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Tuff Stuff Riddles

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Some of these are difficult, so challenge yourself!

A traveller comes to a fork in the road which leads to two villages. In one village the people always tell lies, and in the other village the people always tell the truth. The traveller needs to conduct business in the village where everyone tells the truth. A man from one of the villages is standing in the middle of the fork, but there is no indication of which village he is from. The traveller approaches the man and asks him one question. From the villager's answer, he knows which road to follow. What did the traveller ask?

A man walks into an art gallery and concentrates on one picture in particular. The museum curator notices this and asks the man why he is so interested in that one painting. The man replies, "Brothers and sisters have I none, but that man's father is my father's son."

Who is in the painting?

Dee Septor, the famous magician, claimed to be able to throw a ping-pong ball so that it would go a short distance, come to a complete stop, and then reverse itself. He also added that he would not bounce the ball off any object, or tie anything to it. How could he perform this trick?

Name four days of the week that start with the letter "t"?

A man has to get a fox, a chicken, and a sack of corn across a river. He has a rowboat, and it can only carry him and one other thing. If the fox and the chicken are left together, the fox will eat the chicken. If the chicken and the corn are left together, the chicken will eat the corn. How does the man do it?

A train leaves from New York City (NYC) heading towards Los Angeles (LA) at 100 mph. Three hours later, a train leaves LA heading towards NYC at 200 MPH. Assume there's exactly 2000 miles between LA and NYC. When they meet, which train is closer to New York City?

There are 3 black hats and 2 white hats in a box. Three men (we will call them Tom, Bob, and Bill) each reach into the box and place one of the hats on his own head. They cannot see what color hat they have chosen. The men are situated in a way that Tom can see the hats on Bob and Bill's heads, Bob can only see the hat on Bill's head and Bill cannot see any hats. When Tom is asked if he knows the color of the hat he is wearing, he says no. When Bob is asked if he knows the color of the hat he is wearing he says no. When Bill is asked if he knows the color of the hat he is wearing he says yes and he is correct. What color hat and how can this be? There is no play on words and there are no tricks.

boy looking up toward hair

Suppose there is only one barber shop in your town, and it employs two barbers. One of the barbers has a nice, neatly trimmed head of hair. The other's hair is a complete mess. Which of the two barbers should you go to and why?

 

In a major league baseball game, a pitcher faced only 27 batters. Every batter he faced, he struck out. He allowed no hits and no runs, yet his team lost 4-0. How could this be?

A farmer in California owns a beautiful pear tree. He supplies fruit to a nearby grocery store. The store owner has called the farmer to see how much fruit is available for him to purchase. The farmer know that the main trunk has 24 branches. Each branch has 12 boughs and each bough has 6 twigs. Since each twig bears one piece of fruit, how many plums will the farmer be able to sell?

No sooner spoken than broken. What is it?

A magician is standing on a concrete floor holding a raw egg with his hand outstretched. Without the aid of any objects, he is able to drop the egg two feet without breaking it's shell. How does he do it?

There are two books sitting side by side, consisting of exactly 100 pages. The book on the left is upside down. If you add the page number at the extreme left side of the book on the left to the page number at the extreme right side the right hand book, what is the total?

You're in a cement room with no windows or doors. The only thing you have is a mirror and a piece of wood. How do you get out?

A boy was locked in a room by some robbers. All that is in the room is a piano, calendar, and a bed. The room is locked from the outside. What does he eat, drink, and how does he get out?

"The two plastic jugs" Riddle: There are two plastic jugs filled with water. How could you put all of this water into a barrel, without using the jugs or any dividers, and still tell which water came from which jug?

What do these three have in common: Dogs, Diamonds, and Double Plays

Can you think of words with all five vowels in them? And what word has all five vowels in alphabetic order?

What word has 5 letters but is pronounced like only one letter?

There is a frog stuck in a 60 foot well. How many days will it take the frog to get out if for every day he jumps five feet up, but then falls back three feet?

What would you be sure to find in the middle of Toronto?

A baseball team had won a game 19-17. No errors. But not a single man crossed the plate. How could this be?

Uncle Sam opens door number 1

On the game show Let's Make A Deal, Monty Hall shows you three doors. Behind one of the doors is a new car,the other two hide goats. You choose one door, perhaps #1. Now Monty shows you what's behind door #2 and it's a goat. He gives you the chance to stay with your original pick or select door #3. What do you do?

There were two fathers and two sons on a boat fishing. They each caught a fish, but only three fish where caught. How can this be so?

