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troubleinharlem's avatar

What are some of your favorite riddles/brainteasers?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7978points) September 20th, 2010

I’m in the mood for some brainteasers, riddles, mind games and what have you – what are some that you personally like?
Right now I like this one: “If guns don’t kill people and people kill people, does that mean that toasters don’t toast toast, but toast toast toast?”
I don’t know why, I just like thinking about it.

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24 Answers

Hawkeye's avatar

Ok. There is a guy in a park and he’s been running to three places but can’t make it home. Why?

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Hawkeye : Uhm… I don’t know. xD

Hawkeye's avatar

@troubleinharlem He’s playing baseball, He ran to first, second, and third, but was out before reaching home plate

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@troubleinharlem Not really a riddle, just a play on the phrase you mentioned.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people [and monkey’s do to (if they’ve got a gun)].

Blackberry's avatar

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Blackberry : Why?
@papayalily : heh, reminds me of something I saw on animal planet once.

Blackberry's avatar

@troubleinharlem I was hoping someone knew the answer lol! It’s a riddle that was never answered from the movie Alice in Wonderland.

ducky_dnl's avatar

What has a mouth but cannot eat what moves but has no legs and what has a bank but cannot put money in it?

Kayak8's avatar

As toasters toast bread, I am confused about your opening riddle.

@ducky_dnl a shoe, a clock, a river . . . .

Kayak8's avatar

@Blackberry Check here for the answer.

ducky_dnl's avatar

@Kayak8 A river. (:

It was too easy.

Kayak8's avatar

One of my favorites from childhood: What goes up a chimney down but can’t go down a chimney up?

muppetish's avatar

Aw shucks, @Kayak8 got to the Carroll answer before I could :) Lurve for both you and @Blackberry for asking the riddle in the first place.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Blackberry : I don’t get it. xD So… it doesn’t have an answer?

Berserker's avatar

This one’s easy as all hell, but for some reason I totally love it; The man who builds it will not need it, the man who buys it will not use it, and the man who will use it will never be aware that he is using it. What am I?

muppetish's avatar

@Symbeline A coffin.

I’m quite fond of Tolkien’s riddles, though they’re quite easy too:

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town
And beats high mountain down.

Berserker's avatar

Time, haha. I would have never guessed it if I didn’t read the book though. And yeah, a coffin.

Kayak8's avatar

My other riddle got lost in all the excitement over Lewis Carroll’s unanswered riddle.

What goes up a chimney down but can’t go down a chimney up?

Strauss's avatar

@Kayak8 the chimney sweep’s umbrella!

Here’s one: Long story short, I went to the jailhouse to bail someone out. I was asked to explain my relationship to the man I was bailing out, to which I replied:

Brothers and sisters I have none,
But that man’s father is my father’s son…

Kayak8's avatar

@Yetanotheruser The man speaking is the father of the man in jail.

ILovezSparkles2's avatar

Actually, this riddle is designed to be nonsensical, and according to its author, Lewis Carroll, he never intended for there to be any real answer to the question: “why is a raven like a writing desk?” The entire point of the riddle is that it has no answer, although numerous people have come up with creative interpretations of the riddle.

This question is posed in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in a scene with Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Dormouse at the famous Tea Party. Alice is informed that riddles are being exchanged, and the Mad Hatter asks “why is a raven like a writing desk?” The guests attempt to puzzle the riddle out, and several pages later, the Hatter admits “I haven’t the slightest idea.” The scene is meant to illustrate the tipster world into which Alice has fallen, with the whole book illustrating how confusing the adult world seems to children. When Alice asks about why they are wasting their time with riddles which have no answer, she’s really asking a larger question about adults.

In an introduction to a later edition of the book, Lewis Carroll addressed the issue, saying “Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end in front!” In the original preface, “never” was spelled “Nevar,” which is “raven” backwards. Carroll’s pun was unfortunately lost to the red pen of a proofreader, confusing the issue of the riddle even further.

A number of people have come up with creative answer to “why is a raven like a writing desk.” The answer “Poe wrote on both” is popular, as is “they both stand on sticks” and “they both come with inky quills.” One wit responded with “because there is a B in both and an N in neither,” an answer which was meant to highlight the absurdity of the original question. (Saying it aloud might make it clearer.)

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