‘Riddle me this’, if you’ve heard these three words, then you’re obviously familiar with the concept of riddles. And, chances are, you’ve probably solved a bunch too. But, in case you’re an amateur (gasp!), let’s just begin with what is a riddle, and how does one go about asking them or answering them.
Riddles are basically questions that have been intentionally phrased in a way that ascertain clever and witty answers. They can also be a single sentence that invokes a sense of realisation. But, whatever the definition may be, one thing is clear: riddles will riddle us for years to come. Get it?
A riddle can be as hard or as simple as you want. The thing with riddles is that the answer can either be right in front of your nose, and maybe in the riddle itself, or it could be more complicated than you anticipated because the riddle itself is really hard to comprehend. It all depends on how much you’re willing to open your mind to possibilities.
History Of Riddles
Riddles originally originated in ancient English poetry, and go all the way back to the days of Plato and Aristotle. In ancient Greece, riddles were used to demonstrate wit and wisdom. It was only later, that even writers and poets started expressing themselves through riddles. Many poems consist of riddles, that not only stimulate a reader's mind but also allow the poet to convey his or her message across in a more fun and interesting way. If you read some of these poems closely, you’ll realise that the answers to these riddles are also in the poem. So, without further ado, here are all the riddles you should be familiar with.
Riddles In Movies
Today, riddles can be found in movies too. For example, in the movie Saw, Jigsaw, the lead character of the movie, gives his victims a chance at survival by engaging them in a riddle. While most of the times the answer is quite easy, there are times when his riddles are really difficult to comprehend. Take this riddle from the movie, "Do you feel you have enough faith to stick this out, or do you need the help of some higher power? Look around, salvation may be right across the room." The answer to this riddle was a cross.
Here are some other riddles that you would have come across in Hollywood movies-
- Transporter 2: “What’s round, but not always around? It’s light, sometimes; it’s dark sometimes. Everyone wants to walk all over me. What am I?”
Answer: The moon.
- Batman Forever: “Tear one off and scratch my head. What once was red is black instead.”
Answer: A match.
- Inside Man: “What weighs more? All the trains that pass through Grand Central Station in a day or all the trees cut down in a year to print U.S. Currency?”
Answer: They both weigh the same (since they both weigh nothing).
- Angels & Demons: “From Santi’s Earthly Tomb with Demon’s Hole,‘Cross Rome the mystic elements unfold, The Path of Light are laid, the sacred test, let angels guide you on your lofty quest.”
Answer: The Path of Illumination. The riddle tells Langdon that he must follow the angels that are in different parts of Rome to discover the Path of Illumination, and finally reach the Church of Illumination.
- Hobbit: “Thirty white horses on a red hill: first they champ, then they stamp, then they stand still.”
Riddles For All Ages
- "Three eyes have I, all in a row; when the red one opens, all freeze."
Answer: is a traffic light.
- What does Mill + Walk + Key=?
- "What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?"
Answer: A towel of course.
- "No sooner spoken than broken. What is it?"
Answer: It is silence.
- "I am weightless, but you can see me. Put me in a bucket, and I'll make it lighter. What am I?"
Answer: A hole.
- What is so fragile that when you say its name you break it?
- I have a tail, and I have a head, but I have nobody. I am NOT a snake. What am I?
Answer: A coin.
- What falls, but does not break, and what breaks but does not fall?
Answer: Night falls and day breaks.
- You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat?
Answer: An ear of corn.
- I have holes in my top and bottom, my left and right, and in the middle. But I still hold water. What am I?
Answer: A sponge.
- What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps?
Answer: A river.
- I never was, am always to be. No one ever saw me, nor ever will. And yet I am the confidence of all. To live and breathe on this terrestrial ball. What am I?
Riddles That Will Make You Laugh
- What two things can you never eat for breakfast?
Answer: Lunch and dinner.
- What word is spelt incorrectly in every single dictionary?
- What never asks a question, but gets answered all the time?
Answer: Your cell phone.
- What goes up but never ever comes down?
Answer: Your age.
- A girl fell off a 50-foot ladder but didn’t get hurt. How come?
Answer: She fell off the bottom rung.
- What starts with ‘e’ and ends with ‘e’ but only has one letter in it?
Answer: An envelope.
- How can a girl go 25 days without sleep?
Answer: She sleeps at night.
