I'm bored again. Nothing controversial this time, though hopefully it will be thought-provoking (but not in the mass debate/discussion kind of way.)


Here are some riddles I enjoy posing to people. I will not post the answers, I will leave it to you all to solve them. I will respond to your comments and tell you if you're right or wrong.


We'll start with easy ones.


1) You have two coins in your hand totaling 30 cents. One of the coins is not a nickel. What are the coins?


2) You walk into a dark room. In the room there is a wax candle, an oil lantern, and a wood stove. You have only one match. What should you light first?


3) You're a farmer and you have three fields. Field one has 7 hay stacks. Field two has 4 hay stacks. Field three has 12 hay stacks. If you combine all your hay stacks from all three fields, how many hay stacks will you have?


This next one will be obvious to you all since it's written down, but you can use it on your friends: It only really works when it's spoken.


4) You're driving a bus. At the first stop 7 people get on the bus. Got it? At the second stop 3 people get off and 9 get on. (Pause while they do math) Got it? At the third stop 4 get on and 1 gets off. (Pause) Ok? And the fourth stop 12 get on and 5 get off. (You get the idea) Ready? At the fifth stop 2 get on and 6 get off. Got everything? At the sixth stop, everyone gets off. What color are the bus driver's eyes? (The answer will be immediately obvious upon reading this a second time, but the point is that you're not supposed to be able to read it a second time, you're only supposed to have heard it and no, you can't ask for it to be repeated.)


Finally, a few thinkers that I've baffled many a listener with, even when I give them DAYS to come up with an answer.


5) You're in a room with three switches. These three switches operate three light bulbs in another room, however this other room on the other side of a wall and you can only reach it by walking out and going all the way around the building. Once you leave this room you cannot return, and there is no way to observe the light bulbs from within the room. How do you determine which switches operate which lights?


And my personal favorite, which has been featured in various forms in several movies and TV shows and so some of you may immediately recognize it, but if you don't you could spend months pondering this and never get it.


6) You've died and stand in purgatory. Purgatory, for the purposes of this riddle, is a nondescript white room. Two identical white doors stand on opposite sides of the room. In the center of the room is a plaque, flanked by two identical men. The plaque explains that one of these doors will take you to Heaven, and the other will take you to Hell. You may ask the men beside the plaque one question. Not one question each, but one single question that both men will answer. One will always lie, and one will always tell the truth. What do you ask to determine which door is which?


Notes for this final riddle:


1) If you open one door the other will vanish, and the denizens of whichever realm you have opened will enter the room to retrieve you, so please don't suggest opening a door and peeking inside.


2) The liar is not necessarily standing closer to hell, nor is the honest man necessarily standing closer to heaven, so identifying which is which does NOT give you any indication as to what door goes where. Please don't suggest something as simple as asking them what your name is, and then assuming that by learning who's lying and who's telling the truth you can thus determine what door goes where. Remember, you only get to ask that one question.


Oh, and for those of you who like J.R.R. Tolkien hobbit-style rhyming riddles, here's one for you: Walk on the living and they don't even mumble. Walk on the dead and they mutter and grumble. What are they?

Uploaded 06/20/2008
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