Born a X, reaching adulthood no longer a X, but dead, X.

What is X?

Clue 1

Although alluded to by the use of "adulthood" X was regarded as a living being.

  • $\begingroup$ Can we take into consideration the article 'a' or can the word have the article 'an' as well? $\endgroup$ – defectedWBC May 9 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ only the article 'a' renders a syntactically "sound" statement $\endgroup$ – TomDot Com May 9 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ Is it rot13(pngrecvyyne)? not sure of the last part though $\endgroup$ – Xnero May 9 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Daniil That isn't the intended answer, but nice try. I'm not sure it would satisfy the riddle as an alternative answer however as I wouldn't consider a dead butterfly to be a caterpiller, although they may have identical genomes. $\endgroup$ – TomDot Com May 9 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ Would rot13(teho) be acceptable? $\endgroup$ – Tom May 11 at 12:27

I think the answer might be

Mute, as in "lacking the power of speech"


So when born, babies lack the power of speech but upon reaching adulthood would no longer be rendered mute. However, dead people lack the power of speech. This word also works well in the sentence structure as it is a noun and an adjective.

Born a mute, reaching adulthood no longer a mute, but dead, mute.

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  • $\begingroup$ I suppose it could also be rot13(oyvaq) $\endgroup$ – Dmitry Kamenetsky May 10 at 2:33
  • $\begingroup$ The hint does say that X is a living being though. $\endgroup$ – Dmitry Kamenetsky May 10 at 2:34

I barely see a real corny answer as

grain, the seed of a crop which when harvested is grain.

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Could X be a

Caterpillar, which later becomes a butterfly.

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