The Riddler from Batman might have brought them back into the limelight, but riddles have been around since the earliest of civilisations. From the Bible to Alice in Wonderland, these clever sentences, phrases, and questions have left millions stumped and speechless. In general, riddles can be categorised into enigmas, problems that are expressed in metaphorical or allegorical language that require careful thinking to unearth their hidden meaning, and conundrums, questions that incorporate puns or jokes for the purpose of humour.

You are about to encounter riddles from across time, be it ancient paragraphs that still confound us or lines from the silver screens that are bound to seem all too familiar. Rest assured, the answers and solutions are listed at the end of this article.

Ancient Riddles

What Am I?

1. I am like a house, one enters blind and comes out seeing.

2. I go on four legs in the morning, on two at noon, and on three in the evening.

3. He who makes me does not need me.

He who needs me does not use me.

He who uses me does not see me.

4. I shall die if left unfed, all that touches me turns to red.

5. I have lakes but no water, mountains but no stone, and cities but no monuments.

Movie Riddles

6.

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?

From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

7.

This thing all things devours:

Birds, beasts, trees, flowers,

Gnaws iron, bites steel;

Grinds hard stones to meal;

Slays king, ruins town,

And beats the mountain down.

From the Hobbit

8.

30 white horses on a red hill; first they champ, then they stamp, then they stand still.

From The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

9.

In my mind’s eyes, I see three circles joined in priceless, graceful harmony.

Two full as the moon, one hollow as a crown.

Two from the sea, five fathoms down.

One from the earth, deep under the ground.

The whole, a mark of high renown.

Tell me, what can it be?

From Clash of the Titans

10.

Tear one off and scratch my head,

What once was red is black instead.

From Batman Forever

Short Riddles

11. I am so fragile, even the faintest whisper breaks me.

12. Just as one breaks but never falls, the other falls but never breaks.

13. I run but cannot walk,

I have a mouth but cannot talk.

I have a head but I do not weep,

I have a bed but never sleep.

14. The more taken, the more left behind.

15. I turn once, what is out will not get in.

I turn again, what is in will not get out.

Answers

  1. A School
  2. Human
  3. A Coffin
  4. Fire
  5. A Map
  6. A Spider
  7. Time
  8. Teeth
  9. A Ring
  10. A Match
  11. Silence
  12. Day and Night
  13. A River
  14. Footsteps
  15. A Key

By Karran Kumar

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