# A mysterious permutation

"We're a team of six."
"I'm a large open field,"
"many plots make me home."
"I like signs, I collect them,"
"and I like my books, I've written a lot in them."
"You might need my kind to be a champ."
"And this we are, so who are we?"

Confused?

"If you're stuck, read the top line again."

Hint 1:

Five: You might need some of my kind to finally beat him.

Hint 2:

Three: One of the others uses my goods. He can't do his job without them.

Hint 3:

One: Open like those millenium things.

Hint 4:

The first line is of all of them, the next ones are of individual team members. The second line is of the first team member, and the last line is of the sixth team member.

Hint 5:

Two: The plots are some open and some closed. The open ones are more numerous than the closed ones. The "open" I use is different from the "open" the first team member used.

• Sextet? Septet? Zodiac? – humn Jan 17 '18 at 10:12
• I'm actually confused, you ask "who are we?" but some questions are using "I". – Gustavo Gabriel Jan 17 '18 at 14:29
• I thought of anagrams, but did not find the tag there. – Weijun Zhou Jan 17 '18 at 16:54
• @GustavoGabriel My guess is it's a group of six items, and the lines with "I" instead of "we" are a specific member of the group talking. – DqwertyC Jan 17 '18 at 18:40
• @WeijunZhou: If the riddle is about anagrams, the tag would give a major mechanic away. Perhaps the lateral thinking tag includes finding out that the riddle is about anagrams? – M Oehm Jan 17 '18 at 18:41

"We're a team of six."

widgets on StackExchange's top bar

"I'm a large open field,"

"many plots make me home."

link to user profile page, which contains various charts

"I like signs, I collect them,"

"and I like my books, I've written a lot in them."

inbox

"You might need my kind to be a champ."

recent achievements

"And this we are, so who are we?"

it's a question

Confused? "If you're stuck, read the top line again."

well, quite literally top...

Hint 1: Five: You might need some of my kind to finally beat him.

I'm not sure, it seems this could be a reference to "privileges" under "achievements"

Hint 2: Three: One of the others uses my goods. He can't do his job without them.

again I'm not sure, probably showing the information from "badges" also under "achievements > badges"

• What about the help button and the stack exchange button? – Untitpoi Jan 24 '18 at 9:42
• @Untitpoi I don't really know. I could speculate about a badly timed site redesign or bug or a smaller screen or my misinterpretation of the two hints. – ngn Jan 24 '18 at 11:54
• @ngn Almost correct (closest yet). – user_194421 Jan 26 '18 at 23:39
• @ngn Look a little lower. You might want to also look at the third hint. – user_194421 Jan 28 '18 at 12:59
• @user_194421 I'm too dumb to guess further... sorry, I give up. If it's the line with the logo, it does look a bit like a fidget spinner (the millenium thing?), but I don't see how the buttons fit their descriptions. – ngn Jan 28 '18 at 14:34

Title of the riddle gave it away: You are the

I Ching Hexagrams

We are a team of six

The I Ching Hexagrams are comprised of six lines in various permutations (64 in total)

I'm a large open field

A pun on 'field' as the observations made with the I Ching are open to interpretation and rich in diversity of scope and meaning. Deciphering/decoding an I Ching reading is akin to interpreting the 'lay of the land' and everyone knows that the ecosystem in 1squared meter of land is completely different to the square meter of land next to it, which also ties in to the next line of

Many plots make me home

As the I Ching has a multitude of corresponding 'story plots' according to the hexagram and the combination of hexagrams in any 'reading'. Also, 64 is a large number and if asked to count them , people who call them 'many', as opposed to several. Semantics, I know, but it is a riddle and the author does have license to express their point of view any which way.

I like signs, I collect them

I Ching is an ancient tradition of reading the 'signs' as such it is a systematic mechanism of categorising seemingly inexplicable phenomena. As it has been around since very early BCE, it is an evolving tradition and has accumulated many different meanings as social environments have changed.

and I like my books, I have written a lot in them

The seeming discrepancies of 'I' and 'we' can easily be explained if the I Ching is seen an one single system comprised of individual entities. Each hexagram is considered a book as the permutations of each hexagram contain many variables of information depending on several parameters as the I Ching is used in a host of activities from divination, to healing, to meditation, to prophesies. The scope here is not to classify what the I Ching is, but to what the riddle is hiding. That books are loved implies that the wisdom contained in their volumes is cherished and that manhy have been written attests to the amount of data evident in the literature of the I Ching.

