far as I got. $\endgroup$ – J. Siebeneichler Dec 16 '17 at 18:05
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Are you an

anagram?


Without my metal, I'm big in Japan

anagram - Ra (radium) = “manga”

I'm a rag with power

“mana rag”

A part of me bears fruit

Ana is the mother of the Virgin Mary. If this interpretation is correct, this is the same sense of “fruit” used in the prayer Ave Maria (“fruit of thy womb”). Or it could be “argan” (a little-known fruit-bearing tree of the Sahara), or even less likely just “ag” (short for agriculture).

Another part is lighter than a fly

“gram”

I can come in very large groups

A word can have many anagrams

We can be more than exponential in size

The number of possible anagrams increases exponentially factorially (thanks ffao) with number of letters in a word

I'm a Japanese noodle with a g

?? “raman” instead of “ramen”?

I'm a sheep of the nagging type

“a nag ram”

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    $\begingroup$ This has to be right. For the exponential line: it actually grows as a factorial, which grows faster than exponentials. $\endgroup$ – ffao Dec 17 '17 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ @ffao, you're right, thanks. I'll add this information, I just want to give "bears fruit" and "Japenese noodle" some more thought first. $\endgroup$ – J. Siebeneichler Dec 17 '17 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ I found a more reasonable explanation for "a part of me bears fruit", but "I'm a Japanese noodle with a g" still needs to be properly explained. $\endgroup$ – J. Siebeneichler Dec 17 '17 at 23:35
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    $\begingroup$ for 'a part of me bears fruit' there's a simpler solution $\endgroup$ – Dotan Dec 18 '17 at 7:22
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    $\begingroup$ The raman is right, raman + a + g == anagram $\endgroup$ – Dotan Dec 18 '17 at 7:23
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This might be stretching it but after trying to figure this out for about an hour, I think I just need confirmation that the answer is or is not

Birch

Without my metal, I'm big in Japan

According to wikipedia, there are 11 different species of birch that are native to Japan. However, silver birch is not native to Japan. Silver is a metal.

I'm a rag with power

Birch is one species of tree that is used for wood pulp, which is made into newspaper. The term 'rag' can be used to describe a newspaper, and 'power' can either be talking about the process that converts birch to pulp, or the fact that newspapers can be powerful in terms of communications or propaganda.

A part of me bears fruit

Some (if not all) birch trees produce fruit called samara.

Another part is lighter than a fly

Can be talking about multiple things including samara, leaves, or the weight of a single piece of newspaper.

I can come in very large groups,

A forest of birch trees.

We can be more than exponential in size

From a little seed a mighty birch tree can grow.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very nice! Everything seems to fit very well except the last one. I wouldn't say a tree is exponentially larger than a seed (exponent is a function of something). It's not at all what I meant, but it's really impressive. well done $\endgroup$ – Dotan Dec 15 '17 at 21:29
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Is it:

Water?

Without my metal, I'm big in Japan:

Even if I cannot come up with something about "Without my metal", I thought this is something related to tsunami in Japan.

I'm a rag with power

Sea or ocean.

A part of me bears fruit

With CO2, it's the main fuel for plants.

Another part is lighter than a fly

Vapour or clouds

I can come in very large groups,

This line tells about rain.

We can be more than exponential in size

First thing I thought was the shape of a wave , which does look like (not exactly, but it does) an exponential function graph. Also related with the tsunami.

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