Only Logic Geniuses Can Answer These 9 Classic Riddles!
From books, from presidents, and from mathematicians, these nine classic riddles are here to stump you! Test your knowledge and wit here!
Coined by mathematician Raymond Smullyan, this riddle's most famous appearance was in the film Labyrinth, and essentially goes like this. There are two identical doors guarded by identical guards. One leads somewhere good, the other somewhere bad. One guard always tells the truth and the other always lies. What question do you ask to figure out which is which?
J.K. Rowling included a sphinx as one of the challenges Harry faces in the Triwizard Tournament maze in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Her sphinx is a little more verbose, asking:
"First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what’s always the last thing to mend,
The middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?"
This riddle comes from ancient Sumeria, and is possibly the world's first:
"There is a house. One enters it blind and comes out seeing. What is it?"
In The Hobbit, Gollum asks:
"Voiceless it cries,
What is it?
This riddle was a favorite of Teddy Roosevelt's:
"I talk, but I do not speak my mind
I hear words, but I do not listen to thoughts
When I wake, all see me
When I sleep, all hear me
Many heads are on my shoulders
Many hands are at my feet
The strongest steel cannot break my visage
But the softest whisper can destroy me
The quietest whimper can be heard."
In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter asks her: "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Which of the following is the author's answer?
In Oedipus Rex, a sphinx asks Oedipus to solve a riddle or face certain death. This is the riddle: "What walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night?"
Finally, here's one from 18th Century England that you might be familiar with thanks to Die Hard with a Vengeance:
"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 kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St. Ives?"
In James Joyce's Ulysses, one of his characters poses this riddle:
"The cock crew,
The sky was blue:
The bells in heaven
Were striking eleven.
‘Tis time for this poor soul
To go to heaven.”
What is the answer he gives?