# Let's get down to a Riley riddle!

My prefix, proudest hunter, still stands guard o'er home and grain;
My suffix, firm foundation, from which space is realised;
My infix, part outstanding, leaves a gap for us to work.
But ye who seek me out, beware: for heroes fall, but not all rise.

EDIT: Let's add some hints. I've tried to combine clear factual hinting with additional clever wordplay, because that's the mindset I'm in here!

My foundation is in mathematics, which has definitely had some impact on where this riddle ended up.
I came up with the infix clue last; it's a little weak, and there's an argument for replacing it with whitespace.
The word itself is more obscure than I realised - I thought it was used in a fairly well-known bit of narrative theory, but it looks like while the concept is, the word itself might not be. That in mind, I'm not surprised it's all Greek to you.

• This is the first one I've posted, so I've got no idea how I'm doing on the painfully obvious to needlessly cryptic scale - I'll keep an eye on responses. Jan 18, 2020 at 8:14
• It's been a while. Any hints to help solvers along? Feb 11, 2020 at 4:06
• Sure, I'll just edit a few into the question post - I was on combination forgetting and feeling embarrassed that I'd gone a bit too obscure, but since there's still interest I'm happy to roll things on! Feb 11, 2020 at 19:32
• Please confirm that it's not rot13(pngnfgebcur), if you would
– Avi
Feb 11, 2020 at 22:18
• @Avi It isn't - on some of the right lines, but the answer I intended got posted about an hour after your comment. Feb 12, 2020 at 8:43

## 6 Answers

It's

Catabasis (usually Katabasis)

My prefix, proudest hunter, still stands guard o'er home and grain

Cat - a proud hunter that catches mice

My infix, part outstanding, leaves a gap for us to work

Tab - as in an indent

My suffix, firm foundation, from which space is realised

Basis - A firm foundation and also a way to define a space in mathematics

But ye who seek me out, beware: for heroes fall, but not all rise.

Katabasis is a descent, particularly used in the sense of a narrative arc

• I think this is probably right. I wonder if the infix is instead rot13(gur gno ba n sbyqre va n svyvat qenjre, fgnaqvat bhg gb vaqvpngr juvpu sbyqre vg vf, naq hfrq gb bcra gur sbyqre gb jbex v.r. chg qbphzragf va naq bhg bs gur sbyqre) Feb 12, 2020 at 2:56
• You've got it! I was intending the infix clue to nod to both explanations presented here (though I was thinking "vafreg gno N vagb fybg O" sbe gur zber culfvpny vagrecergngvba). Feb 12, 2020 at 8:41

This feels like a pretty big stretch, but...

My prefix, proudest hunter, still stands guard o'er home and grain;


CAT: clued by proudest->pride (of lions), hunter (of mice etc), stands guard o're home and grain -> keeps houses/farms/etc free of rodents

My suffix, firm foundation, from which space is realised;


COMB: the spine of a comb is a firm foundation, and spaces between the teeth arise from there. Also, combing hair adds space (volume) to the hairdo.

My infix, part outstanding, leaves a gap for us to work.


TACO: when the shell isn't full, part of it "stands out" and leaves a gap to put more fillings.

But ye who seek me out, beware: for heroes fall, but not all rise.


CATACOMB: clued by death (heroes fall, not all rise), and title "get DOWN to"

I feel like the prefix and sum are reasonable interpretations, but the infix and suffix are WAY out there.

• Doesn’t seem that far-fetched to me: an excellent catch!
– Avi
Jan 18, 2020 at 18:55
• I really like this answer, but it's not the one I was looking for! Lbh'er ba gur evtug genpx, naq gurer'f na rglzbybtvpny yvax orgjrra pngnpbzo naq gur jbeq V unq va zvaq. Jan 18, 2020 at 19:43
• How about a bit more of a hint? Jan 20, 2020 at 2:16
• Sure! N pngnpbzo zvtug or jurer n ureb raqf hc, ohg guvf unf zber gb qb jvgu gur wbhearl. Jan 20, 2020 at 10:43
• Hm, this word may just be somewhat more obscure than I thought. I'll have a look into things and see if I can think of some more hint-y hints. Jan 20, 2020 at 10:47

Although I'm unsure about whether this is the right answer, I think I can support my claim well enough that it is a

caterpillar. The last sentence of the riddle might refer to people falling and see it crawling on the ground.

Prefix

cat, which I thought of because of keeping mice away from the grains. Tmpearce's connection to lions makes sense for me as well.

Infix

terp, which is, according to Wikipedia "an artificial dwelling mound created to provide safe ground during storm surges, high tides or flooding." So, it stands out during a flood and people may live (and work) there.

Suffix

pillar, a firm foundation for great buildings ("space"), which could not stand ("be realized") without them.

A stretch of a guess, but every bit helps

Are you a

PANTHEON?

My prefix, proudest hunter, still stands guard o'er home and grain;

Pan: Greek God of Pastures and the successful Hunt

My suffix, firm foundation, from which space is realised;

eon A large chunk of time -- space is formed of time

My infix, part outstanding, leaves a gap for us to work.

nth: A mathematical term for any unspecified member in a list.

But ye who seek me out, beware: for heroes fall, but not all rise.

The PANTHEON was a Greek temple venerating gods and hero

A lot of the clues and hints match, but some don't, so I'm not quite sure...

• Not what I was after, but a creative thought! Feb 11, 2020 at 20:16

Are you a

SNOWSHOE

My prefix, proudest hunter, still stands guard o'er home and grain;

SNOW - very big stretch here, but in the winter(which I'm currently in), SNOW is "standing" on houses and fields where grain is normally grown (unless you mean John Snow who stands guard at the wall - from GoT :) )

My infix, part outstanding, leaves a gap for us to work.

WS - Hint speaks of whitespace, abbr. to WS. workspace also abbr. to WS.

My suffix, firm foundation, from which space is realised;

SHOE - found at the body's foundation. We use our feet to walk across spaces.

But ye who seek me out, beware: for heroes fall, but not all rise.

SNOWSHOE - Using a snowshoe, you shouldn't fall through the snow to the ground beneath. You should rise above it.

I suggest

erosivity

My prefix, proudest hunter, still stands guard o'er home and grain;

eros (god)

My suffix, firm foundation, from which space is realised;

vity (gravity)

My infix, part outstanding, leaves a gap for us to work.

i (dot stands out)

But ye who seek me out, beware: for heroes fall, but not all rise.

not sure

• Eros isn't a proud hunter standing guard. "vity" isn't a firm foundation for realising space. "i" doesn't leave a gap for work. I can't understand how anyone upvoted this answer. Jan 18, 2020 at 14:04
• If Eros (cupid) is not a proud hunter, I don't know what is!! cutt.ly/SrnwXDb Jan 20, 2020 at 19:27