The Washington Post

Stretch your brain with riddles

(Alla Dreyvitser/The Washington Post)

A riddle: A man was going home when he saw someone in a mask and ran back. What was he doing and whom did he see?

Riddles are fun. They can be a bit like magic, with the words sometimes tricking you with an almost-hidden meaning.

Riddles aren’t new — the riddle “has been a part of the folklore of most cultures from ancient times,” the Encyclopaedia Britannica says — and in modern times, Batman’s
Riddler also joins the fun.

Do you need a clue to the riddle about a man and a mask? (Skip the next sentence if you don’t want one.) “Going home” might have another meaning.

Here are some other riddles you might enjoy.

●Why are your toes like your nose?

●A cowboy rides into town on Friday, stays for three days in a row, then leaves on Friday. How did he do it?

●An airplane lands at an airport and every single person on board gets off and still people remained on the plane. How could that be?

●What walks on four legs, two legs and three legs?

●A father and son are in a car accident. The father is taken to one hospital and the son is rushed to another. The surgeon sees the boy and says, “I can’t operate. He’s my son.” Who was the surgeon?

●Which word in English becomes shorter when it is lengthened?

●What, when it’s broken, works correctly twice a day?

●A man took a bow without bowing. How could he do it?

●What has wheels and flies, but is not an aircraft?

Riddles can keep you on your toes. Oh, your toes and your nose? They both run.

— Paul Freedman


●Playing baseball. The man rounded third base and saw the catcher.

●His horse’s name was Friday.

●The married people remained on the plane.

●A man or woman, who as a baby moves on all fours, walks on two legs as an adult and uses a cane when older.

●The boy’s mother.


● A clock.

●He took a bow and arrows and went to an archery range.

●A garbage truck.

For more riddles

Check out these books and Web sites for riddles and other jokes.

●“The Everything Kids Giant Book of Jokes, Riddles and Brain Teasers” by Michael Dahl, Kathi Wagner, Aubrey Wagner and Aileen Weintraub. $10.95. Ages 8 to 12.

●“Just Joking: 300 Hilarious Jokes, Tricky Tongue Twisters and Ridiculous Riddles” by National Geographic Kids. $7.95. Ages 7 to 10.

● Hundreds of riddles, knock knocks and other jokes.

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