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I'm not a mortar shell

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Assailants in duos ensnare me with pleasure

And belt out their joyous refrain

If held by just one, it's so drastic a measure

On self's then inflicted the pain

I keep not to lines when I'm sent into action

In circles and arcs are my dives

Behold my approach? Then with lightning reaction

Ignite antigravity drives

Evade me perhaps, but I'll win through attrition

Unless you're unusually skilled

Then two of my kind might set out on a mission

So then you're more easily killed

My power... no longer suffices?

Replaced by these novel devices

My numbers have waned

As they took the rein

For sure at some much higher prices

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17 answers to this question

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Posted · Report post

F-117 stealth fighter

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A rocket?

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Not an F-117. Since it's a single seat figher, the first stanza talking about the differences between having two people control it versus just one wouldn't seem to have a great explanation. (Not that I would recommend googling for two seater fighters as it would be a waste of time if done simply for the purpose of this riddle.)

And also not a rocket. Not because it's contradicted by the body of the riddle, but because of my riddling structure. My riddles are always titled "I'm not a [decoy answer]", and although they're written to seem at first blush like they're describing the decoy answer, they're actually describing something that is most definitely very different. And I would not consider a rocket to be sufficiently different from a mortar shell to make for a good riddle.

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A bald eagle

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I'm not sure whether or not eagles characteristically avoid flying in straight lines. More typical for that sort of behavior would be the circling of a buzzard. And turning on one's antigravity devices might be an appropriate response to an eagle attack under some circumstances, but would not be so natural of a response that it should be a clue in a riddle about an eagle. (Of course any response to a buzzard attack would be moot because the prey is typically already dead.)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

a mouse???

;)
Edited by EDM
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Boomerang?

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Neither a mouse nor a boomerang, as there are some clues in the third verse that they don't seem to adequately explain. Winning through attrition is one such clue. The fact that "I" will sometimes act in pairs if one isn't enough is also a characteristic that might seem like it could apply to all sorts of different things, but will clearly make sense as particularly fitting for the subject of the riddle once it's revealed. At least more so than a mouse or boomerang, which aren't particularly known for acting in pairs.

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...a flying insect that often swarms, like a bee or wasp, perhaps.

(Evading one predator would be easier than two 'Assailants in duos ensnare me with pleasure', and I picture the bee or wasp trying to sting its assailant 'If held by just one, it's so drastic a measure On self's then inflicted the pain', sometimes failing and stinging itself.)

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Posted · Report post

I wanna say

A shinook helecopter?

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Hiya plasmid.

pinball?

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Hiya plasmid.

pinball?

Whoa.. I think ya got it :D

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also like Wilson's - as usual. but just in case...

stereo/speakers

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Hiya plasmid.

pinball?

This is a very good answer, even if not the one I had in mind. The first stanza's bit about being painful if held by a single flipper would certainly be true, even if it would be a very unusual move for anyone to try to make. And while the choice of the word "evade" in the third stanza seems like a strange way of describing "not losing", I can see how you could interpret it as "not letting it come all the way down towards me". At some point when it's not late I'll have to try to approach this with fresh eyes and try to gauge whether it and the thing I have in mind are comparably well fitting.

But for now it's very late and tomorrow will be an early day, so I'll have to duck out simply saying that the others aren't what I'm riddling about.

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RAM??? Or cuckoo clock???

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Jump Ropes?

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Jump Ropes?

So that's the joyous refrain that the little schoolyard assailants in your area belt out as they're raising and lowering the lash on another, is it? Wilson wins the war of attrition against the mystery of this riddle.

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