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As a whole, I can

  1. Decide how serious or down-to-earth you are,
  2. Arrange a trip for you, or even
  3. Pull your leg!

Remove the first three vital letters of me, and I am

  1. Dying of gloom and dullness,
  2. Solving puzzles in a shrine,
  3. Not the one making your blood red.

Now chop off my head, and I am

  1. A sea-dweller,
  2. Faster than anybody else,
  3. With a beginning but without an end.

So, what am I?

Clarifications:

  1. The "chopping off head" is not done to the original word, but after "removing the three letters".
  2. Removing the three letters, all at once, gives something that satisfies all 3 properties listed in the 2nd section.
  3. I am new to this site (and also puzzling), so I welcome constructive criticism!
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  • $\begingroup$ In the second part, when removing the three vital letters, is that "remove the same three letters gives you all of these", or "remove 1 letter gives you #1, a different letter gives you #2, etc."? $\endgroup$ – APrough Jun 20 '16 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ @APrough Thanks for your attention. Removing the same three letter, all at once, gives something satisfying all these 3 properties. $\endgroup$ – Ankoganit Jun 20 '16 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ is this in any way correlated? mspfanventures.com/?s=288 $\endgroup$ – user2464424 Aug 17 '16 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ @user2464424 haven't ever heard of that... $\endgroup$ – Ankoganit Aug 18 '16 at 4:59
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You are ...

gravity.

As a whole, I can ...

Decide how serious or down-to-earth you are: Gravity means importance or being solemn.

Arrange a trip for you, or even pull your leg: Gravity is the force that attracts bodies to each other and specifically to the centre of the earth. That force might make you trip over and fall. As long as you stand, it literally pulls your legs.

Remove the first three vital letters of me, and I am ...

gray. The letters that are removed are not the first letters of the whole but the first letters of the word "vital", hence "the first three vital letters".

Dying of gloom and dullness: Gray is a colour (well, color) associated with dull and gloomy things.

Solving puzzles in a shrine: The "gray matter" is the brain that helps you solve these puzzles; it rests in its shrine, the skull. (Thanks to @jsh for the explanation.)

Not the one making your blood red: I'm drawing a blank here, I'm afraid.

Now chop off my head, and I am ...

a ray. The head is the first letter of "gray".

A sea-dweller: A ray is a marine fish.

Faster than anybody else: The light in a ray of light travels at the speed of light.

With a beginning but without an end: In mathematics, a ray is a line with a fixed origin that extends infinitely.

There are two explanations still open. Any help is welcome.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ugh, I just finished typing this solution and was about to submit. Nice work. $\endgroup$ – kayzeroshort Jun 20 '16 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ I also did not understand the two that you missed. $\endgroup$ – kayzeroshort Jun 20 '16 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ @M Oehm Congrats, you got it! Of the incomplete clues, (among which the "blood red" one is a little stretch) should I reveal my explanation, or wait for others? I am new here, so I hope you'll guide me..:) $\endgroup$ – Ankoganit Jun 20 '16 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ "Solving puzzles in a shrine": gray/grey matter (where solving puzzles = thought, shrine = skull). $\endgroup$ – jsh Jun 20 '16 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Ankoganit: If the question had been unsolved for a long time, I would reveal the solution, but this question is rather fresh, so why not let others have a go at the missing explanations? $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jun 20 '16 at 13:41
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Not the one making your blood red:

Haemoglobin (hemoglobin if you are American) is what is makes your blood red. This can be abbreviated as Hb. A "HB pencil" could be referred to as a "gray pencil", seeing as a HB pencil is the middle grade between "dark" and "light". So gray is HB, but not the Hb making your blood red.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice explanation, though it is somewhat more stretch than my original explanation XD. Anyways,a +1 :) $\endgroup$ – Ankoganit Jun 21 '16 at 3:40
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Not supposed to be an answer but at least something I thought could be useful for other solvers (if I'm right with this):

Now chop off my head, and I am
...
2.Faster than anybody else,

could that be light?

3.With a beginning but without an end.

light traveles infinitely (See here)

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your attention. It's not exactly light, but it's close. $\endgroup$ – Ankoganit Jun 20 '16 at 13:24

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