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I break under pressure, but don't worry. I can take the heat.

I am ancient. Time is important to me, it kept me from going soft.

I share some qualities with desserts, but when I am eaten, I kill.

I am a window to the past, and through trial by fire, I help make the future.


Small hint:

Think about donuts and sugar cookies, and the process by which they are made.


Now that it has been answered, a couple notes about it:

Line 1 refers to the fact that clay (and all ceramics) can be heated to incredible temperatures without breaking. Line 2 is pretty self-explanatory, but I think that line 3 is the hardest. It refers to the fact that clay is 'baked' in a kiln, but also to the 'glaze' that often covers ceramics. It perhaps is a little known fact, but clay with a fine consistency is actually very dangerous to ingest. Finally, line 4 refers to ancient pottery showing archaeologists the past, but clay still has many uses in building and pottery today.


My first puzzle! Please let me know if I can improve this post in any way. Thanks.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling. This looks like a decent riddle to me :) $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 16 '17 at 4:11
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Are you

Clay

I break under pressure, but don't worry. I can take the heat.

Clods of mud can break when pressure is applied, but clay can be baked into bricks.

I am ancient. Time is important to me, it kept me from going soft.

Clay formation takes a long time. Over time, as clay dries it becomes harder.

I share some qualities with desserts, but when I am eaten, I kill.

Maybe because clay is doughy, and clay can be poisonous.

I am a window to the past, and through trial by fire, I help make the future.

Ceramics/pottery from ancient civilisations are made of clay. Clay can be used to build houses (for the future?)

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    $\begingroup$ You got it right! $\endgroup$ – SuperWild1 Feb 16 '17 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ @SuperWild1 You can accept the answer by clicking the checkmark next to this question if you feel it correctly answers your riddle. (Doing so also signals to other users that this is the correct answer, as it will bubble to the top of the answers list.) $\endgroup$ – Brian J Feb 16 '17 at 15:21
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Are you

Glass

I break under pressure, but don't worry. I can take the heat.

Glass can break under pressure but can't be broken by heat.

I am ancient. Time is important to me, it kept me from going soft.

Hour glass was used in ancient times as a clock.

I share some qualities with desserts, but when I am eaten, I kill.

Desserts are mostly served in glass containers. Also, ground glass can kill if consumed.

I am a window to the past, and through trial by fire, I help to see the future.

Window to past might be referring to glass windows. Not sure about the trial by fire thing..

Old answer

Ricin or Castor Seeds

I break under pressure, but don't worry. I can take the heat.

Castor seeds break under pressure but the outer covering protects it from heat.

I am ancient. Time is important to me, it kept me from going soft.

Its ancient and takes time to completely grow.

I share some qualities with desserts, but when I am eaten, I kill.

Ricin cakes referring to desserts are well known and Ricin is highly toxic.

I am a window to the past, and through trial by fire, I help to see the future.

Not sure. Probably castor oil was used in trial by fire to see the future.

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  • $\begingroup$ I honestly never would have thought of that. However, it's not what I had in mind. Thanks for the edit, by the way. I'm not super used to the formatting on these sites yet. $\endgroup$ – SuperWild1 Feb 16 '17 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ @SuperWild1 Updated the answer. The last line throws me off. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 16 '17 at 5:12
  • $\begingroup$ You are much closer, but there is an answer that fits the riddle better. The last line is a bit mean upon reflection, I'll make it a tiny bit less confusing. $\endgroup$ – SuperWild1 Feb 16 '17 at 5:23
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Are you

Sand

I break under pressure, but don't worry. I can take the heat.

Sand easily crumble but is resistant to fire.

I am ancient. Time is important to me, it kept me from going soft.

It is very old and is used in hourglass.

I share some qualities with desserts, but when I am eaten, I kill.

Dessert -> Desert -> Sand

I am a window to the past, and through trial by fire, I help to see the future.

Window(glass) in the past was sand
Trial by fire(burning it into glass) -> glass ball(used in divination)


OLD ANSWER
Just a little guess.

Are you a Fossil?

I break under pressure, but don't worry. I can take the heat.

Can be broken by pressure but not fire.

I am ancient. Time is important to me, it kept me from going soft.

It is very old, and time has made it hard.

I share some qualities with desserts, but when I am eaten, I kill.

errr... looks like a cookie?

I am a window to the past, and through trial by fire, I help to see the future.

It shows how things were in the past, helping us extrapolate how we evolved until now and how we will continue to evolve in the future.

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  • $\begingroup$ A good guess, but it doesn't really fit line three. Maybe the title is a little misleading... $\endgroup$ – SuperWild1 Feb 16 '17 at 4:29
  • $\begingroup$ I kill is still confusing. Also, future might refer to fortune cookies. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 16 '17 at 6:01
  • $\begingroup$ Is it a convention on this site to edit incorrect answers with a new guess at the top? It just seems weird, because I skip to the comments, see the OP comment about the answer being wrong, then immediately scroll back to the beginning and mouse over the spoiler. Then again, this one in particular has the answer in a comment too, just to make sure it's spoiled :P $\endgroup$ – Darren Ringer Feb 16 '17 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ @DarrenRinger Basically it is for the sake of preserving the answers already given and which were not way off the track. If the incorrect answers were out of scope, solver may overwrite it completely. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Feb 16 '17 at 14:22
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Are you

Silica (Silicon dioxide)

I break under pressure, but don't worry. I can take the heat.

Silica breaks under pressure, and can take heat

I am ancient. Time is important to me, it kept me from going soft.

Silica has been known since ancient times (Wikipedia)

I share some qualities with desserts, but when I am eaten, I kill.

Desert is full of sand and silica is the major constituent of sand

I am a window to the past, and through trial by fire, I help make the future.

glass id made by heating silica and silica is also used to create microelectronics like chips which makes the future.

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    $\begingroup$ I like the dessert pun. This answer is a good sub for the intended answer. $\endgroup$ – SuperWild1 Feb 16 '17 at 14:11
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I think @AeJey has it (+1) but I was thinking of

Cinnabar

I break under pressure, but don't worry. I can take the heat.

It can be crushed (Mohs hardness of 2 to 2.5) and it forms primarily in volcanic regions

I am ancient. Time is important to me, it kept me from going soft.

Time and pressure turns mercury and sulphide minerals into cinnabar

I share some qualities with desserts, but when I am eaten, I kill.

Dry and toxic

I am a window to the past, and through trial by fire, I help make the future.

Cinnabar has sat in the ground for a long time. Heat is used to extract the mercury which has many modern uses including separating precious metals from sediment.

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