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This is my first puzzle, so please be gentle! Came up with the idea on a drive home and thought it was neat, so I'd like to share it and see if it's as tricky as I hoped.

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

I often prevail on the battlefield

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

What am I?

Hint #1:

The answer is an abstract noun.

Hint #2:

Lines 1 and 2 are quite closely related.

Cryptic hint:

Look between the incisor and premolar. Nowhere will Muriel show you a brave one.

Edit: I've added a bit to the cryptic hint which should make the answer clearer.

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  • $\begingroup$ @AJ Do you mean the first line of the riddle or the first hint I gave? $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ the first line of the riddle $\endgroup$ – A J Jul 7 '16 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ "Originally" in the first line relates to the same thing as "later" in the second line, and also involves a colour. $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 13:04
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnClifford Don't put the answer in the question. Others may come across your riddle and want to try to solve it. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Jul 7 '16 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the heads-up Dan, I didn't think of that. I'll keep it in mind for any future riddles I post. $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 13:14
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Is it

Cowardice?

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

Before cowards were referred to as "yellow-bellied", they were known as "lily-livered". Lily is a flower, the liver is part of the digestive system. - thanks to the problem poser for this answer.

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

Yellow belly is term used to describe cowardice

I often prevail on the battlefield

Often prevails in war.

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

cowardly soldiers won't often be victorious.

Hint:

Muriel has a dog (canine) called "courage the cowardly dog".

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  • $\begingroup$ Dingdingding! We have a winner! Cowardice is the correct answer. Do you want me to just explain the first line or are you still thinking about it? $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, please do explain. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Kennedy Jul 7 '16 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, makes perfect sense! Thanks for that! I'll edit it into the accepted answer $\endgroup$ – Daniel Kennedy Jul 7 '16 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ No worries! Hope you enjoyed my first puzzle. :) $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ Aw Nice! Kicking myself! The Cryptic hint was mean John! Cool though... +1 $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Jul 7 '16 at 14:50
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ANSWER ONE:

The color red

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

Red roses/Apples

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

The stomach is red

I often prevail on the battlefield

Blood

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

The bloody army is losing/Red card in soccer, when a player gets thrown out of the game? Or this could be anger, as in 'seeing red' - being angry often makes you lose judgement and lose.

ANSWER TWO:

Blood

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

????

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

The stomach is red with blood

I often prevail on the battlefield

Bloody battles

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

Again, the bloody army is losing

Answer 3:

A smart mouth

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

Flattering, buttering up

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

When you get angry your stomach turns red

I often prevail on the battlefield

A smart mouth can win battles?

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

Just having a smart mouth doesn't mean you always win - it can often get you in trouble in sports.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for a well-thought-out answer, but not quite! You're not far off with your interpretation of the last line. $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnClifford see my edit. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Jul 7 '16 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ When I said your last answer wasn't far-off it was still logically not quite where I'm looking. Here's a hint: the answer is an abstract noun. $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 11:44
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Is it

Guts

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

I'm not sure about this

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

the intestine or the lower alimentary canal or a part of this

I often prevail on the battlefield

Many warriors show guts in battlefield

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

Can't say

If you look between the incisor and premolar, you'll find a brave one.

The Canine, used for tearing things. Carnivorous have a large Canine to tear/gut animals they hunt.

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    $\begingroup$ Oddly enough, your answer is close in sentiment but on the wrong end. Well done on mostly getting the cryptic hint, but you're thinking of it too literally. :) $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 12:11
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Not a strong answer but...

Iodine?

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

It is important in nutrition and is added to fertilizers used in fruit farming

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

It is used as a dye in medical examinations

I often prevail on the battlefield

It has antiseptic properties

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

Well... You probably couldn't use it as an effective weapon and if you need it you're probably loosing already?

OR could it be

Iron?

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

iron tools

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

iron in the blood makes the blood red

I often prevail on the battlefield

Iron weaponry

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

Philosophical maybe?

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow, both good answers but not the one I'm looking for. Keep trying! Would a hint be useful at this point? $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ I imagine so, yes :) $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Jul 7 '16 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ I'll add a couple to the OP. $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 11:44
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Is it

The colour yellow?

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

Not sure...

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

Yellow belly?

I often prevail on the battlefield

Yellow, as in fear, often prevails in war.

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

Fearful soldiers won't often be victorious.

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  • $\begingroup$ You're incredibly close with your logic but your answer isn't right. Think about something similar to #2 that can also be applied to #1, and what the last two lines represent. $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ Gutted now I've seen the answer... Great puzzle though! $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Jul 7 '16 at 14:52
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Ok. So how about-

Green?

Originally I planted flowers for you to digest

Green fingers / green thumb?

Later I decided to colour in your stomach instead

Eating your greens?

I often prevail on the battlefield

Money can win wars?

But I've rarely carried my team to victory.

And... I have no idea.

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  • $\begingroup$ It isn't a colour, your interpretation of the second line was closer in your last guess. $\endgroup$ – John Clifford Jul 7 '16 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ Darn. Ok. Thinking cap! $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Jul 7 '16 at 12:07

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