Thursday, February 11, 2010

Riddle Answers - How To Get Them

What can you do to get riddle answers? This depends on the type of riddle. Consider the following examples of a few different ones, and the simple "rules" or techniques you can use to solve them.

Find The Key Element Of The Riddle

Suppose your sock drawer has 6 black socks, 4 brown socks, 8 white socks, and 2 tan socks. How many socks would you have to pull out in the dark to be sure you had a matching pair?

With riddles like this, the fastest way to an answer is usually to find the "key element." Mentioning the numbers of socks of each color is meant to mislead you. In reality, the key element is the total number of different colors. Imagine trying to get a matching pair out of a hundred different colors, and you'll understand this. There are four colors in this case, so taking out five socks guarantees that two will match. Look for the key element.

Watch For Misleading Clues

Are you good at math? Complete the last two in this sequence: 1=3, 2=3, 3=5, 4=4, 5=4, 6=3, 7=5, 8=5, 9=4, 10=3, 11=?, 12=?

Since a riddle usually tries to mislead, as soon as you read "Are you good at math?" you should suspect that this is more than a math problem. The answers for both are 6, because that is the number of letters in the name of the numbers. Look for misleading clues.

Watch For The "Trick"

The frog fell into a hole that was 14 1/2 feet deep. He could jump 3 feet, but he slid back a foot each time he jumped. How many jumps does it take him to get out of the hole?

This riddle answer might appear to be 8 jumps, since the frog only makes 2 feet of progress each time he jumps. It seems that since he is at 14 feet after 7 jumps, he needs one more jump to get out. However, he actually jumps 3 feet each time. Though he normally slides back a foot, his 7th jump, starting from 12 feet, would take him up and out of the hole. Look for the "trick."

Riddle Answers You Won't Get

What English word is nine letters long, and can remain an English word at each step as you remove one letter at a time, right down to a single letter? List the letter you remove each time and the words that result at each step.

This is more like "word trivia" than a riddle. To find the answer, you would probably have to just start going word-by-word through the whole dictionary, testing each nine-letter word. Of course, you could try "reverse engineering" your own solution, starting with a one letter word, like "I," and adding a letter at a time: I, in, tin, tint, stint, stints...

That one only makes it to six letters, but you get the point. Unfortunately, this doesn't give you the answer to the original riddle. This is a way to create new riddles, though, and that is one way to always have the riddle answers.

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