An Arab sheikh tells his two sons to race their camels to a distant city to see who will inherit his fortune. The one whose camel is slower will win. Reluctantly, the brothers started out on this unconventional "race". After wandering aimlessly for days, they came across a wise man and asked him for advice. After hearing the advice of the wise man, the brothers jump on the camels and race as fast as they can to the city. What advice did the wise man offer?

volcano ready to erupt

A volcano erupts in the dark of the night. Four people, carrying only one flashlight, run for their lives. They come to a canyon. There's a footbridge that spans the canyon. The bridge can only support 2 people at a time. Since it's dark, they must use a flashlight to cross. Therefore, after 2 people cross safely, one has to go back to bring the flashlight back to the other side.

The people, suffering from different injuries, travel across the bridge at different speeds. Person #1 takes 1 minute, person #2 takes 2 minutes, person #3 takes 5 minutes, and person #4 takes 10 minutes. Two people crossing the bridge will travel at the speed of the slower person. There are only 17 minutes before the lava destroys the bridge. Find a logical solution where all four people reach the other side safely in 17 minutes or less—but this solution cannot include having any of them go only halfway across, or go across in the dark, or throw the flashlight across, etc. AND REMEMBER: You also have to count the time it takes to go back across the bridge with the flashlight!

lightbulb

In the dark!
In the basement there are 3 light switches in the "off position." Each switch controls one of three light bulbs on the floor above. You may turn on any of the switches, but you may only go up stairs one time to see which light(s) were affected. How can you determine which switch controls each particular light bulb?

pills

There are eight pills. They are all the same size and color. One pill weighs slightly more than the others and it is poisonous. You have a balanced scale and can only use it twice. How can you find the poisoned pill?

If today is Monday, what is the day after the day before the day before tomorrow?

Ahoy, blow, chin, defy, erst, flux, gist, hint, imps, know, lops, most. Twelve reasonably common words. Apart from all having four letters, what do they have in common? Can you provide a five-letter word having the same property? And a six-letter one?

If Susan is 10, Arabella is 20, and Jim and Neal are both 5, but Richard is 10, how much would Jennifer be using this system?

The same five letters can be anagrammed (arranged in different order) into four different words to fill in the blanks in the sentence to make (somewhat) good sense. What are the missing words from the paragraph below -- remember, they all have the same letters.

A farmer with hundreds of _ _ _ _ _, deeply _ _ _ _ _ about the amount of rainfall, and _ _ _ _ _ around with watering the ground because it is dry enough to _ _ _ _ _ him about the possibility of crop failure.

A bank customer had $100 in his account. He then made 6 withdrawals, totaling $100. He kept a record of these withdrawals, and the balance remaining in the account, as follows:

$ Value of
Withdrawals
$ Value of
Balance remaining
$50 $50
25 25
10 15
8 7
5 2
2 0
--- ---
$100 $99

When he added up the columns as above, he assumed that he still had $1 in the bank. Was he right?

A census taker approaches a house and asks the woman who answers the door,"How many children do you have and what are their ages?" The woman replied "I have three children. The product of their ages is 36, the sum of their ages is equal to the address of the house next door." The census taker walked next door, but then came back and said, "You didn't give me enough information." The woman replied, "I can't talk now -- I have to go. I hear my oldest child calling." The census taker then says -- "That's okay. I have everything I need now."

Question: What are the ages of each of the three children and why did the census taker decide he had all he needed after the second visit?

A man has recently escaped from prison and is making his way home on foot. He is walking along a straight rural country lane in bright daylight. He has walked about two miles from the prison, when he sees a police car coming toward him. Despite knowing that all squads would be out looking for him, he ran towards the car for a short while, and and then turned and ran into the woods to hide. Why did he initially run towards the police car?

Here is a rather simple question with a "yes" or "no" answer. It just happens to be phrased in a roundabout way, but that shouldn't disturb you if you find a way to reduce it to it's fundamentals.

"If the puzzle you solved before you solved the puzzle you solved after you solved the puzzle you solved before you solved this one, was harder than the puzzle you solved after you solved the puzzle you solved before you solved this one, was the puzzle you solved before you solved this one harder than this one?" Yes or no?

So far as I can determine, only one other word can be made from the letters of INSATIABLE. Find it.

Each of these words can be changed into something edible by scrambling the letters and making a new word. What foods can you produce from these words when rearranged?

PLAYERS
SANDIER
ASSUAGE
BARELY

spider running around web

A woman walks into a restaurant and asks the man behind the counter for a glass of water. The man pulls out a big hairy spider and tosses it toward the lady. A few minutes later the woman thanks the man and walks out of the restaurant. Why?

I purchased two different pieces of candy. Together they cost $1.10. One candy cost one dollar more than the other candy. What was the price of each piece of candy?

Today as I was running late for work, I quickly got dressed and threw a t-shirt on in the dark. I had it on inside out with my right arm in the left sleeve, and my left arm in the right sleeve. Where was the label?

How many common four letter words can you make from the letters E A M N using all the letters in each word?

digging a hole

If it takes 6 men 6 days to dig 6 holes, how long will it take 3 men to dig half a hole?

