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What am I?

My last three letters serve to clarify.
My first four letters are where famous people speak.
Dropping all consonants, I am almost a curse.

The solution is a single English word and, once found, will leave no doubt that it is the intended one.

Hint

The solution explains how the riddle must be modified to yield the solution.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I thought line 2 was "film" but I can't get anywhere with it. Cool puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Raystafarian Jan 11 '16 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ Curse as in magical, or curse as in "bad word"? (tbh I can't think of any which are primarily vowels regardless) $\endgroup$ – question_asker Jan 11 '16 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ 'curse' can simply mean a really unforunate situation. $\endgroup$ – najayaz Jan 12 '16 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ are you sure that you will be monitoring incoming answers in future coz you replied after a month..? $\endgroup$ – manshu Mar 10 '16 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ I can not figure this out for the life of me. I was trying to find a way to use "y", but I got nothing. Then I tried thinking laterally (words that are similar to the word "a curse"), but I was just spinning my tires. The best I can come up with is "foreshow", but that's a stretch. (OH EEE OH!! being the "curse"). bah. $\endgroup$ – goodguy5 Mar 14 '16 at 20:17

14 Answers 14

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Given the hint, I guess the answer is

SHIFTED.

The gimmick is that:

The predicate of each sentence needs to be shifted cyclically upward once, yielding the actual riddle:
My last three letters are where famous people speak.
My first four letters, I am almost a curse.
Dropping all consonants serve to clarify.

The answer fits this riddle because:

The last three letter: TED= A TED Talk.
My first four letters: SHIF ~ ___T.
Dropping all consonants: IE=i.e., id est, used to clarify.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very nice! This one has been bugging me on and off for a while, and this answer makes sense. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Nov 15 '16 at 19:23
13
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Is it:

Daisies

Because:

I.e.'s are an example of something, used for clarification.
Dais is a platform on which people speak.
And I know this is a stretch but a lowercase a can look like a d without the top vertical line so the vowels are close to reading diie.
Alternative pointed out by Hugh is aïe is French for "dang."

Worth a shot.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this one! +1 but I don't know if it is correct or not. Will wait for other answers and a possible comment from the OP before I give the bounty. $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Mar 14 '16 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, don't know how I missed seeing your post. For the curse part, see here: en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/a%C3%AFe I deleted my post which had basically the same answer. $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Mar 15 '16 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @HughMeyers no biggie. I got you by 12 hours but your explanation to the last part is likely a little better. ;) $\endgroup$ – Z. Dailey Mar 15 '16 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Pew never said whether or not you were right, but half the bounty will go to you in a couple hours anyway, so you may as well have the whole thing. Besides, your answer looks good to me! $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Mar 22 '16 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with @richardroe, this one deserves it whether or not it's the intended answer $\endgroup$ – question_asker Mar 22 '16 at 10:37
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My guess is

Show

My last three letters serve to clarify.

last three letters are 'how' which is asked when we need clarification

My first four letters are where famous people speak.

famous people speak at different shows.

Dropping all consonants, I am almost a curse.

When dropped all consonents then has some pronouncing similarity with 'whore'. Or as APrough commented "You also go "Oh, #$%^@" (insert your own favorite curse word). So, technically it is almost a curse."

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  • $\begingroup$ Dropping all consonants, 'show' becomes 'o'... $\endgroup$ – Patrick N Jan 10 '16 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ @PatrickN fixed $\endgroup$ – manshu Jan 12 '16 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ You also go "Oh, #$%^@" (insert your own favorite curse word). So, technically it is almost a curse... $\endgroup$ – APrough Jan 12 '16 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ To avoid any unnecessary speculation, I just want to make explicit that this is not the intended solution ("o" is not really "almost a curse"). $\endgroup$ – user18360 Jan 13 '16 at 9:43
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    $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain I imagine he was talking about W, since that's a semi-vowel and appears in his word $\endgroup$ – question_asker Jan 15 '16 at 18:04
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You are..

Linear

My logic:

- Famous people speak in lines(in movies)
- Ear, in which you speak to clarify
- The curse part is still bugging me, perhaps that is the curse of it all?

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    $\begingroup$ Why the down vote? U haven't broken any rules and the guess is in line with the riddle? Down voting on riddles will make me hesitant to try guessing in the future $\endgroup$ – Torxed Jan 12 '16 at 7:08
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    $\begingroup$ I wasn't the downvoter, but it could be that you don't have the 3rd part completely answered yet? But I do agree with you on downvotes without explanation. It is baffling... $\endgroup$ – APrough Jan 12 '16 at 12:41
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    $\begingroup$ I upvoted to make it even as I too don't understand, I assume you must be wrong as it hasn't been accepted but that's not a reason to downvote $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Jan 12 '16 at 18:12
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    $\begingroup$ I've seen a lot of incomplete answers be filled out in the comments. There is nothing wrong with saying This fulfills 2/3 requirements, can anyone think of how it could satisfy the third. Downvoter be warned: yer not wanted around these parts. $\endgroup$ – user1717828 Jan 12 '16 at 18:23
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    $\begingroup$ And to avoid more speculation, I did not and will never downvote any honest attempt at a solution. $\endgroup$ – user18360 Jan 13 '16 at 9:45
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My guess is:

Discourage

My last three letters serve to clarify.

With age usually comes clarification on most things due to gained experiences and knowledge.

My first four letters are where famous people speak.

Famous people speak in movies which are often held on a disc (DVD, Blue-ray, etc.).

Dropping all consonants, I am almost a curse.