You might need my kind to be a champ

Note that it doesn't stipulate that the I Ching is necessary to be a champ, but those who have faith and trust the methodology of the I Ching can be successful - the same goes for anything really.

And this we are and so who are we?

I Ching

Well, the lateral-thinking tag is there, so maybe you are an

Error margin? (often called the Margin of error)

You are a team of six, because

there are six clues, within a small error margin

You are a large open field, because

a margin is usually quite a small field, so the clue is in error

Many plots make you home, because

When you plot measurement data, you should always include the error bars

You like signs and collect them, because

an error margin is one of the rare cases where you collect both the plus and minus signs into one symbol, namely the ”$\pm$”

You like books and have written in them, because

Many books have typoes and other errors in them. When you find one, you usually add a note in the margin.

To be a champ, I might need

a comfortable margin, or just an error from the opponent

The final clue is suddenly in plural, since

”error margin” is actually two words.

No idea about the title, though.

I'll let my first answer stand as I wouldn't want a change to it to receive votes which this answer might not warrant. Secondly, I cannot comment to help others in their process as I have a rep of 41 at time of writing...

Before seeing the hints today, I thought: "Well, the I Ching is way too obvious and much too obscure to be the answer."

Coupled with the fact that I'm quite apt at self-fulfilling prophecies, it could not be the I Ching as I specifically twisted concepts to fit my needs.

I then thought that the answer could very well be

Hexagram or Hexagrams

This would definitely validate the duality prominent in the use of 'I' and 'we' in the riddle, although I would be left with the same task of making the prose fit my argument: another self-fulfilling prophecy, ad nauseum.

Upon seeing the hints, I'm not so sure...

Hint 1

Five: You might need some of my kind to finally beat him.

Hint 2

Three: One of the others uses my goods. He can't do his job without them.

So please bear with me as I explain why I think that the answer to this riddle is

The Chief Officers of a Company

Let me elaborate

"We're a team of six."

#6 CEO: Chief Executive Officer, technically this is Team Member # 6

The Head of the group, makes the final decision. The Boss.

"I'm a large open field,"

#1 CIO: Chief Information Officer.

Pun on data as data information is a huge field.

"many plots make me home."

#2 COO: Chief Operating Officer.

Got to be involved in many aspects of the business.

"I like signs, I collect them,"

#3 CMO: Chief Marketing Officer

Hint2: Three: One of the others uses my goods. He can't do his job without them.

Without information from the CMO, the CIO cannot do his job.

"and I like my books, I've written a lot in them."

#4 CFO: Chief Financial Officer.

This is the position who does all the number counting and statistics analysis.

"You might need my kind to be a champ."

#5 CTO - Chief Technical Officer

Team Member 5 in Hint 1 states that we may need his kind to beat him.

Who is the him that the riddles alludes to? user_194421? Probably. As you will require skills and techniques to solve this riddle.

This position needs to be able to draw from a wide range of resources to manage the productivity of the company.

"And this we are, so who are we?"

All of them at once.

So given the information from the riddle I think that answer is

Chief Officers of a Company

Links where differentiation of roles is explained.

https://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/chief-officer-acronyms-explained-ceo-coo-cfo-and-more/

https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tech-sanity-check/sanity-check-whats-the-difference-between-cio-and-cto/

• Ouch! I thought I was close on this one ;) – NexusInk Jan 19 '18 at 15:43
• Any particular reason? – NexusInk Jan 31 '18 at 9:41

Are you

a team of six

My reasoning is that

The answer to the question was actually the first line of the riddle. So applying some permutation of the lines would put the answer right after the question

• This answer involves ignoring pretty much the entirety of the information in the question; if it's right then the puzzle is really bad. (My guess is that it's wrong. I mean, the answer might be a particular sextet but not just "a team of six".) – Gareth McCaughan Jan 17 '18 at 14:07