It has my name, yet it is not me! Who is speaking, and what is "IT"?

What two words, when combined, hold the most letters?

What starts with an "e," ends with an "e" and usually contains only one letter?

What is the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space; the beginning of every end and the end of every place?

"Pre-School" Test for you:
Which way is the bus below traveling...toward the left or the right?

outline of a bus with windows and wheels included

Can't make up your mind? Look carefully at the picture again. Pre-schoolers all over the United States were shown this picture and asked the same question, and 90% of them gave the correct answer!

You must cut a gold chain to pay someone for 7 days of service. The chain has 7 links on it, and you agree on a price of one link per day. The employee will not work without receiving that day's pay each afternoon, but you do not wish to give him more than his daily payment for the fear that he will not return. Therefore, you must cut some of the links on the chain to make the daily payments. What is the smallest number of links you need to cut so that the employee receives only one link each day?

While driving home after a hard day's work, I came upon the following problem. An entire town had been painted black; the roads, pavements, buildings, hedges, and everything that did not move had been painted black. In addition, my vehicle's headlights were not working, no moon was visible, and power was off in the area, so there were no street or house lights around. At that moment, I entered a curve where a solid black dog (deaf, and thus unaware of the approaching car) was sitting in the road. He had his back to me, so there was not even a glint in his eye, yet I was able to swerve round him quite easily and without danger. How was this achieved?

A man has an acreage where grass grows continuously and evenly. If 20 cows eat all the grass in 96 days and 30 cows eat all of the grass in 60 days, then how long does it take 70 cows to eat all of the grass?

You have three houses or squares drawn on paper, and below them three smaller squares representing gas, water, and electric service. Can you draw a line to get each utility into each house (9 total lines) without crossing over any line, changing the size of some of the houses, or going through one house to reach another?

picture of three houses

Good at math? Try this one....
1=3
2=3
3=5
4=4
5=4
6=3
7=5
8=5
9=4
10=3

So what does
11=?
12=?

What do these words have in common: age, blame, curb, dance, evidence, fence, gleam, harm, interest, jam, kiss, latch, motion, nest, order, part, quiz, rest, signal, trust, use, view, win, x-ray, yield, zone?

What are the science teacher's favorite states?

You have three containers. One has only red marbles, one has only blue marbles and the third has an equal number of red and blue marbles. The labels on the containers have intentionally been switched so that each container is now marked incorrectly.

Your job is to relabel the containers correctly. Of course you could just look in the containers to find out which labels match, but can you do it without looking into each container? Reach into any one of the containers and select one marble. Can you now correctly label all three containers? If not, select a second marble from any container. What is the fewest number of marbles you need to inspect in order to correctly label each container?

During a school lunch break, ten kids are discussing after school jobs. In particular, they would like to know their average monthly salary (for the ten of them), but no one wants to admit openly exactly what they make. Can you devise a way for them to calculate their average (mean) salary without anyone having to tell anyone else what their individual salaries are?

rowboat on a river

What is the fastest time that a group of four people can row to the other side of the river with the following rules in place?

black hat facing wall from the left, white hat, followed by black, then white, facing the wall from the other side

Four men are standing in a line as shown above and they cannot turn their heads. There is a brick wall between A and B that they cannot see through. They know that they each have one hat, and that of the four hats two are black and two are white. They cannot see the color of the hat that they are wearing. In order to be released from the line, they must call out the color of their hat. If they are wrong, no one can leave. They are not allowed to talk to each other, and they have been given ten minutes to figure out their hat color. After 1 minute:

This is not a trick question and there are no outside influences nor any other ways of communicating. They cannot move or see behind them, nor can they see through the wall.

In a recent random drawing of three digits, the number 361 was drawn; immediately afterward in a random drawing of four digits, 2401 was drawn. Both of these numbers have something unusual in common -- what is it? And what are the chances of this happening again, remembering that in a random drawing numbers can begin with one or more zeroes.

Two postmen meet on their routes and they start talking.
Postman A says: "I know you have 3 sons, how old are they?"
Postman B says: "If you take their ages in years, and multiply them together, the result is your age."
A: "That`s not enough info"
B: "The sum of the 3 numbers equals the number of windows in that
building over there."
A: "Hmm... that`s still not enough."
B: "My middle son is red-haired."
A: "Ah, now I see!"
How old are the 3 sons?

Need a more detailed explanation?

A man is asked what his daughters look like. He answers, "They are all blondes, but two, all brunettes, but two, and all redheads, but two." How many daughters did he have?

An old man said to a young man, "I have a daughter. She has as many brothers as she has sisters. Each one of her brothers has twice as many sisters as he has brothers. How many sons and daughters do I have?"

The "he" puzzle:
Name an English word of more than 2 letters that both begins and ends with the letters 'he' (in that order). (Actually, there are two possible correct answers -- and "hehe" is not an acceptable solution.)