Removing all consonants gives: i, o, u, a and e or another way to look at it: I O U A&E. This can be seen as 'I owe you A&E' (the British, Irish, New Zealand, and Hong Kong term for a hospital's emergency department) which is almost an offensive word or phrase used to express anger or annoyance (a definition of curse). Personally, I would interpret this phrase as someone telling me they want to beat me up/send me to A&E.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to puzzling.SE! Congratulations on a good first answer. $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Mar 16 '16 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ @pew is this right? It looks good to me. $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Mar 16 '16 at 16:08
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Not sure if any of these are the intended answer, but thought I'd throw a few more ideas out there for others to build on...

  1. FACEMASK (You ASK to clarify something. Famous people speak from their FACE. The vowels, AEA are valid hexadecimal values, and a hex is a type of curse)

  2. PAGEANTRY (You TRY something if you want to clarify if it works. Famous people speak via the PAGE. AEA as above) - also tapestry via similar logic for those who grew up in the VHS days, or telemetry if you abbreviate television as "tele"...

  3. DISCOTHEQUE (QUE can be used in spanish as a clarifying "What?". Movies containing famous people come on DVD DISCs. IOEUE is almost IOU (I owe you), which could be seen as a curse...)

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Discotheque. I like that. Really creative. ^vote $\endgroup$ – Z. Dailey Mar 18 '16 at 3:05
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    $\begingroup$ I like th(is|ese) answer[s] a lot $\endgroup$ – question_asker Mar 18 '16 at 12:07
3
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My answer is:

Boombox

My last three letters serve to clarify.

e.g, drawing a box around an answer or perhaps ticking a box to clarify a position.

My first four letters are where famous people speak.

A boom is a large mike on the end of a stick usually used for actors or people being interviewed.

Dropping all consonants, I am almost a curse.

'ooo' is almost 'poo' (if you add an extra line)

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I don't know that poo is a curse. $\endgroup$ – Richard Roe Jan 15 '16 at 21:01
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My attempt at this! The word is

Bookshelf

My last three letters serve to clarify.

ELF's clarifying magic can be seen here

My first four letters are where famous people speak.

BOOK is where famous people speak out their auto-biographies.

Dropping all consonants, I am almost a curse.

OOE or Out Of Endurance is almost a curse if you're playing Dark age of Camelot, because if you don't have an endurance potion, you will die. SEE HERE

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3
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Could the word be

Confix?

My last three letters serve to clarify.

fix - to repair or correct, stabilize, direct.

My first four letters are where famous people speak.

conf - short for conference.

Dropping all consonants, I am almost a curse.

Oi! What's the big idea giving us a stumper like this!?

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3
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What am I?

Cipher

My last three letters serve to clarify.

her, is a pronoun - used to clarify referents, without using names.

My first four letters are where famous people speak.

CIPH (Collège international de philosophie). Yeah, famous people spoke there. Lectured, taught, and thought as well, probably. Yay for acronyms!

Dropping all consonants, I am almost a curse.

ie, ie... Fie! fie, a curse upon thee! if only the vowels are 'almost' a curse means they need a little more. The addition of 'F' makes a fine, traditional curse.

Hint

The hint from the comments, "Gur fbyhgvba rkcynvaf ubj gur evqqyr zhfg or zbqvsvrq gb lvryq gur fbyhgvba" translates to "the solution explains how the riddle must be modified to yield the solution".

What must we do to the riddle to find the answer? outthink it, puzzle through it, or cipher it - a word which means to encode, but also to solve problems! As a bonus, it is also how the hint is found.

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My random guess:

Wingspan

Because,

A wing of a building is a place to make a speech.
A pan can serve to clarify butter by melting it.
Ai! as an exclamation isn't usually considered a curse but it's close.

I also considered

Walleye

But I couldn't figure out how that would be a curse.

If this isn't it

It might have to do with letters
oic: Oh, I see?
icy:I see why?
our:Oh, you are?
ucy: You see why?
I can't really figure out the other letters that might be with TV though.

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Not an Answer - Just Some Thoughts

Almost a curse:

It occurred to me that some people use "a-hole" as a curse. So "U A O" might be considered close to "You a-hole" depending on how you pronounce it. Possibly even "U A" might be considered almost a curse but that would not make me happy if it were the solution.


Another possibility for cursing could be "O I U" as in "Oi, you!" This is a British expression meaning basically "hey, you" but it is rather aggressive and might be considered almost a curse. "Oi" or "Oy" is also a Yiddish exclamation as in "Oy vey" or "oy gevalt" but it's really more dismay than cursing.

Clarifying:

google "ion clarify". Lots of hits, so potentially anything ending in ion could qualify. Doesn't work at all with my "almost a curse" idea of course.

Where famous people speak

might refer to politics. The Hill is a name for Washington DC. I couldn't go any further with this but are there other four letter names for places where politicians speak?
A quad is a place, but not particularly one where famous people speak.
The United Nations General Assembly UNGA is a place where famous people speak but "ungainly" doesn't fit with any other clues.

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1
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You are a

hall

My last three letters serve to clarify.

"It's allright"

My first four letters are where famous people speak.

hall

Dropping all consonants, I am almost a curse.

hell

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Dropping all consonants, "hall" becomes "a", not "hell" :) $\endgroup$ – user18360 Apr 8 '16 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @pew, damn, had a dumb moment and thought that consonants were voxels $\endgroup$ – Lolums Apr 8 '16 at 15:33
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I think the answer is:

Teles??

Because:

'Les' in French would mean "the" a word which specifies; 'Tele' would mean television where famous people appear; 'Ee' is an exclamatory word in northern England. And coincidentally also a word to display disbelief and surprise word in commonly used Japanese language

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