I can be sticky but you must be picky;
Many of me define the key, of a galaxy;
I'm a type when I'm ripe;
And you must pay a tax when I'm in stacks.

What am I?

Note: This riddle takes the form of A shocker in soccer. The key is to figure out which second half of the line matches up with which first half before solving for the word or phrase.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Interesting genre of riddle. Similar to my Reassemble the riddles, if you'll pardon the self-promotion :-) $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2020 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I like that! Interesting that we came up with similar ideas to complicate "what am I" riddles. $\endgroup$
    – anodyne
    Mar 1, 2020 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


I think the answer is:


My arrangement of the riddle is:

Many of me define the key but you must be picky

Talking about a musical key, e.g. for a guitar each key is made up of 7 notes "picked" from the 12 notes available

I'm a type of a galaxy

Referring to the Samsung Galaxy Note range of smart phones

I can be sticky when I'm in stacks

Good old stacks of sticky post-it notes

And you must pay a tax when I'm ripe

I'm a little less comfortable with this one. I think it refers to a debit note which becomes "ripe" when it is due and a payment is owed.


My musical theory is pretty shaky (non-existent), the reasoning behind the key might be a bit dodgy. It is based on some rather rushed research and this article.

  • $\begingroup$ Your explanations for all 4 (Including "key" and "ripe") are exactly what I intended, nicely done! :) p.s. there are probably more accurate financial terms than "tax" but it rhymed with "stacks" so I used it. $\endgroup$
    – anodyne
    Mar 2, 2020 at 6:05
  • $\begingroup$ Keys are used in more than just rot13(thvgnef). Still work, though. $\endgroup$
    – S.S. Anne
    Mar 3, 2020 at 2:46

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