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Complete me one way - if you do this to friends, you must have many enemies.
Complete me another - if you're tough you'll do this to your enemies.
Yet in a third way - with this you can keep your enemies from you.
And in a fourth way - with this you can always defeat your enemies.

What are these words so entwined with enemies?

Hint/clarification:

in each line, "completing me" refers to adding a single letter (a different letter in each line).

Hint 2:

VOWELS

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  • $\begingroup$ Is the answer starts with 'C'? $\endgroup$ – Alex Aug 7 '15 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Alex Nope, 'fraid not. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 7 '15 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ I have to ask. Is the title of the question related to a common interest that you and I mentioned on a different SE community? $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Aug 7 '15 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ @chaslyfromUK Not at all, but I like the fact that you're going to tantalise people by asking in such a roundabout and riddlish way! :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 7 '15 at 22:12
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    $\begingroup$ @CodeNewbie "Complete me one way" or "Complete me another" - in each line we apply a different operation to the same ground state. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 8 '15 at 19:12
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The answer could be

L _ C K

If you do this to friends, you must have many enemies.

If you LACK friends, you might have more enemies.

If you're tough you'll do this to your enemies.

To LICK is defined informally as "to defeat" or "to hit/beat".

With this you can keep your enemies from you.

With a decent LOCK, you could hide indefinitely from them.

With this you can always defeat your enemies

With LUCK, who needs skill?

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  • $\begingroup$ Very dodgy! :-) If you hail friends, you must have many enemies? With a halo you can keep your enemies from you? Also I've said already (I think it was only in comments and not as a hint in the OP - sorry) that in each line the new letter has to be added in the same place. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 10 '15 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, just tryin' to see if I can move the inserted letter. Now I know. $\endgroup$ – Roland Aug 10 '15 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ I switched my answer, any comments, rand al'thor? $\endgroup$ – Roland Aug 10 '15 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ You got it! Well done :-D $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 10 '15 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ @AndrewSmith If you do X to your friends, then you X your friends - that was my thinking. Sorry if my wording threw you off the right answer! $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 12 '15 at 18:57
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Complete me one way - if you do this to friends, you must have many enemies.

If you LOWER your friends you will make lots of enemies

Complete me another - if you're tough you'll do this to your enemies.

You will make them COWER

Yet in a third way - with this you can keep your enemies from you.

You can defend yourself in a TOWER

And in a fourth way - with this you can always defeat your enemies.

You can defeat your enemies with POWER

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  • $\begingroup$ +1; you're the closest yet in terms of method. This answer would actually fit except for the second line: you don't cower your enemies! *OWER isn't right though, so don't bother looking for something else of that form that would fit the second line :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 9 '15 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ Ah I read that as something that they do from your tough actions, rather than an action that you do to them. I'll keep thinking $\endgroup$ – Andrew Smith Aug 9 '15 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ Baste/taste, waste, paste and haste seem to fit - but I doubt you intended on the enemies being kept at bay with some paste :D - nor for your friends to be delicacies ;) $\endgroup$ – Andrew Smith Aug 9 '15 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor a hint would be good right now :D $\endgroup$ – Andrew Smith Aug 10 '15 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ Always ready to oblige, my good sir! Check the question again :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 10 '15 at 19:17
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I believe the answer is

Fo

Complete me one way - if you do this to friends, you must have many enemies.

Foment

Complete me another - if you're tough you'll do this to your enemies.

Forgive

Yet in a third way - with this you can keep your enemies from you.

Foil

And in a fourth way - with this you can always defeat your enemies.

Force

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  • $\begingroup$ The first two clues are a bit dodgy... Also, if adding any number of letters is OK, then there's loads of things that could be shoehorned into fitting the riddle. That's my fault, I guess, so sorry for that! I've now updated with a hint/clarification. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 8 '15 at 9:23
  • $\begingroup$ Strange, because the first two were the ones I got first. Also, I figured that "Fo" would be appropriate for "Foemen". $\endgroup$ – Glen O Aug 8 '15 at 10:04
1
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I think the answer is

ARSE

"Riddle from the one-eyed king"

What can that mean other than an arse? If it weren't for this clue in the title, EARS or SEAR or the unordered set {A, E, R, S} would do.

"Complete me one way - if you do this to friends, you must have many enemies."

Add M to get SMEAR, or T to get TASER. If that's how you treat friends, they will soon stop being your friends and may become your enemies.

"Complete me another - if you're tough you'll do this to your enemies."

Add C to get SCARE.

"Yet in a third way - with this you can keep your enemies from you."

Add P to get SPEAR. Adding B to get SABRE might be less successful.

"And in a fourth way - with this you can always defeat your enemies."

Add N to get SNARE.

"What is this word so entwined with foemen?"

I can't get this bit. If it's a crossword-type clue, so entwined with foemen could give AS (synonym of SO) and perhaps RE can be got from foemen somehow, and then we entwine them together.

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    $\begingroup$ And another arse shows up ;) $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Aug 9 '15 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Avigrail Yes, that arse keeps showing up on my questions! :-o $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 9 '15 at 19:34
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I interpret this as words of the form KI**, with the base word as ki, which is another spelling of chi

Complete me one way - if you do this to friends, you must have many enemies.

KILL ... I feel like the causation might be self explanatory

Complete me another - if you're tough you'll do this to your enemies.

KISS ... Nothing is harder than reconciliation with a foe

Yet in a third way - with this you can keep your enemies from you.

KICK ... excellent maneuver for creating distance in a fight

And in a fourth way - with this you can always defeat your enemies.

KIND ... Kill'em with kindness fellas

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  • $\begingroup$ The explanations for the second and fourth clues aren't too convincing... +1 for a good try though. And just to clear one thing up, there isn't necessarily a 'base word': what's left when 'I' am not 'completed' doesn't have to be an actual word. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 7 '15 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor Ah the "What is this word so entwined with foemen" part got me $\endgroup$ – Going hamateur Aug 7 '15 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ I've updated the question with a hint/clarification. Sorry I didn't put that originally; it probably is 'too broad' without it. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 8 '15 at 9:23

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