Pill Puzzler
You've been placed on a course of expensive medication in which you are to take one tablet of medicine A and one tablet of medicine B daily. You must be careful that you take just one of each because taking more of either can have serious side effects. Taking an A without taking a B, or vice versa, can also be very serious, because they must be taken together in order to be effective. In summary, you must take exactly one of the A pills and one of the B pills at one time. Therefore, you open up the A bottle, and you tap one A pill into your hand. You put that bottle aside and you open the B bottle. You do the same, but by mistake, two Bs fall into your hand with the A pill. Now, here's the problem. You weren't watching your hand as the pills fell into it, so you can't tell the A pill apart from the two B pills. The pills look identical. They are the same size, same weight, same color, same everything, and they are not marked differently in any way. What are you going to do? You cannot tell which pill is which, and they cost $100 a piece, so you cannot afford to throw them away and start over again. How do you get your daily dose of exactly one A and exactly one B without wasting any of the pills?
(speaking of throwing things away, don't miss our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle tips!)

Voiceless it cries
wingless flutters
toothless bites
mouthless mutters

It cannot be seen,cannot be felt
cannot be heard, cannot be smelt
it lies behind stars and under hills
and empty holes it fills

Alive without breath,
as cold as death,
never thirsty,
ever drinking,
when tired, never winking.

Dies half its life
lives the rest
dances without music
breathes without breath

I live above a star, and yet I never burn,
I have eleven neighbors, and yet none of them turn,
I am visited in sequence, first, last or in between,
PRS (& sometimes Q)are my initials, now tell me what I mean.

What is better than the best, more evil than demons, the poor have it and the rich need it, and if you eat it, you will die?

I am one simple word, but I mean different things
One of my meanings brings great forceful swings,
The other of me, may have curve, like the first...
But only one meaning can help quench a thirst.
One of my meanings will often bring cheers,
Either of them could hold a few beers.

As I watch I see the world pass me by.
All the good, the bad, in the twinkle of an eye.
I watch and wait, and patiently sit.
I never began, so I shall never quit.
My only presence is in my being.
It is hardly noticed, and not worth a thing.
I'm fast as light, thin as air.
Run if you can. Run if you dare.
To avoid me is the mark of a fool.
For all you're worth, your life is my tool.
Though concealed, I am not shy
The question is: What am I?

What unusual property do the words FLOUR, TERN, and THIRSTY have in common? 

Here's an original brainteaser submitted by an NIEHS scientist:
What six letter word in the English language contains ten other words without rearranging any of its letters?

On that same order, what seven letter word in the English language contains ten other words without rearranging any of its letters.

You have two fuses (a fuse is something you burn to eventually set off an explosive), one which burns 1 hour and one which burns 2 hours. The fuses do not burn at a constant rate, so, for example, the last few inches of the first fuse could take 5 minutes or 55 minutes to burn. You have as many matches as you want. With these fuses, you have to measure a time period of exactly 45 minutes. How do you do this?

You have a rope that will reach around the earth (+/- 40,000 km). If you put sticks of 1 meter high around the world and lay the rope on these sticks, how much longer will the rope need to be?

Problems in the Elevator: A person lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every day he takes the elevator to go down to the ground floor to go out. When he returns he takes the elevator to the seventh floor and walks up the stairs to reach his apartment on the tenth floor. Only on rainy days does he take the elevator to the tenth floor. He hates the stairs, so why does he do it?

You have four unmarked bottles of pills each containing 100 tablets. One bottle of pills is poisoned. The good pills weigh exactly 1 gram a piece. The poisoned ones weigh exactly 1.1 gram a piece. You also have use of a scale, but can only use it one time. How can you determine with certainty which bottle of pills is poisoned?

You are in a room with 2 doors -- one leads further into the dungeon, one leads to freedom. There are two guards in the room, one at each door. One always tells the truth. One always lies. What one question can you ask one of the guards that will help you pick the door to freedom?

Here's one for the math wizards: Three companies agree to split the $1,000,000 cost associated with a toxic waste cleanup, as follows: 1) Company A agrees to pay four times the amount of Company B; 2) Company C agrees to pay one-fourth the sum of the amounts paid by Companies A and B. How much will each company pay?


Einstein's Riddle:
Einstein has been widely credited online with the following riddle, and with the claim that 98% of the world could not solve it. But several of our NIEHS scientists were able to solve it, and they said it is not all that hard if you pay attention and are very patient. Give it a try:

There are 5 houses in 5 different colors in a row. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage. Other facts:

  1. The Brit lives in the red house.
  2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
  3. The Dane drinks tea.
  4. The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.
  5. The green house's owner drinks coffee.
  6. The owner who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
  7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
  8. The owner living in the center house drinks milk.
  9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
  10. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
  11. The owner who keeps the horse lives next to the one who smokes Dunhill.
  12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
  13. The German smokes Prince.
  14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
  15. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who drinks water.

