Email me Daily Riddles

5 Tips to Dramatically Improve your Riddle Solving Ability

When you've read over 1000 riddles you begin to see common patterns which when mastered can dramatically improve your ability to solve new riddles and brain teasers. After you've identified the tactic being employed by the riddle the answer is nearly always far more apparent and easier to solve. Mastering these 5 tips can shift a riddle from frustrating to fun. With a bit of practice you're going to look like Einstein at the next trivia night.

Lady thinking intensely
  1. Challenge your assumptions
  2. Riddles often try and misdirect you only to leave you being mocked when the person asking you points out how obviously wrong you are. Ask yourself everything you're assuming to be true in the question the riddle poses. Does the riddle explicitly state everything you're assuming or might you have made an assumption?

    There was once a soldier who had a brother that was wounded in battle. But the wounded man did not have a brother. How could that be?
    Immediately you begin to think of two brothers, one of them wounded. But the assumption we have made is that both soldiers are men. If we challenge this assumption we see the riddle does not state this and so we reach the answer. The solider was a female.
  3. Watch for the wordplay
  4. Riddles love using metaphors, enigmas and wordplay in order to make an obvious question very difficult.
    What can be seen in the middle of March and April that cannot be seen at the beginning or end of either month?
    In this riddle we are thinking of what occurs in the months and we become stumped very quickly. When we reframe the question as words and not months we can see that the letter 'r' occurs in the middle of spelling both words and not at the beginning or end. Take a look at the following riddle using the lesson above and see if you can now answer it:

    How do you make the number one disappear by adding to it? Still stumped you can take a look at the answer here.
  5. Think metaphor
  6. Perhaps the most common (and often frustrating) type of riddle is the enigma. These riddles use metaphors to describe what often seems impossible. Even when you identify the riddle is an enigma the metaphor can still be hard to grasp.
    I fly without wings, I cry without eyes. What am I?
    When searching for an answer of things which fly without wings that also cry we're stumped. Even animals which glide have wings and they're about the only things that can fly and cry right? What if flying didn't literally mean flying? Flying without wings might mean to float. Perhaps crying is also not a literal description. The answer which is clouds then becomes much easier to reach.

    Try this enigma out: We hurt without moving. We poison without touching. We bear the truth and the lies. We are not to be judged by our size. What are we? You can find the answer to this riddle here.
  7. Misdirection
  8. When the answer seems incredibly obvious you're probably reading a misdirection riddle.
    If a green man lives in a green house, a purple man lives in a purple house, a blue man lives in a blue house, a yellow man lives in a yellow house, a black man lives in a black house. Who lives in a White house?
    This riddle is begging for you to think 'White Man' but of course the answer is the President. Knowing riddles use misdirection can you now answer the following riddle? Jodie's mother has 3 children, April, May and what is the third child's name? Check your answer here.
  9. Relax and sleep on it
  10. Solving riddles is a right brain task that is more about creativity than raw computing power. We're at our most creative when we're relaxed. Ever notice how those strange and brilliant ideas come to you when you're in the shower or before bed? Don't worry if you don't have an answer immediately, just stay with the riddle for a while and let the creative regions of your brain go to work.