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Your fifth is in cookies but never in cream.
Your fourth is in stormclouds and also in steam.

Your last's in your meaning but not in your word.
Your second's in fourth, first, three-hundredth, and third.

Your first's in a puddle but not in a pail.
Your third and your sixth, when abroad, are in jail.

You minify mountains, cause floodgates to fail.
What are you?


Hint, in case of emergency:

If you're really stuck, consider the 26th and 28th words of the riddle.

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The answer is

EROSION


Your first's in a puddle but not in a pail.

'E' is in 'puddle' and not in the word 'pail'

Your second's in fourth, first, three-hundredth, and third.

R is in all four words: fourth, first, three-hundreth and third.

Your third and your sixth, when abroad, are in jail.

O is in 'gaol' - a old British term for jail

Your fourth is in stormclouds and also in steam.

S is of course in 'stormclouds' and in 'steam'

Your fifth is in cookies but never in cream.

I is in 'cookies' and not in the word 'cream'

Your third and your sixth, when abroad, are in jail.

O - Same as the first one

Your last's in your meaning but not in your word.

N is in 'meaning' but not in the word 'word'


You minify mountains, cause floodgates to fail.

EROSION causes mountains to erode over time, and with enough erosion a floodgate would fail

What are you?

Erosion!


Hint:

The 26th and 28th words are ‘in word’. And indeed, the answer was found by taking the letters from in the words!

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5
  • $\begingroup$ Beautifully done! rot13(jung v unq va zvaq sbe guveq naq fvkgu jnf "tnby".) $\endgroup$ Oct 19 at 2:08
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil 26th and 28th words, not letters. $\endgroup$
    – Hellion
    Oct 19 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Hellion ahhhh there we go, thank you :P $\endgroup$ Oct 19 at 12:32
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Is “when abroad” just meant to mean “British”? And if so, can I register a mild complaint about the US-centric phrasing there? As a Brit, it completely threw me off. $\endgroup$ Oct 19 at 18:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PeterLeFanuLumsdaine Very fair point. I wasn't happy with the phrasing either, and could only hope that rot13(gur Nzrevpna fcryyvat bs wnvy) would betray the author's location. $\endgroup$ Oct 19 at 18:47

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