The question is : WHO OWNS THE FISH?


SEND + MORE = MONEY

Each letter in the above equation stands for a different number, and each time the same letter appears, it is the same number. What is the only set of numbers that makes this equation correct? This is a moderately hard one.


Pronounced as one letter but written with three, two different letters there are and two only in me. I'm double, I'm single I'm black, blue, and gray. I'm read from both ends and the same either way.


What is it that when you take away the whole, you still have some left over?


We travel much, yet prisoners are, and close confined to boot. With the swiftest horse we keep pace, yet always go on foot.


What is it that goes with an automobile and comes with it; is of no use to it,and yet the automobile cannot move without it?


You are a bus driver. At the first stop, 4 people get on. At the second stop, 8 people get on. At the third stop, 2 people get off, and at the last stop, everyone gets off. The question is: What color are the bus drivers eyes?


You and a group of your friends are in the library. One friend says there is a $100 dollar bill hidden between pages 75 and 76 of a book in the library. But you decide not to go and look for it. Why?


Where did the other Dollar Go?

Three men check into a hotel, the manager charges them $30 for one room with three beds which they share. The men go to their room and settle in, after a few moments the manager realizes his mistake, he over charged the three men, the room rate was only $25. He sends for the bellhop to return the $5 to the three men. On his way to the room the bellhop realizes that he can't split $5 between 3 men so he decides to give each man $1 and pocket the remaining $2 as a tip. The bellman returns the $1 to each man. In the three mens minds they each paid $9 for the room, or a total of $27, include the $2 tip the bellhop kept and that equals $29, what happened to the other dollar?


Six glasses are in a row. The first three are full of juice; the second three are empty. By moving only one glass, can you arrange them so empty and full glasses alternate?


You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What are you eating?
(speaking of throwing things away, don't miss our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle tips!)


Why are 1990 American dollar bills worth more than 1989 American dollar bills?


Rearrange the letters in the words "new door" to make one word.


What is the largest amount of money in coins you can have without being able to make exact change for a dollar.


What number when multiplied against itself will result in a number which includes the numbers (1 - 9) in forward order, and then descending in order from the 9? (i.e., to get the number: 12,345,678,987,654,321)


How many words (in the English language) can you think of that exactly rhyme with each of the words below. The blank boxes beneath each word can be used to type in your answers as you think of them.

Month

Orange

Silver

Purple



Historical Teaser:
Where did the common "military salute" get its start?


I am periodically the number 79. They once tried to make me from 29. If you add to me 80, I will appear to be 47 temporarily. What am I?

Learn more at the Lenntech Periodic Table


What is the longest non-hyphenated word in English in which no letters are repeated (each letter appears only once)?


What occurs once in a second, once in a minute, twice in a millennium, but never in the course of a lifetime?


In the eyes, it causes blindness.
In the nose, it makes sneezes,
But some people seek it out,
And act as though it pleases.


What has no content, yet you can see it?


What is bigger when new and grows smaller with use?


What do you use to "hoe a row, slay a foe, and wring with woe"?


John Smith bought a used car for $600 and sold it to Mary Baker for $800. He later bought it back for $1000 and resold it for $1200. How much profit did John make?


I am just a lowly thing, object of much derision,
I am odd because I multiply by division.


Sometimes it glitters, but often not;
May be cold, or may be hot.
Ever changing though the eye can't measure,
Concealed within may be many treasures.
Some find safety beneath its gate,
While some may die beneath its weight!
Old and broken, it brings forth life.


What 3-letter word in English has an odd start, an even finish and an infinitely long middle?


I got it in a forest but didn't want it. Once I had it, I couldn't see it. The more I searched for it, the less I liked it. I took it home in my hand because I could not find it. What was it?


Where can one stand up straight, but still be considered sideways?


At night I come without being fetched. By day tho lost, I'm not really gone. What am I?


Which word in the English language is most frequently spelled wrong?


Rearrange the letters in "OWONDER" to make one word.


What runs fore to aft (i.e., front to back) on one side of a ship, and aft to fore (i.e., back to front) on the other side?


Name one eight letter word that has kst in the middle, in the beginning, and at the end.


"Think of words ending in -GRY. Angry and hungry are two of them. There are only three words in the English language. What is the third word? The word is something that everyone uses every day. If you have listened carefully, I have already told you what it is."


A clever thief in the olden days was charged with treason against the king and sentenced to death. But the king decided to be a little lenient so he let the thief choose his own way to die. What way should the thief choose?


My host thinks I'm an irritation, a bother, a pain.
But he can't evict me, so I stay, remain.
Then one day I'm taken and ranked among my peers.
Can you guess just what I am? Then you might call me dear.


I can make you lighter, or cause your death. Some are afraid of me, but I'm also loved by many.


