Know Any Good Riddles?

I don't know anything at all about viruses and hardly anything about biology in general, but does anyone know any good riddles or lateral thinking puzzles? I used to burn through books of them as a kid, but I haven't thought about them in a long time. Do you have a favorite? What's the last one you heard? (Bad jokes are welcome, too.)

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NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

Two vomits were walking down the street when one got sad and wheepy.

The other vomit asked what was wrong.

The first vomit responded, this is where I was brought up.

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Here's a former lab partner's favorite bad science joke:
Two atoms are walking down the street. One of them stops and looks concerned. "Oh no! I've lost an electron!"
"Are you sure?" the other asks.
"Sure? I'm positive!"

Riddles are a hobby of mine, so I could probably come up with lots of those. I'll start now with a creative thinking puzzle that a physics prof I knew used to get his freshmen thinking instead of just memorizing information:
Three ants are standing together. One ant says, "I see two ants in front of me." A second ant says, "I see two ants beind me." The third ant says, "I see two ants in front of me AND two ants behind me." How do you explain this?

Since I've just realized I have no idea how to change text color to post hidden text with the answer, I'll give people a bit to think and then come back with the answer if no one's gotten it. (Also, that will give me time to think of more favorite riddles...)

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

I just heard the one about the atoms a week or two ago. I was going to post it, but you beat me to it. I love bad jokes.

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

You would have loved the lab partner I got that one from, then. I wish I could remember more of his awful jokes, but they're not coming to me right now. He tended to fill any awkward pause in a conversation with "So, a duck walked into a bar..." Not the entire joke, mind you. Just the opening to change the subject.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

I /love/ that joke. Its one of the first ones I remember that wasn't a totally cheesy kids joke.
And a story to go with that joke. I was at a bar a few months ago to see my Dad play (he's a musician ^-^) and near then end of the night after glances across the bar and such, the bartender and I were talking. We're having a nice little conversation when my Dad walks upto the bar, sits next to me, looks at the bartender and goes "Got any grapes?" Needless to say I went into hysterics and probably turned about 5 shades of red. The bartender just looks confused for a sec then goes down to help one of the other patrons. When he comes back down to our end of the bar my Dad tells him the joke. Boy was that a fun night (pity the bar closed and I never saw 'im again. He was kinda cute Wink ). I just couldn't believe my Dad did that >.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

That is our family joke! Seriously. We tell the kids it's their only inheritance!

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I actually didn't know that one, so I looked it up:

A duck walks into a bar and asks the bartender, “Got any grapes?” The bartender says, “No. This is a bar and we don’t sell grapes.” The duck leaves.

The next day, the duck heads back to the bar and asks, “Got any grapes?” The bartender says, “I told you yeaterday. This is a bar and we don’t sell grapes.”

The following day, the duck returns and asks,”Got any grapes?” The bartender loses it. He grabs the duck by the neck, and yells, “I already told you twice! This is a bar! I don’t have any grapes! If you ask me again, I’ll nail your beak to the floor!”

The next day, the duck goes in the bar and asks, “Got any nails?” The bartender sighs and says, “No, we don’t have any nails.” The duck says, “Good. Got any grapes?”

V's picture

Embodiment

In fact, my professor dropped it on us last week too, although they were traveling through an ionizing radiation field, not "down the street". He's promised additional horrendously bad nuclear jokes for the rest of the semester. I'll try to remember to post them here.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

OK, that didn't work so I'm editing. Use brackets like this:

[ ]

around the word

spoiler

to start the hiding, and when you want to end, put

/spoiler

inside brackets. There are also instructions under "input format" below the comment field.

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Hey, so there are instructions down there... Blush I totally missed that when looking for them earlier. Oops...

Kittae's picture

Postulant

Ummm...are there more than just those? Like, those ants are walking together, but there's other ants walking in front of and behind them?

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Nope. Good idea, but no. There are only three ants.

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Answer to the ant creative thinking puzzle:

Spoiler: Highlight to view

To quote the student who got the answer unintentionally, "He's high."
The third ant is, in fact, hallucinating and seeing each of the other ants doubled. Definitely lateral thinking there, probably intended to get young physics students to analyze the validity of information given to them instead of just accepting it.

I'll try to come up with some more proper riddles/logic puzzles later.

Davik's picture

Embodiment

So yeah, I know I'm a total geek because while I had a brief moment of "what the hell is that ant smoking?", everything I could come up with involved gravitational lensing and mirrors Blum 3

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Apparenly most of the class went through similar contortions before my friend got frustrated enough to come up with the right answer.

