13
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Here's my first attempt at a puzzle:

A

My 11 from 12 sealed Atalanta's fate

But what did my 7 expect me to crate?

B

With a merged name between us and unusual style

We have twice tried to win for the Emerald Isle.

C

Commonly seen in a number of sports

Frequently 3 can be worn in support.

D

Well defended from predators except when I roam

From second-hand home to second-hand home.

E

There's nothing from nothing and nobody's out

Other than those when we last swapped about.

F

When cannons appeared we were quickly retired,

But the force like to use us where force is required.

G

Between Shakespeare and Sauce for 65 years

Our voices are heard by myriad ears.

H

Digitless pets and fodder alike

Beware where you crawl for some of us bite.

I

A means of propulsion for a friend of the hulk

If someone gets yours you are likely to sulk.

J

No further than Sheppey can our like be found

As our 4 pairs of legs like the warmest of ground.

K

How big or how heavy? On the hull of a boat

Sometimes reptilian we hold all your notes.

Questions

Which one is missing, which name will you try

And which of the 8 calls us home this July?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm completely lost on how 11 of 12 could be golden apples or sex in a temple. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Nice riddles! $\endgroup$ – Kingrames Jul 24 '15 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ You're on the right track. Sometimes things crop up more than once in mythology. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Jul 24 '15 at 13:00
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    $\begingroup$ Right, the twelve labors. In which case you're probably talking about the Cretan Bull, unless you're accounting for the second and fifth trials being revoked, in which case you're looking for the girdle of Hippolyta. $\endgroup$ – Kingrames Jul 24 '15 at 13:10
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So with a little help from some friends in the comments, we have the theme and the answers to the couplets.

But still not which of the 8 calls us home this July? Any ideas? And why 8 and not 11 or more?

The couplets refer to

11 of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. But there are only 11 couplets, and the missing sign is Aquarius (the water carrier).

A

My 11 from 12 sealed Atalanta's fate

But what did my 7 expect me to crate?

Taurus (the bull). As explained by Kingrames, The 11th labour of Hercules was to steal the Apples of the Hesperides, which were later used by a suitor of Atalanta to beat her in a race and force her hand in marriage. The 7th labour was the Cretan Bull

B

With a merged name between us and unusual style

We have twice tried to win for the Emerald Isle.

Gemini (the twins), with a reference to Jedward, twins who represented Ireland in Eurovision twice.

C

Commonly seen in a number of sports

Frequently 3 can be worn in support.

Leo (the lion). As in Detroit Lions, or the British and Irish Lions. England supporters wear three lions on their shirt.

D:

Well defended from predators except when I roam

From second-hand home to second-hand home.

This is Cancer (the crab)

E

There's nothing from nothing and nobody's out

Other than those when we last swapped about.

This is Virgo, the maiden. In cricket, a maiden over is one where no runs are scored, and also no wickets taken (otherwise it would be a wicket maiden). At the end of each over the fielding team has to swap bowlers (credit to @f'')

F:

When cannons appeared we were quickly retired,

But the force like to use us where force is required.

This is Aries (the ram). Cannons replaced Rams as a siege weapon, and the police use a ram (thanks to APrough)

G

Between Shakespeare and Sauce for 65 years

Our voices are heard by myriad ears.

This is Sagittarius, the Archer. The Archers is a BBC radio soap opera, whose Pilot episode was broadcast in 1950. The series takes place in the fictional county of Borsetshire, which (according to wikipedia) is situated between the (in reality contiguous) counties of Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The town of Worcestor is famed for it's sauce, and Stratford-upon-Avon is in Warwickshire (thanks to @Going Hamateur for the tip)

H

Digitless pets and fodder alike

Beware where you crawl for some of us bite.

This is Pisces (Fish)

I

A means of propulsion for a friend of the hulk

If someone gets yours you are likely to sulk.

This is Capricorn, the goat. Somebody can "Get your goat". The friend of the hulk is Thor, who has a chariot pulled by war goats (thanks to @Bishop)

J

No further than Sheppey can our like be found

As our 4 pairs of legs like the warmest of ground.

This should be Scorpio (the Scorpion) which has 8 legs and likes warm climates. According to wikipedia "The isle [of Sheppey] is noted as the northern-most place to have an established scorpion population".

K

How big or how heavy? On the hull of a boat

Sometimes reptilian we hold all your notes.

This is Libra (the Scales). Scales can weigh, reptiles have scales and there are musical scales.

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    $\begingroup$ @Kingrames has already identified the correct answer for "A". Archers were made obsolete by small arms rather than cannons, though they were originally called hand cannons. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Jul 24 '15 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ The friend of the hulk is Thor, who has a chariot pulled by war goats $\endgroup$ – Bishop Jul 24 '15 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ F should be the Ram. Police often use a ram when needed. $\endgroup$ – APrough Jul 24 '15 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ E sounds like it should be Virgo, perhaps referring to a "maiden over" in cricket, when no runs are scored. $\endgroup$ – f'' Jul 24 '15 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ For G I believe this is referring to the rivers avon (stratford upon avon Shakespeare's home town) and the river severn which appears to be related to worcestershire sauce. $\endgroup$ – Going hamateur Jul 24 '15 at 20:38

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