There is a common English word that is seven letters long. Each time you remove a letter from it, it still remains a common English word -- from seven letters right on down to a single letter. What is the original word, and what are the words that it becomes after removing a letter at a time?


What falls but never breaks?


What breaks but never falls?


Part carbon, part water,
I am poison to the fishes.
Many falsely claim my name,
I am the pause that refreshes.


An egg salesman was asked how many eggs he had sold that day. He replied, "My first customer said, 'I'll buy half your eggs and half an egg more'. My second and third said the same thing. When I had filled all three orders, I sold out of eggs without having to break a single egg the whole day." How many eggs were sold in all? Explain this!


It can be cut and will grow back. Yet when you least expect it, it may disappear never to return.


I'll lap at your heels,
If you give me the chance.
Though I won't fetch or stay,
I surely will dance.


You can see it, but you can't touch it. It may disappear, but has never really left you. It grows throughout the day. What is it?


Hi! Ma and Pa told me I'd better say that all the two-letter words in this paragraph have something in common ...... or else! What's the common factor here?


You are taking a vacation on an island in the middle of a lake. The lake is in a remote part of Maine and there has never been a bridge connecting the island to the land. Every day a tractor and wagon gives hay rides around the island to all the children. Puzzled as to how the tractor had gotten onto the island, you ask around and find out that the tractor was not transported to the island by boat or by air. Nor was it built on the island. Explain how the tractor may have gotten there?


There is a barrel with no lid and some rum in it. "This barrel of rum is more than half full," said Charlie. "No it's not," say Harry. "It's less than half full." Without any measuring implements and without removing any rum from the barrel, how can they easily determine who is correct?


What two words in the English language uses all five vowels plus Y in alphabetical order and uses each one only once?


By Moon or by Sun, I shall be found; yet I am undone when there's no light around.


The more you have of it, the less you see. What is it?


Only one color, but not one size,
Stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies.
Present in sun, but not in rain,
Doing no harm, and feeling no pain.


Forward I am heavy, but backward I am not. What am I?


It is in a rock but not in stone,
It is in marrow but not in bone.
It is in a bolster but not in bed.
It's not in the living, and not in the dead.


What is nothing, yet has a name? It is sometimes tall and sometimes short. It joins our talks and joins our games, And plays in every sport.


I know a word of letters three. Add one letter to it and none there will be. What is the word?


What is it that has four legs, one head and a foot?


I weaken all men for hours each day. I show you strange visions while you are away. I take you by night, by day take you back, None suffer to have me, but do from my lack.


They have not flesh nor feathers, nor scales nor bone; but they do have fingers and thumbs of their own.


Many things can create one. It can be of any shape or size. It is created for various reasons, and it can shrink or grow with time. What is it?


This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it! In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is unusual though. Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out! Try to do so without any coaching!


More detailed explanation for the Postman Riddle: 

The most important feature to recognize in solving this puzzle is that Postman A needed to know that Postman B did not have twins in order to solve the puzzle. That means that there must be two possible solutions that satisfied the "age in years" and "number of windows" conditions of the problem. He needed to rule out twins to solve the problem. To summarize, there must have been two potential solutions with 3 son's ages having:

(i) equal products (the age condition)

(ii) equal sums (the windows condition)

(iii) one involving twins and one not.

If you really wanted to be fussy, since a house cannot have a fraction of a window, it also means that the ages of the sons must all be in integers (whole numbers) and not involve fractional ages.

The one solution to the problem that satisfies all of these conditions is (1, 5, 8) which has the same sum (14) and the same product (40) as another possible solution involving twins (2, 2, 10). There is just no other solution that works involving a postman's age less than 90 years old. That is, another solution that works mathematically is 2-5-9 and 3-3-10, but that would make the postman 90 years old.

It is a part of us, and then replaced.
It escapes our bodies to a better place.
The world becomes its sizable home.
Its passions unrestrained, the planet it roams.

I have a face, yet no senses. Time is of the essence to me, but I do not really care what time it is.

What five letter word would be pronounced the same if its last four letters were removed?

If nine-thousand nine-hundred and nine dollars is written as $9,909, how should twelve-thousand twelve-hundred and twelve dollars be written?

What are the minimum number of modifications needed to make the equation: 1 + 1 + 1 = 142 true?

My scale is something that does not weigh in grams, ounces, or pounds. However I may be heavy or light. What am I?

I am in a place where weight does not exist, and every direction I face is up. Where am I?

Weight in my belly, trees are my back, nails in my ribs, feet I do lack.

Double my number, I'm less than a score,
Half of my number is less than four.
Add one to my double when bakers are near,
Days of the week are still greater, I fear.

What force and strength cannot get through, I with a gentle touch can do.
And many in the street would stand, were I not a friend at hand.

For all times it's unchanging, it divides without traces;
it's powers are limited to itself and it's bases.

