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Underused by Americans,
Lucky from below an animal,
Plucking at your tin cans,
Sequential in this riddle.
Do you know what I am?
Can you find my shape?
If so, you truly know yourself.

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3 Answers 3

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I believe the answer is

the letter U.

Underused by Americans,

Colo(u)r, valo(u)r, etc.

Lucky from below an animal,
Plucking at your tin cans,

Kit-Ginevra's answer (go upvote it if you like this one) observes that

line 2 is surely talking about horseshoes; perhaps then line 3 is talking about horseshoe-shaped magnets used for separating tin cans and other ferromagnetic metal items from landfill? Or U-shaped can openers (which I think exist but aren't exactly the norm)? ... OP's remarks in comments suggest that line 3 is referring to magnets but not specifically to anything to do with rubbish separation; perhaps the point is simply that (often-horseshoe-shaped) magnets will exert a force on many "tin cans" since despite the name they are usually made mostly of steel.

Sequential in this riddle.

First letter of the first line. Second letter of the second line. Third letter of the third line. Etc.

Do you know what I am?
Can you find my shape?
If so, you truly know yourself.

You know "you". (Perhaps there is more to those lines, besides the fact that "U-shaped" is a fairly standard way to describe things that are, er, U-shaped, but if so it has escaped my notice.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Good job so far! The thing you've missed in the last few lines is also the key to the second and third lines. $\endgroup$ Jan 10, 2018 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, interesting. Will think further. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jan 10, 2018 at 0:47
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    $\begingroup$ I would leave just "Baaa!" as a comment but that's 10 characters tewe fewe. $\endgroup$
    – shoover
    Jan 10, 2018 at 0:55
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    $\begingroup$ There might certainly be a ewe in line tewe, but I'm still failing to see what's so lucky or what it has to dewe with tin cans. (I also wondered whether line 2 was hinting at under/dog but that also gets me nowhere.) "Fortunate" means lucky and contains both a ewe sound and the letters of a can of tuna, but I don't see how to turn that into something coherent either... $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jan 10, 2018 at 1:00
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    $\begingroup$ "Lucky from below an animal" = Horseshoes are shaped like a U and are sometimes considered to be lucky. $\endgroup$
    – bwarner
    Jan 10, 2018 at 18:34
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Lucky from below an animal is...

A horseshoe is found below an animal,is U-shaped and is supposedly lucky.

As for plucking at your tin-cans

A plectrum is shaped like a letter U, and I assume that tin-cans can be used as a synonym for (guitar,banjo,ukulele) strings

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  • $\begingroup$ Line 2 is correct, line 3 isn't. (Was going to say more than that, but this puzzle is only 20 minutes old, so I'm sure someone will get it soon anyway :-) ) $\endgroup$ Jan 10, 2018 at 0:55
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, nice. There are horseshoe-shaped can openers and horseshoe-shaped electromagnets that might be used to remove (not-actually-tin) cans from a big pile of rubbish, I guess. Not super-convinced by either. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jan 10, 2018 at 1:01
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I think the answer is

Foot

Underused by Americans,

The stereotype is that they are lazy? (No offense meant, I am American)

Lucky from below an animal,

If an animal's feet are above them, they are probably dead.

Plucking at your tin cans,

Foot drum?

Sequential in this riddle.

Iambic foot?

Do you know what I am? Can you find my shape? If so, you truly know yourself.

You know yourself if you know the exact shape your feet

Edit:

Oh, I didn't realize the top answer was already correct, just without the all the clues filled in.

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    $\begingroup$ Hmm, I'm not aware of that particular stereotype about Americans. The idea of using the double meaning of "foot" as a body part and a unit of poetry is nice - filing away for possible use in a future riddle - but I'm afriad this isn't the right answer. $\endgroup$ Jan 10, 2018 at 1:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Randal'Thor first thing I thought of when seeing the title, -> gyms, exercise, etc. It's a stereotype based on the obesity rate of americans being one of the highest in the world (highest in major countries) $\endgroup$
    – Aequitas
    Jan 10, 2018 at 6:10
  • $\begingroup$ "If an animal's feet are above them, they are probably dead." Or a sloth hanging from a tree, but it's sometimes hard to tell the difference :-) $\endgroup$
    – user15498
    Jan 10, 2018 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ Claiming that Americans underuse feet would be a rather poorly conceived clue, since we with measure distance in feet. $\endgroup$ Jan 10, 2018 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ "Plucking at your tin cans makes me think" of the shape of the tab on top of a soda can or sometimes food cans. That you pluck at to open. Would that be it? $\endgroup$
    – Sensoray
    Jan 11, 2018 at 13:33

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