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I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time,
Or a player looking for their keys.
When on the plane where the great answer resides,
I'm part of the whole Strategy.

I can be found in a dead man's hand.
Yet still, I cannot be touched.
In China, I may say farewell.
In Japan, I mean so much.

I have been known to have colourful wings,
I am about which the cool kids sing.

What am I?
Please explain each line in your answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ nice riddle, +1! might as well include [tag: language]? $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Feb 12 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ @OmegaKrypton I have included it now, thanks. Although the language knowledge needed is only partial. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ Elliot Ness. :-) $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Feb 12 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ "I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time" Sorry, now my mind is locked on the topic "Doctor Who" and I can't think of any other explanation anymore. :D $\endgroup$ – Fabian Röling Feb 15 at 11:57
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Adding to Mudit's answer.

The answer is:

88

I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time:

Doc Brown needs to reach 88 mph to travel through time in Back to the Future

Or a player looking for their keys:

Piano keyboards frequently feature 88 keys and thus a piano player would look for their keys.

When on the plane where the great answer resides, I'm part of the whole Strategy:

Refers to "88", a song on the album Strategy from the band Level 42. This ties in with the 'great answer' as a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference in which 42 is the 'Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything'.

I can be found in a dead man's hand:

The card hand called the 'dead man's hand' typically contains two 8s.

Yet still, I cannot be touched:

88 is an untouchable number

In China, I may say farewell:

In Chinese, 8 is pronounced bā. In text speak, this is used as a farewell due to its similarity to the English bye. Thus 88 = bā bā = bye bye.

In Japan, I mean so much:

88 in Japanese often means "a great many" or "countless".

I have been known to have colourful wings:

The number 88 looks like a butterfly with spread wings and certain species of butterfly, Diaethria Anna have a distinct 88 on their wings.

I am about which the cool kids sing:

The band, 'The Cool Kids', have a song called '88+'

Thanks for the puzzle @hexomino!

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  • $\begingroup$ Okay, great +1. The gaps you filled in from Mudit's answer aren't correct though. Why have I capitalized Strategy? For the part you are unsure about, try looking up properties of the answer. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 13 at 10:23
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited the untouchable part and 'Strategy'. Still not sure about the 'great answer' bit. $\endgroup$ – HydraulicSheep Feb 13 at 10:32
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    $\begingroup$ I also think greatest bit and strategy are connected. rot13(Gur nyohz vf sebz gur onaq Yriry 42.) It's a Hitchhiker reference. :) $\endgroup$ – user1252434 Feb 13 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ Ugh. I'm practically kicking myself but I've included that now! $\endgroup$ – HydraulicSheep Feb 13 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ @CpILL I didn't forget, I chose not to use it. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 15 at 11:32
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+100
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Answer is 88
Doctor DeLorean requires a speed of 88mph in his time machine
A keyboard player requires 88 keys keyboard to play
Dead man's hand has 88
In Chinese 8 is ba. Hence 88 is baba which means bye bye.
In Japanese 88 refers to a great many or countless
88 butterfly is colourful
88+ is a song by the Cool kids

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  • $\begingroup$ Great +1. Can you fill in the gaps in your answer? Why is Strategy capitalized, why can I not be touched? $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 13 at 10:19
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    $\begingroup$ 88 is an untouchable number (a natural number that is not the sum of divisors of any number) Not sure about Strategy $\endgroup$ – Mudit Feb 13 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ I like you naming him "Doctor DeLorean" $\endgroup$ – roel Feb 15 at 10:33
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Is the answer:

Space

My reasoning:

"I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time,"

Doctor Who's TARDIS has a higher volume of space on the inside than on the outside.

"Or a player looking for their keys."

When items such as keys are lost, clearing space by removing furniture often exposes their location.

"When on the plane where the great answers reside, I'm part of the whole Strategy."

The great answers could lie in the stars, the universe, which is mostly empty space.

"I can be found in a dead man's hand."

A dead hand can still enclose an area of space.

"Yet still, I cannot be touched."

Space cannot really be touched, as it is the absence of matter.

"In China, I may say farewell."

China is the most populous country in the world, cramped with little space.

"In Japan, I mean so much."

Japan is notorious for having high housing prices near the cities, living space could be an expensive thing for most people in Japan.

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Some of them seem to fit well. A better fit for Dead Man's Hand: Dead Man's Hand is a poker hand including the Ace of Spades. (SP)ades (ACE) $\endgroup$ – WittierDinosaur Feb 12 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ I have to give you credit because this answer fits very well. There are more specific reasons why I refer to player, Strategy, dead man, China, Japan, etc. However, in light of this answer, I will add an extra line or two to try and make the interpretation less broad. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ This player looking for their keys might be rot13(ernql cynlre bar) $\endgroup$ – Yout Ried Feb 12 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ Just to be clear, this answer, though creative, is incorrect. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 20:26
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Is the answer:

Lines?

I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time,

Dr. Who travels on timelines

Or a player looking for their keys.

A musician looks at lines of the music notation to find the notes.

When on the plane where the great answer resides, I'm part of the whole Strategy.

Great answers reside in books, which have plotlines

I can be found in a dead man's hand.