What word in the English language, when written, can be turned upside-down to result in an abbreviation of the antonym of the original word?

What is yours, but is used by others more than yourself?

What does everyone have that goes up, but never comes down.

Nearly bright as the sun,
Sometimes dark as space. Like a pearl on black velvet,
with diamonds twinkling in my case.
What am I?

Many many keys I have, but no door I unlock.
Four strong legs and enchanting voice,
Yet I never run or talk.
What am I?

I'm a house with two boarders (sometimes one, but rarely three).
Break my walls, eat my boarders, then throw away the rest of me.
(speaking of throwing things away, don't miss our Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle tips!)

A truck leaving New York for West Virginia weighs exactly 2 tons. About halfway through the trip, it crosses a bridge with a maximum capacity of 2 tons -- any more weight on it, and the bridge will instantly collapse. Just before the truck crosses the bridge, a 2 pound tree limb falls and lands on the roof of the truck and remains there as the truck crosses the bridge. But the bridge does not collapse. Why?

Nothing inside, nothing outside, at least that you can see.
I'm as light as a feather, yet ten men can't lift me!
What am I?

We are five little things of a similar sort. You will find us all on a tennis court.

What makes my left hand, my right?

What is the only 6-letter word in the English language that gives you 12 when you take away 1?

Though liquid to start, don't push me too far,
For then I will break, and the damage may scar.
What am I?

A man drove all the way from New York to San Francisco only to discover at the end of the trip that he had a flat tire from the very start. Yet his car was completely unaffected by it? How is this possible?

My timpini play a rhythmic song,
With hammer on anvil I play along.
Down my canal no ship sets course,
And I have a stirrup that fits no horse.
What am I?

Past mountain, meadow, field, and hill, it follows a river while standing still.

I am all that I am and all that you see,
Yet I'm nothing at all and from you I flee.
Formed of distortion, perceptions awry,
I play the horizon where always I lie.
What am I?

A strange attraction compels me to hold your things most dear, yet I know it not, and feel no warmth in my holding. My brothers and I stick close together until one faces me, and then is pushed away. What am I?

Throughout history, there have been thousands of well-documented cases of horses jumping over towers and landing on clergy and small men, forcing their removal. When does this bizarre-sounding phenomenon occur?

"One third of six and two thirds of eleven make seven." Explain why this statement is correct.

Name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

I am found on land and in sea, yet I neither walk nor swim. I travel by foot, but have no toes. No matter where I roam, I'm never away from home. What am I?

I am made of the stuff around me, but lighter than it. More of me is hidden than seen. What am I?

What is always coming but never truly arrives?

I am not alive, but I grow; I don't have lungs, but I need air; I don't have a mouth, and water kills me; What am I?

There is a word in the English language in which the first two letters signify a man, the first three signify a woman, the first four signify a great man, and the whole word represents a great woman. What is the word?

A shepherd has one wolf, one lamb, and a bundle of grass. He needs to get all three things from one hill to another. He has to prevent the wolf from eating the lamb and the lamb from eating the grass. The hills are connected by a bridge. He can only carry one thing at a time, so he cannot carry all three at the same time. The wolf will not eat the lamb, and the lamb will not eat the grass as long as the shepherd is there. How does he get them across without one eating the other?

What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?
(speaking of throwing things away, don't miss our Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle tips!)

What do you throw out when you want to use it, but take in when you don't want to use it?

When can you add 2 to 11 and get 1 as the correct answer?

You are given three sacks. Each sack has any number of gold pieces of equal size and shape. However, one sack has only pieces of iron pyrite. The pieces of iron pyrite are equal in size and shape and appearance to the gold pieces, but there is a difference in weight between the gold and the fools gold. Let's say that the pyrite weighs one-half ounce and the gold weighs one ounce. The pieces all look essentially identical, so you cannot tell which sack contains iron pyrite by looking at the pieces. You are then handed a scale, and are allowed to take only one measurement in which you weigh pieces from all three sacks simultaneously. You can decide how many pieces from the sacks that you would like to include in the single weighing. How do you prove which sack has the "fool's gold"? Assume that you cannot tell the difference in weight when you are handling the pieces -- you must determine which bag is which only by the total weight reflected on the scale.

Apples and Oranges: In the garage behind your house, you have three big boxes. One of the boxes is labeled "Apples", another one "Oranges" and the last one "Apples and Oranges". The only thing you know is that none of the labels is correct! How can you correctly re-label all the boxes, if you are only allowed to take out ONE fruit from ONE of the boxes?

Waiting For A Train: Every day, a wife picks up her husband at the train station at 5:00 p.m. One day he arrives early, at 4:00, and he decides to walk along the same road that his wife will be traveling. She meets him along his way, and takes him home from there. If he had waited at the train station, she would have arrived exactly at 5:00. But having met him along the way, they were able to get home 20 minutes early. So what time was it when she actually picked him up?

