3
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My first is in winter, but never in spring,
My next is in baubles, but never in bling.
My third, it's been said, is in conflict and strife,
My fourth's in your girlfriend and also your wife.
My last is in turkey, but not in Thanksgiving
My whole is essential for anything living.

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4
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Water

The main part of the riddle refers to

letters that are in one word but not in another, or letters that are in both words

My first is in winter, but never in spring

W

My next is in baubles but never in bling

A

My third, it’s been said, is in conflict and strife,

T

My fourth’s in your girlfriend and also your wife

E

My last is in turkey but not in Thanksgiving

R

My whole is essential for anything living

Water is vital to a large majority if not all of living things.

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