- You spot a boat full of people, but there isn’t a single person on board. How is that possible?
Answer: Everyone on board is married.
- How do you make the number one disappear?
Answer: Add the letter G and it’s ‘gone’!
- What’s greater than God and more evil than the devil. Rich people want it, poor people have it. And if you eat it, you’ll die?
Riddles That'll Boggle Your Mind
- X is the father of Y. But Y is not the son of X. How’s that possible?
Answer: Y is the daughter of X
- A man dressed in all black is walking down a country lane. Suddenly, a large black car without any lights on comes round the corner and screeches to a halt. How did the car know he was there?
Answer: It was daytime.
- A rooster laid an egg on top of the barn roof. Which way, did it roll?
Answer: It didn’t roll – since when did roosters start laying eggs?
- An electric train is moving north at 100mph and a wind is blowing to the west at 10mph. Which way does the smoke blow?
Answer: An electric train doesn’t emit smoke
- How can you drop a raw egg on a concrete floor without cracking it?
Answer: The Egg won’t crack the concrete floor!
- If a doctor gives you 3 pills and tells you to take one pill every half hour, how long would it take before all the pills have been consumed?
Answer: 1 hour! Take the 1st pill right away, half an hour later take the 2nd, and half an hour after that the 3rd. Total time spent: 1 hour!
- If Mr Smith’s peacock lays an egg in Mr Jones’ yard, who owns the egg?
Answer: Peacocks don’t lay eggs, only peahens do.
- If there are 6 apples and you take away 4, how many apples do you have?
Answer: The 4 you took.
- If you had only one match and entered a dark room containing an oil lamp, some newspaper, and some kindling wood, what would you light first?
Answer: The match.
- Some months have 31 days, others have 30 days. How many have 28 days?
Answer: All months have 28 days.
- What goes up and down, but still remains in the same place?
- How far can you walk into the woods?
Answer: Halfway. After that, you are walking out of the woods.
- What happens when you throw a blue rock into the yellow sea?
Answer: It will become Wet.
- How many times does the alphabet ‘a’ appear from 0-100?
Riddles For Math Geeks
- X is an odd number. Take an alphabet away from X and it becomes even. Which is that number?
Answer: Seven (Seven-S=Even)
- You are given 3 positive numbers. You can add these numbers and multiply them together. The result you get will be the same. Which are these numbers?
Answer: 1, 2 and 3
- I have a barrel of wine and your job is to measure one gallon from it. I can give you a five-gallon container and a three-gallon container? How can you help me?
Answer: First of all fill up the 3-gallon container with wine. After that, you have to transfer the same to the 5-gallon container. Then fill up the 3-gallon container again and transfer the wine to the 5-gallon container until it is full. The leftover in the 3-gallon container is 1 gallon of wine.
- Tom was asked to paint the number plates on 100 apartments which means he will have to paint numbers 1 through 100. Can you figure out the number of times he will have to paint the number 8?
Answer: 20 times. (8, 18, 28, 38, 48, 58, 68, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 98)
- What is the maximum possible number of times you can subtract the number 5 from number 25?
Answer: Only once. That’s is because when you subtract 5 from 25 for the first time, it becomes number 20, then 15, and so on.
- William has a toaster with 2 slots. So he can toast one side each of 2 pieces of bread simultaneously which takes 1 minute. He wanted to make 3 pieces of toast for breakfast. What is the minimum time required to do so?
Answer: 3 minutes! First of all, he can put two pieces of bread in the toaster. After 1 minute, one side each of the 2 pieces of bread get toasted. He can then flip a side of bread and take the other one out. And he can place the 3rd piece of bread into the free space of the toaster. After the second minute, he can take the completely toasted bread out and flip the other one. Then place the half-toasted bread into the free space to toast the fresh side. After 3 minutes, all 3 pieces of bread get toasted.
- Robin tosses a coin 10 times and it lands in the heads position all ten times. So what are the possible chances that he tosses it again and it lands on heads?
Answer: He has a 50 per cent chance to toss the coin and see the heads up position. This is because the coin toss is not dependent on the first 10 tosses.
- There are 100 pairs of dogs in a zoo. Two pairs of babies are born for every dog. Unfortunately, 23 dogs have not survived. How many dogs are left in total?
Answer: 977 dogs (100 x 2 = 200; 200 + 800 = 1000; 1000 – 23 = 977)
- If you multiply me by any other number, the answer will always remain the same. Who am I?