I know a word of letters three. Add two, and fewer there will be. What word could this be?

While exploring the unknown, three scientists get caught by a group of criminals. A game is played to give the scientists an opportunity to go free. In the game, the scientists are tied in a row so that one scientist can see the backs of the other two in front of him, the scientist in the middle can only see the back of the one scientist in front of him, and the one in the very front cannot see any of the others. They are shown five colored feathers, among which there are three white feathers and two black ones. They are blindfolded and each of them is given a feather from the group of five to put in the back of his hair. Then the blindfolds are taken off, and they are asked to call out the color of their own feather as soon as they can tell what it is, without discussing it with the others first. If even one of them can guess the correct color of his feather, all three of them will be released. A little time passes and none of them speaks...then the man bound to the very first stake (who actually can't see anybody) correctly names the color of his own feather. What thoughts lead to his conclusion?

The Family Reunion: At a recent family reunion, the family consisted of 1 grandfather, 1 grandmother, 2 fathers, 2 mothers, 4 children, 3 grandchildren, 1 brother, 2 sisters, 2 sons, 2 daughters, 1 father-in-law, 1 mother-in-law, and 1 daughter-in-law. How many people at the reunion and describe them?

Who am I? With thieves I consort, with the vilest in short, I'm quite at my ease in depravity, yet all divines use me and savants can't lose me, for I am at the center of gravity. Who am I?

There was once a soldier who had a brother that was wounded in battle. But the wounded man did not have a brother! How could that be?

The maker doesn't want it; the buyer doesn't use it; and the user doesn't see it. What is it?

A child is born in Boston, Massachusetts to parents who were both born in Boston, Massachusetts. But the child is NOT a United States citizen. How is this possible?

What has a mouth but does not speak, has a bed but never sleeps.

You can see nothing else when you look in my face
I will look you in the eye and never lie.

I am so simple that I only point; yet I guide men all over the world.

Three times what number is no larger than two times that same number?

If three men can chop down three trees in three hours, how many men will it take to chop down six trees in six hours?

What's better than the best thing and worse than the worst thing?

The day before yesterday Cindy was 17. Next year she will be 20. How can this be?

Here is a riddle, I'm happy to say:
This gets larger, the more you take away.

The shape of my form will waver and bend,
From the things I'm destroying and the things I will rend.
My color will vary from bright red and blue,
The power I'm using will dictate my hue.

To some I'm thought beautiful, to others I'm not.
Most times I'm quite round, but sometimes I'm not.
And when I'm not round, I need more attention.

A man brought a jeweler six chains that each had five links. He wanted the jeweler to join all six chains together to make one long, closed, circular chain. The jeweler said, "It'll cost you a buck for every link I open and close. You want me to join six chains, so the job will cost you six bucks." "No, no," replied the man, "the job can be done for less." Is he right, and if so, how could it be done?

If 5 dogs can catch 5 cats in 5 minutes, how many dogs will it require to catch 100 cats in 100 minutes?

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What rationale is there for the above arrangement?

When can you travel fairly fast,
yet never get far from the first place you passed?

I do not fly, though some claim I do. I do not stand still, yet it may seem I do. You cannot stop me, no matter how hard you try. What am I?

You should keep it after giving it.

What has eight fingers and two thumbs but can't pick up anything by itself?

Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain on Earth?

Clara Clatter was born on December 27th, yet her birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

Frank and some of the boys were exchanging old war stories. James offered one about how his grandfather (Captain Smith)led a battalion against a German division during World War I. Through brilliant maneuvers he defeated them and captured valuable territory. Within a few months after the battle he was presented with a sword bearing the inscription:

"To Captain Smith for Bravery, Daring and Leadership, World War One, from the Men of Battalion 8."

Frank looked at James and said, "You really don't expect anyone to believe that yarn, do you?" What is wrong with the story?

In what year did Christmas and New Year's fall in the same year?

A woman from New York married ten different men from that city, yet she did not break any laws. None of these men died and she was never divorced. How was this possible?

Why are 2010 American dollar bills worth more than 2009 American dollar bills?

How many times can you subtract 5 eggs from a carton holding 25 eggs?

A taxi driver was called to take a group of passengers to the train station. The station is normally an hour away, but with traffic being extra heavy, it took a full hour and a half. On the return trip the traffic was still as heavy but it took only 90 minutes. Why?

How could you rearrange the letters in the words "new door" to make one word? Note: There is only one correct answer.

Even if they are starving, natives living in the Arctic will probably never eat a penguin's egg. Why not?

Which is correct "The yolk of the egg are white" or "The yolk of the egg is white"?

In Okmulgee, Oklahoma, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

There were an electrician and a plumber waiting in line for admission to the "International Home Show". One of them is the father of the other's son. How could this be possible?

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