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The following is an adaptation of a Riley riddle. Good luck!

  • A is a friend and foe of the wind
  • Without B, wheels will go astray
  • C bears around it what all others of its kind conceal

The answer ...

  1. begins with the first 4 letters of A
  2. has the last 5 letters of B in the middle
  3. and ends with the first 5 letters of C

Hint 1:

A and C can stand as separate words on their own

Hint 2:

Parts 1 and 2 overlap

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  • $\begingroup$ Are the letters of each word in order? I.e. if A is abcde, could the word start with cdab or can we assume it will be abcd? $\endgroup$ – CG. Jan 24 at 8:36
  • $\begingroup$ @CG., yes the letters of each word is in order. $\endgroup$ – Ébe Isaac Jan 24 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ Is the answer a 14-letter word? Or is there an overlap of letters between A and B, B and C that makes the final word shorter? $\endgroup$ – Phylyp Jan 24 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Phylyp The answer to your question would be another hint. The solutions to Ridley riddles may or may not have overlaps. $\endgroup$ – Ébe Isaac Jan 25 at 1:52
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A is a friend and foe of the wind

wind - first 4 letters of windmill, a friend or foe if too windy. (Unusual as wind is in the clue.)

Without B, wheels will go astray

indle - last 5 letters of spindle, a rotary axis.

C bears around it what all others of its kind conceal

straw - first 5 letters of strawberry, the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside.

The answer ...

windlestraw - a thin, dried grass stalk, which would once have been green and thicker.

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  • $\begingroup$ You got it, Tom! $\endgroup$ – Ébe Isaac Jan 26 at 11:25
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    $\begingroup$ Darn it! I found windlestraw too, but google didn't give any results other than a hotel in Scotland. English is not my first language so I haven't heard it before. I find the definition of a windlestraw now that I know what I'm looking for... $\endgroup$ – CG. Jan 27 at 7:31
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I believe the answer is:

clearings

Why?

First off,

A clearing is an area in a forest from which trees and bushes have been removed. The forest used to be thick and green, but now clearings are, well, cleared.

A is a friend and foe of the wind:

cleaners, or more specifically, air cleaners. From wikipedia: An air purifier or air cleaner is a device which removes contaminants from the air in a room to improve indoor air quality. So, it's a friend of the wind, since it removes contaminants, and an enemy since it forces its will upon it.

Without B, wheels will go astray:

bearing. Without bearings, a wheel will definitely go astray. "A bearing is a machine element that constrains relative motion to only the desired motion, and reduces friction between moving parts."

C bears around it what all others of its kind conceal:

rings. I can't explain it, but I guess the clue fits somehow. Also, it could be any word starting with the letters "rings", so it could be another word.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice effort (+1), but you C doesn’t match the description provided. $\endgroup$ – Ébe Isaac Jan 25 at 16:57
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Edit: With the feedback I got and the new info in the comments to the Question showing this to now be the right train of thought, I'm no longer going to try to make this work.

This is a partial answer and a work in progress. I think I have the final answer and am working backwards from there.

A is a friend and foe of the wind:

airplane; it works with and against the wind, and it also fits the first 4 letters of my guess for the answer.

Without B, wheels will go astray:

The letters from my final answer guess are: rieme, so I'm guessing something about a rim, but I still don't have a good enough guess on this.

C bears around it what all others of its kind conceal:

sad words? They describe what other words try to avoid saying? Going off the "adows" of my proposed final answer.

What was once thick and green:

prairie meadows; we've cut down most of the prairies to make way for cities, roads, and fields. What's left of the prairies are for grazing animals, so they aren't very thick anymore.

The sections are:

prai rieme adows

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice try, but the answer is one word not three :) $\endgroup$ – Ébe Isaac Jan 24 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ @ÉbeIsaac, actually, my answer is 2 words, but the new info in the comments definitely rules out this as an answer. $\endgroup$ – computercarguy Jan 24 at 17:04

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