8
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All alone, I'm afraid I can be a little bit depressing
One of my friends quickly comes along to lift the mood
They tend to bring their sister along, though, and we soon start squabbling
Their brother, the fourth of our group, doesn't help matters
The fifth and sixth bring expensive gifts to try and calm things down
And when the last appears, and all seven of us are together... well, I can't tell you about that. It's our secret

Hint time!

We don't care how expensive the gifts are, as long as they catch the light nicely. This is good, since the gifts might have been stolen

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm assuming this is in the same vein as this: puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/13257/me-and-my-gang - but obviously not the same answer (it's not a duplicate, just similar). $\endgroup$ – Glen O May 26 '15 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ It is not (though that was an interesting puzzle!) $\endgroup$ – LogicianWithAHat May 26 '15 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ To avoid ambiguity: the brothers, sisters and others are not letters $\endgroup$ – LogicianWithAHat May 26 '15 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ In thinking about this on and off for hours, I wonder if the "they" and "their" in line 3 should be "he" and "his" or "she" and "her", since line 2 says One of my friends... . Maybe I am being too literal or nit-picky, or maybe it's some kind of clue. $\endgroup$ – JLee May 26 '15 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ @JLee gender's only important for two of them $\endgroup$ – LogicianWithAHat May 26 '15 at 21:38
8
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You are

Magpies

Following on from the well known

Nursery rhyme
One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told

The hint helped a lot :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Correct, but one minute slower than @starsplusplus, sorry! Still, +1 $\endgroup$ – LogicianWithAHat May 28 '15 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ Noo, I answered first! :O $\endgroup$ – luxmi12 May 28 '15 at 12:07
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    $\begingroup$ ...you're right! Sorry, I'm tired, and can't work out that '24 minutes ago' was earlier than '23 minutes ago' $\endgroup$ – LogicianWithAHat May 28 '15 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ Haha tired is allowed. Nice riddle! Sorry @starsplusplus, within a minute, too close! $\endgroup$ – luxmi12 May 28 '15 at 12:10
  • $\begingroup$ How funny that no-one answered for a day and then suddenly we both saw this puzzle and posted an answer within a minute of each other! (Though I wish I had taken less time proofreading now ;) ) $\endgroup$ – starsplusplus May 28 '15 at 12:12
7
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Great riddle!

You are all

magpies

Reason:

One for sorrow, two for joy,
Three for a girl, four for a boy,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret never to be told.

- a common nursery rhyme about magpies.

Didn't need the hint, either :)


Further reading (not related to the solution, but spoils it):

You might be interested to know that there is at least one other version of this rhyme:

One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for England, six for France,
Seven for the fiddler, eight for the dance.

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  • $\begingroup$ Correct! Well done! I know there are other versions, but this one seems to be the best-known (also, easiest to build a riddle around), so I stuck with it $\endgroup$ – LogicianWithAHat May 28 '15 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ @LogicianWithAHat Ah yes, I didn't mean to criticise (and I agree that your version is the best-known) - just thought you or other readers might be interested. I have had a long-standing fascination with these poems, so I was really excited to read your riddle (usually by the time I read something on this site it's already been solved :P). $\endgroup$ – starsplusplus May 28 '15 at 12:09
4
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My guess is:

The days of the week

All alone, I'm afraid I can be a little bit depressing

If we start the days of the week with Saturday, Saturn in Roman myth can be considered a foreign or immigrant god - having been expelled by Jupiter. So alone and depressed. Also the connection to Kronos can relate to father time.

One of my friends quickly comes along to lift the mood They tend to bring their sister along, though, and we soon start squabbling

Sunday and Monday: Sol Invictus and Luna are brother and sister who ride their chariots to raise the Sun and Moon (or to raise themselves). Sol Invictus is also the god of soliders - so fighting. Also, Sol Invictus is considered by some to have overtaken Saturn as the most powerful god (Constantine struck his coins with Sol)

Their brother, the fourth of our group, doesn't help matters

Tuesday: Mars is next. Mars is the god of war.

The fifth and sixth bring expensive gifts to try and calm things down

Wednesday and Thursday: Mercury the god of wealth and Jupiter the sovereign god, the politician.

And when the last appears, and all seven of us are together... well, I can't tell you about that. It's our secret

Friday: Venus is the goddess of love and well, those "things that happen behind closed doors and under covers"

Other reason for my guess:

LogicianWithAHat's comment that implied either two of the answers would be women or men (I'm going with women)

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    $\begingroup$ This is awesome. :) It was my first guess, too. I suppose, because of the first sentence, everyone thinks "Depressing, oh I know what that ist, no need to read further." $\endgroup$ – zlobi.wan.kenobi May 27 '15 at 7:30
  • $\begingroup$ For me it was the fact that it ended with 7 $\endgroup$ – JGreenwell May 27 '15 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ It's not right, sorry! I feel a little bad now, given how well thought-out yout answer is $\endgroup$ – LogicianWithAHat May 27 '15 at 17:50
2
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It's gotta be the first elements of the periodic table, but I don't know all of the clue reasons.

All alone, I'm afraid I can be a little bit depressing
I'm not sure

One of my friends quickly comes along to lift the mood
Helium is lighter than air, thus the lift.

They tend to bring their sister along, though, and we soon start squabbling
Lithium is notorious for how reactive it is

Their brother, the fourth of our group, doesn't help matters
Not sure on this one

The fifth and sixth bring expensive gifts to try and calm things down
Boron is expensive and used in semiconductors, and carbon is pretty stable (Also diamonds are expensive, thanks LogicianWithAHat)

And when all seven of us are together... well, I can't tell you about that. It's our secret
Again, not sure.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nothing to do with the periodic table, sorry! I like your reasoning, though! (and would add that diamonds are made of carbon, which would also fit the 'expensive gifts' part) $\endgroup$ – LogicianWithAHat May 26 '15 at 14:46

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