When you’ve got a good thing going, sometimes your instinct is to keep it to yourself. Too many cooks spoil the broth and all of that, am I right?
Riddles don’t really seem to be of those things. Much like puns, they’re much more delightful if you have someone to tell them to, to be able to watch their face as they’re stumped, or as they begin to work out the answer.
If you’re always on the hunt for a good riddle, here are 14 you might not have heard before now.
14. Not so simple.
A man is running down a hallway. A light flickers and he slows to a walk. What’s happened?
Answer: He’s trying to make it to a prison to present evidence that a man on death row was innocent/stop him from being executed, but he sees the light flicker from the surge of them activating the electric chair so he knows he’s too late and the prisoner was already executed??
13. I’m not sure how true this is, but.
Everyone wants one, but once you have it, you want to give it away.
Answer: A secret
12. The only possible answer.
What is greater than God, more evil than the devil and if you eat it – you die?
11. This one stumped me.
I have four arms, six legs, spit acid and yet everyone wants me.
What am I?
Answer: A liar
10. Abstract enough to drive people nuts.
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You’re trapped in a fully enclosed room with no windows and no doors. It is impossible to break through or dig under the walls. The only things you have in the room are a mirror and a table.
How do you escape?
Answer: You look in the mirror, see what you saw. Take the saw, cut the table in half. Two halves make a whole, climb out the hole.
9. I’m officially deceased.
Disclaimer: This riddle needs to be spoken, not written. Reading it here will give it away.
Two penguins are kayaking through the desert. One turns to the other and says, “Where’s your paddle?” The other replies, “Sure does.”
From experience, people go nuts trying to figure out why that’s the response. Just repeat the whole thing to them while they try to figure it out.
Answer: (The answer is, the first penguin is actually saying, “Wears your paddle.” Trying to paddle a kayak through the desert sand really wears down your paddle.)
8. This one will get you.
What’s brown and rhymes with snoop?
Answer: Dr. Dre
7. A classic for a reason.
A cowboy rides into town on Sunday and stays for two days and nights and leaves on Friday. How did he do it?
Answer: His horse is named Friday.
6. Either way.
A man walks into a bar asking for water. The bartender looks at him for a moment and fires a gun into the ceiling. A little bit surprised the man thanks the bartender and walks out. What the heck was happening?
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Answer: The man in question had hiccups. The shock of the gunshot cured them for him
5. Not a trick question.
You’re on a game show with three doors. Only one has a prize. You pick Door 3. They show you Door 2 (which they know) is empty.
Do you stay with Door 3, or switch to Door 1?
Answer: Switching doors gives you a higher probability of success. This is the Monty Hall Problem.
4. I love this one.
What rooms have no walls?
3. Too many prisoners.
Four prisoners are arrested for a crime, but the jail is full and the jailer has nowhere to put them. He eventually comes up with the solution of giving them a puzzle so if they succeed they can go free but if they fail they are executed.
The jailer puts three of the men sitting in a line. The fourth man is put behind a screen (or in a separate room). He gives all four men party hats. The jailer explains that there are two black and two white hats; that each prisoner is wearing one of the hats; and that each of the prisoners is only to see the hats in front of them but not on themselves or behind. The fourth man behind the screen can’t see or be seen by any other prisoner. No communication between the prisoners is allowed.
If any prisoner can figure out and say to the jailer what color hat he has on his head all four prisoners go free. If any prisoner suggests an incorrect answer, all four prisoners are executed. The puzzle is to find how the prisoners can escape, regardless of how the jailer distributes the hats.
The 3rd prisoner, seeing 2 black/white hats, will know that his is white/black and will say immediately.
If the 3rd prisoner sees 1 black and 1 white, he will stay quiet for some time. The 2nd prisoner will notice that and realise that he and the 1st prisoner has a black and white each. The 2nd prisoner who can see white/black on the 1st prisoner will deduce that his own hat is black/white respectively.
2. An oldie but a goodie.
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What is red, but smells like blue paint?
Answer: Red paint
1. 99 people, 1 problem.
You and 99 other people are kidnapped and placed in solitary confinement for an indefinite amount of time, having no way to communicate with the others.
You will all either gain your freedom or be put to death depending on if you can answer the kidnappers correctly.
Each hour, one person at random (you are also in the random mix of 100 total people) is taken into a room with two switches that resemble light switches. They are face-up on a table. There is nothing else in the room. There’s nothing to write with and no possible way to communicate with anyone else by any means like writing in the walls or anything like that. You are required to flip one of the switches when brought to the room, no matter what. After you flip the switch, you get escorted back to your solitary confinement. Also, you can only flip one of them each time you get taken into the room.
Being selected at random, the same person can go twice in a row, or three or four or 50 times in a row (who knows right? It’s random).
You must tell the captors when all 99 have been through the room in order to gain your freedom. You only have one opportunity and if you guess correctly, you are given your freedom. If you guess incorrectly, you get out to death.
You have 15 minutes to plan with the other 99 so that they have the same plan as you to know when everyone has been through. How do you do it?
Answer: One person is designated as the leader, only they may flip the first switch down. Each person when going into the room will look at the first switch, and flip it up if it is their first or second time seeing the switch down (more on this later).
The leader keeps track of how many times he has flipped the first switch down, and once he gets to a total twice the number of people who are not leader, so in this case, 198. The reason that each person does it twice is to prevent the possibility that any given person is never selected to go in the room and the switch happens to be up initially.
In that scenario the leader would’ve switched it 99 times without said person ever visiting the room, however with 198, the issue with the switch being up to start is negated because having flipped it up an extra time past the 196 mark (98×2), the leader knows person 99 has visited at least once
I’m definitely going to memorize a few of these for future use.
What’s your favorite riddle? If it’s not here, share it with us in the comments!