"You know, these little devils?" says Grandpa.

"Billions of them. Everywhere. Here, outside! Very useful..."

"...but their names get bad rap, you know", he sighed.

"They are mostly pluses and minuses. Well, some are stars, squares and polygons too. And, son, they always need help to enter. Without help, they cannot do their job."

I knew what he was talking about. Nothing microscopic.

Who are they? Who helps them?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is "bad wrap" intentional? $\endgroup$
    – CodeCaster
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 8:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CodeCaster That rocked my world. I thought "bad rap" was for having bad rapport $\endgroup$
    – Stian
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 8:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The word "screw" has a bad meaning also $\endgroup$
    – DrD
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ @DEEM ^^ rot13(Gur nafjre vf va cynva fvtug!) $\endgroup$
    – Cloudy7
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


I think Grandpa is talking about


And the shapes are

The different shapes of the cavity on a screw head (Philips head is a plus, flat head is a minus. These are the most common but there are more unusual ones too)

They are helped to gain entry by


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And I think the "bad rap" refers to rot13(trggvat fperjrq). $\endgroup$
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 10:05

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