Davik's picture

Embodiment

Well, as much time as I spend every day using optics and aligning lasers for FRET work I'm sure I could figure out some geometry that would make this work, even if it involved a couple of large black holes and a spattering of neutron stars to make it work Blum 3

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

a sadist and a masochist are walking down the street. The masochist turns to the sadist and says hurt me and the sadist says no

Yeah it's really bad!!!

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Starts like a bad joke, but I promise it's a riddle...

A guy walks into a bar and asks for a glass of water. The bartender does not give him a drink or say a word. He simply draws a shotgun from behind the bar and points it at the man. The man thanks the bartender and leaves.
Why?

Answer:
(not until you've really thought about it, or what's the fun?)

Spoiler: Highlight to view

The guy's got hiccups. He wanted a glass of water to get rid of them, but the barkeep scared them away instead.
nallath's picture

I like riddles and even won a Hobbit style riddle compitition once. I eventually won with this riddle.

After years of stealing a thief is finally caught and brought before the king. The king, sentences the man to death. However he leaves a small chance for the thief to walk out of this allive.
The thief is told that before he well be hung he is presented two boxes, each holding 5 beans (10 in total). Nine of these beans are black, one of them is white. If the thief manages to grab the white bean while blindfolded he is set free. The black beans mean that he is hung.
The thief is then sent back to the prison, where he will wait for the next day. During this time he hears one of the guards talk to another guard. He mentiones that he exchanged the white bean with a black bean. Whatever the thief picks, he will die!
The thief is shocked by this, but suddenly thinks of a way to regain his freedom for sure!
What must the thief do to survive and regain his freedom?

Note:
There is a way that the thief will ALWAYS get his freedom. Turning the boxes arround and showing that there are no white beans will not work (the king wil order new boxes, giving only a 1 to 10 chance of survival).

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Here's my answer. I'll hide it so other people can keep playing without being influenced by my thought.

Spoiler: Highlight to view

I'm going to go with swallowing (or otherwise disposing of) the bean he picks. Show that the other remaining 9 are all black, so clearly the one he picked was the white bean. Thus he must be set free.
Honestly, the guard did him a favor; this is way easier than a 10% chance of getting the right one.
TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

hanged.
Hung is very different.

choose the bean the guard is carrying?

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

Maybe if that were the case the king would be out there stealing too. Shocked

Clare-Dragonfly's picture

Supplicant

The most recent chapter in my serial, Chatoyant College, is about a riddling contest, and we're having a riddling contest at the forums (though no one has posted anything yet--that's OK, I only posted the opening a few hours ago)... feel free to come and join in!

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I put one up there...you may have to remind me to go back and provide an answer if one doesn't show.

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Riddles are like candy to me. I just can't resist them.

V's picture

Embodiment

My favorite page for that is Brent N. Reeve's Real Riddles.

I've been able to solve probably 3/4 of them, but there's a couple that I'm just not sure what tack I'm supposed to take, and others where I have a guess but am not convinced it's optimal. I really like Trouble in River City since solving it taught me a little algorithmic trickery }:)

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

River City's killing me.
I feel like I -should- be able to do it.

V's picture

Embodiment

Try splitting it into different cases and problems--find the ones you can solve and prune down the tree until you get something workable. Don't expect the same approach to work on everything.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

...are from Beatrix Potter.

Paisleigh's picture

Devotee

One of the things my neighbors/Dad's friends like to share are jokes. I have two posted on my Facebook so I shall go retrieve them now. And if I think of any others I'll post them here as well (While not riddles per-say they are pretty cool non-the-less ^-^)

TALE 1:

Farmer Joe, a pig farmer from Ohio, decides to visit his brother Ted, who is a pig farmer in Texas, for a couple of weeks. Every morning Farmer Joe watches as his Farmer Ted picks up his prize hog Bernard and carries him under an apple tree to feed him. First Ted holds Bernard under one apple and patiently waits as Bernard eats the apple in front of him then moves him to another apple and so on and so forth. Ted does this for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, picking up his pig to feed him fresh-from-the-tree apples.
After watching his brother do this for a week, Farmer Joe goes up to his brother and asks him "Ted," he says "Ted, why is that you spend an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening holding this pig under that apple tree to fed him? Wouldn't it save time to shake down the apples from the tree and let Bernard pick his way through the apples at his own pace?"
Farmer Ted stands there a moment, scratching his head thinking. He asks his brother "Why wouldn't I want to fed Bernard this way?'
"Because its a waste of time. Think of what could be done with the two hours you'd save."
Ted thinks about this a moment then asks his brother "What is time to a pig?"