A hand has fate lines in it. Not sure why dead man's hand is specified. Perhaps because he has met his fate.

Yet still, I cannot be touched.

Certain red lines indicate danger and/or things that should not be touched.

In China, I may say farewell.

My guess is that this refers to the lines of a Chinese writing symbol.

In Japan, I mean so much.

Probably referring to a cultural prohibition of cutting in lines or queues.

I have been known to have colourful wings,

Airlines have planes with wings, and some airlines have colorful paint schemes.

I am about which the cool kids sing.

Blurred lines was a somewhat popular song

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  • $\begingroup$ A hand has a rot13(yvsryvar) $\endgroup$ – B540Glenn Feb 12 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ Again, this is a very creative answer but not what I'm looking for. The answer will fit the clues more clearly. Also, for reference, I would never endorse that awful, awful song $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 20:29
3
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My Guess is:

Memories

I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time, Or a player looking for their keys.

Remembering the past / traveling through time in your mind

When on the plane where the great answers reside, I'm part of the whole Strategy.

The plane where all the answers reside is the brain. Our answers come mostly from memories and experience which makes them part of the whole strategy.

I can be found in a dead man's hand. Yet still, I cannot be touched.

Hands show what someone has done all their life (fragile hands or weals from doing hard work with your hands). You can see those memories but you can't touch those memories themselves.

In China, I may say farewell. In Japan, I mean so much.

I don't know enough about those languages/cultures so it's up to someone else to find this

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  • $\begingroup$ Very creative answer. As you've probably already guessed, it's not right, there are several specific things that aren't covered. Why do I specify doctor, player, dead man, etc? Keep trying. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ In light of all the creative answers, I've added a couple of lines. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Virtual +1 for creativity $\endgroup$ – Joshua Drake Feb 13 at 16:23
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I'm thinking the answer is:

hole(s) (or possibly box)

I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time,

worm holes (although maybe phone box?)

Or a player looking for their keys.

keyholes (unless this is a reference to playing a musical instrument either in a key, or one that has keys - like a piano)

When on the plane where the great answers reside,

Blackholes ? (Black box?)

I'm part of the whole Strategy.

the w[hole s]trategy

I can be found in a dead man's hand.

Jesus's Stigmata

Yet still, I cannot be touched.

you can't touch a hole as it's absent of an object

In China, I may say farewell.

In Japan, I mean so much.

not sure about these two - I guess there's a hole in the a of China - at the end, and there's a hole in apa in Japan and it might mean a lot ? ? ?

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  • $\begingroup$ Not the answer I'm looking for. I've added a couple of extra lines in light of all the creative answers. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 16:38
2
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Is the answer a:

A Phone

I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time,

Dr Who travels in a Tardis which is also a phone box

Or a player looking for their keys.

You may call a friend if you have lost your keys

When on the plane where the great answers reside, I'm part of the whole Strategy.

We are asked to turn your phones off during a flight.

I can be found in a dead man's hand.

We are so addicted to our phones that even in death we don’t part

Yet still, I cannot be touched.

You cant access someone elses phone without the code

In China, I may say farewell. In Japan, I mean so much.

Not sure about this bit

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  • $\begingroup$ Another very interesting guess and I see you've really tried to fit several of the clues. It's not the correct answer, I'm afraid. When found, the answer will fit the clues much better. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ In light of all the creative answers, I've added a couple of lines. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Virtual +1 for creativity $\endgroup$ – Joshua Drake Feb 13 at 16:12
2
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insights, but no answers:

I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time,

obvious Dr Who reference.

Or a player looking for their keys.

seems like another reference. I don't know to what. might be referring to a piano player. If not, it's something fictional.

When on the plane where the great answers reside, I'm part of the whole Strategy.

pretty clearly another reference, to some work of fiction or philosophy. I have no idea what plane they're referring to, though, or what fiction. Strategy here is capitalized, which seems pretty significant.

I can be found in a dead man's hand.

Dead man's hand is Two pair, aces and eights, of clubs and spades. Alternately, it's a fictional reference.

Yet still, I cannot be touched. In China, I may say farewell. In Japan, I mean so much.

no clue past the obvious. My guess is that the China thing refers to a Chinese custom of some sort.

edit:

I have been known to have colourful wings,

I'd be inclined to take this one reasonably straight - either it's a thing with colorful wings, it's a thing with colorful protrusions that could be winglike if you squint, or it's a nonphysical concept that's described as having wings in one or more sayings.

I am about which the cool kids sing.

my guess is that this is in reference to some popular song by a popular group.

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  • $\begingroup$ In light of all the creative answers, I've added a couple of lines. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Feb 12 at 16:39
2
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The answer is:

cat

I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time,

cat scan

Or a player looking for their keys.

"cat .ssh/authorized_keys" or possibly "Condensed Air Technology" (clean the keyboard)

When on the plane where the great answer resides, I'm part of the whole Strategy.

Computer-Assisted Translation

I can be found in a dead man's hand. Yet still, I cannot be touched.

Schrödinger's cat

In China, I may say farewell.

Maneki-neko

In Japan, I mean so much.

Nekomata

I have been known to have colourful wings,

winged bast

I am about which the cool kids sing.

cools kats, daddio

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