- The price of a duck is Rs. 9, a spider costs Rs. 36, and a bee is priced at Rs. 27. By taking into account this information, what will be the price of a cat?
Answer: Rs.18 (Rs. 4.50 per leg)
- It takes 12 men 12 hours to construct a wall. Then how long will it take 6 men to complete the same wall?
Answer: No time! There is no need to construct the wall again since the job is already done.
- What did the sculpture say to his girlfriend?
Answer: I love you with all my art.
- What is mine, but only you can have?
Answer: My heart.
- Did Adam and Eve ever have a date?
Answer: No, but they had an apple.
- What did the boy light bulb say to the girl light bulb?
Answer: I love you a whole watt.
- It is not in your tummy, but somewhere above. It is thought by many to be the symbol of love.
Answer: The heart.
- How does a vampire refer to his sweetheart?
Answer: His ghoul friend.
- How do you spell a pretty girl with only two letters?
- What did the man with a broken leg say to his nurse?
Answer: I have a crutch for you.
- What are the three rings in marriage?
Answer: The engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering.
- What did the man say about his Korean girlfriend?
Answer: She was his Seoul mate.
- Did you hear about the romance in the tropical fish tank?
Answer: It was guppy love.
- What three words are said too much, yet not enough?
Answer: I love you.
- What did the paper clip say to the magnet?
Answer: You’re very attractive.
- What did the sculptor say to his sculpture girlfriend?
Answer: I love you with all my art
Riddles That'll Test Your Intellect
- A lift is on the ground floor. There are four people in the lift including me. When the lift reaches the first floor, one person gets out and three people get in. The lift goes up to the second floor, 2 people get out and 6 people get in. It then goes up to the next floor up, no-one gets out, but 12 people get in. Halfway up to the next floor the lift cable snaps and it crashes to the floor. Everyone else dies in the lift. How did I survive?
Answer: I got out on the second floor!
- I have no voice, yet I speak to you. I tell of all things in the world that people do. I have left, but I am not a tree. I have a spine, but I am not a man. I have hinges, but I am not a door. I have told you all. I cannot tell you more. What am I?
Answer: A book
- You are in a room that has three switches and a closed door. The switches control three light bulbs on the other side of the door. Once you open the door, you may never touch the switches again. How can you definitively tell which switch is connected to each of the light bulbs?
Answer: Turn on the first two switches. Leave them on for 5 minutes. Once 5 minutes have passed, turn off the second switch, leaving one switch on. Now go through the door. The light that is still on is connected to the first switch. Whichever of the other two is warm to the touch is connected to the second switch. The bulb that is cold is connected to the switch that was never turned on!
- Crime Scene: A large wooden box was built with one door. The door was locked from the inside, and then nailed shut from the inside. The police break into the room. In the middle of the room, there is a dead man hanging from the ceiling, with his shoes 3 feet off the ground. The only other thing in the room is a hammer lying in a puddle of water. Can you explain what happened?
Answer: He committed suicide by hanging himself standing on a block of ice. And the ice melted.
- An Arab sheikh is old and must will his fortune to one of his two sons. He makes a proposition. His two sons will ride their camels in a race, and whichever camel crosses the finish line LAST will win the fortune for its owner. During the race, the two brothers wander aimlessly for days, neither willing to cross the finish line. In desperation, they ask a wise man for advice. He tells them something; then the brothers leap onto the camels and charge toward the finish line. What did the wise man say?
Answer: The rules of the race were that the owner of the camel that crosses the finish line last wins the fortune. The wise man simply told them to switch camels.
- A man is looking at a photograph of someone. His friend asks who it is. The man replies, “Brothers and sisters, I have none. But that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who was in the photograph?
Answer: His son
- There is a fishing trailer, with a ladder in it, leaning against a wall at the harbour. There are five oars and two fishing nets in the trailer. The distance between two consecutive steps on the ladder is 1 meter. If waves lashing against the wall rise half a meter in every half hour, how much time will it take for the six steps of the ladder to get submerged underwater?
Answer: The trailer rises with the waves, so no steps will go under water.
- As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives. Each wife had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats, each cat had seven kittens. Kittens, cats, sacks, and wives, how many were going to St. Ives?
Answer: One. Only 1 was going to St. Ives.
So, what are you waiting for? Start riddling.
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