Tale 2

There was once a bird that lived long ago, high in the Andes called a Phoo bird. Now this bird was massive, it had an 8 foot wing span and could look a 4 year old child in the eye. However, this bird had a strange method of defence- whenever it was attacked it would fly high into the air and shit on its attacker. The trick with this method of defence was when the attacker would clean itself, a film of the birds poo would stay on the skin, reacting with the air to create a deadly posion, killing the attacker. The only way a person could safely clean the Phoo poo off themselves would be to let it dry then scrape and scrub it off in a vacuum so it couldn't react with the air.
One day a great ornithologist-you know, someone who studies bird- wanted to see what he could learn about the elusive Phoo bird, so he took a group of fellow ornithologists, among them his wife, up into the Andes to see if they couldn't catch a glimps of the Phoo bird. Before leaving the village to trek through the jungle, he was warned of the toxitity of the Phoo poo. The ornithologist made a mental note and headed off into the jungle with his expiditaion.
After a week of searching with no sight of the bird, the ornithologist was wanting to give up and head back to he village. Little did he know that for the past three days he and his group had been followed by a Phoo bird. Now Phoo birds are sneaky little buggers, they can glide behind their prey for hours, days even, without being noticed and thats exactly what this one did. Just as the group turned back to head towards the village the Phoo bird swooped up behind the ornithologist, covering him in poo.
One thing to note about Phoo poo is that, not only is it toxic but it smells as well.
The ornithologist couldn't stand the smell and turned back to the river they were walking beside to rid himself of the Phoo poo that covered him.
As he walked towards the river his wife came up to him and said "Shouldn't you wait until we get back to the village so we can get you properly cleaned. They said the poo is toxic."
The ornithologist turned to his wife and said "I can not stand the smell of this, I am just going to rinse off to rid myself of the smell." Wadding into the river he begins to wash himself and as he does so the Phoo poo begins to react with the air and the ornithologist dies.
His now widowed wife turns to one of the native guides with them and asks him "What is the meaning of this? What is the moral?"
To which the native replies "If the Phoo shits, wear it"

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

This are great! I definitely have to remember that...

nallath's picture

Woops about that mistake. English isnt my main language and being dyslectic doesn't really help there. Random Scientist got the answer right!
The guard wil probably toss the white bean away, and telling the guard cheated wil result in a fair test (and the thief doesnt want a fair test, he wants to get out allive!)

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

don't worry about it:
hanged is for people who are being executed.

hung means they have a big dick.
Or, something not-alive that someone hung up.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Two dyslexics walk into a bra....

TheGrayCrayon's picture

Devotee

A girl walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a double entendre, so he gives it to her.

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Here's another of my favorites. And since this is a classic, I'm going to assume someone will know the answer, so I'm not providing it.

He who makes me does not want me.
He who buys me does not need me.
He who uses me does not see me.
What am I?

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

Spoiler: Highlight to view

A coffin?
RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Correct! Nicely done.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

To all Pet Owners

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - nose height.

Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, and try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years -- canine or feline attendance is not required.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:

1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

Remember: In many ways, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

1. Eat less
2. Don't ask for money all the time
3. Are easier to train
4. Normally come when called (well, OK, the cat thinks about it)
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don't smoke or drink
8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don't want to wear your clothes
10. Don't need a 'gazillion' dollar for college.

And finally,
11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

magalicious's picture

Postulant

Oh, that made me laugh in an entirely unladylike manner! (I may have even snorted.) I'm sitting here with my four month old pup, and she's wondering why exactly mommy has gone insane. I'll blame you when I try to keep her out of the bathroom and collapse in a fit of giggles, which will lead to pouncing and face licking. This made my morning - thank you!

Taslin's picture

Postulant

I actually tried to post this one as a guest back before I made an account, but it didn't work for some reason.

Okay, so you have six quarters, arranged like so:

___(1)
(2) (3) (4)
___(5)
___(6)

Your task is rearrange them so that there are four in a row both horizontally and vertically, but you can only move one coin. How is this possible?

Spoiler: Highlight to view
You take coin #6 and place it on top of coin #3. EDIT: Moving #1 instead of #6 will also work.

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