We start learning riddles when we are very young, but never seem to tire of the fun of trying to guess a riddle’s answer. As we get older, we are able to solve progressively harder riddles. Hopefully, you are reading this article because you are ready for a challenge. Let’s start with some preparation, just in case you need it.
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Tips for Solving Hard Riddles
- Think long and hard before you attempt an answer.
Riddles are designed so that the first answer you think of is usually wrong. The goal is to misdirect you by presenting what appears to be an obvious answer. Stop and think some more before you take a guess.
- Practice by solving progressively harder riddles.
This article starts with some hard, short, one-line riddles. Then we have some hard “What Am I?” riddles. Next, we challenge you with some long story riddles. Finally, we have some tough logic riddles to really challenge your mind. Each time you successfully answer a riddle, your ability to solve riddles becomes better.
- Look for patterns, hints, and ask yourself, “What is really the question here?”
You will notice that some riddles are based upon letters and some on numbers. Sometimes, the answer is built right into the riddle. Some riddles are based upon double meanings, for example, words like haul and hall. Once you begin to notice the patterns, solving riddles becomes easier.
- Break down the riddle into parts and answer each one.
Longer riddles are easier to solve if you break them down into parts and solve each one. This works especially well for logic and story riddles. Remember that every word and punctuation mark is important.
- Repeating the riddle can help you find the solution.
Read the riddle multiple times or ask the person who is reciting the riddle to say it more than once. Familiarity with the words in the riddle helps and the more you read the riddle, the more you are apt to see the clues that provide an answer.
Now, it’s time to challenge yourself with some hard riddles with answers!
Short Hard Riddles
Our hard, short, one-line riddles are great for sharing with your friends and family. They are easy to remember, fun, and help relieve stress. These short, hard riddles work well for a team game; see which team can answer the most riddles. Alternatively, set a timer to see which team is the fastest.
- How can you make six into an odd number?
- What water can you eat and chew?
- What kind of tables do not have legs?
- What do you get if you add two blackberries and five apples?
- What’s fluffy, cute, huggable, and goes up and down?
- A barrel of water weighs 60 pounds. What must you put in it for it to weigh 40 pounds?
- How many seconds are there in January?
- What can you find in here, there, and everywhere?
- What is there one of in every corner and two of in every room?
- What building has the most stories?
- What grows up while growing down?
- What can you fill with empty hands?
- What word looks the same upside down and backward?
- What time of day is spelled the same forwards and backwards?
- My head is red but turns black when you scratch it. What am I?
- What word describes a woman who does not have all her fingers on one hand?
- What loses its head in the morning but gets it back at night?
- What can’t be burned in a fire nor drowned in the water?
- What can fill an entire room without taking up any space?
- What is deaf, dumb and blind but always tells the truth?
- What tastes better than it smells?
- How far can a dog run into the woods?
- What can you keep after giving it to someone?
- What cannot talk but will always reply when spoken to?
- What do you answer even though it never asks you questions?
- What word of five letters has only one left when two letters are removed?
- Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow’s sister?
- Where is the ocean the deepest?
“What Am I?” Riddles – Hard
Probably some of the earliest riddles you learned as a child were the “What Am I?” riddles. Well, we have some tricky ones for you. Once you see the answer, you may say to yourself, “Well, that was easy.” However, that is one sign of a good riddle; hard to answer, but then it seems obvious. Have fun with our hard “What Am I?” riddles.
- Each day many people all over the world come and visit me. They usually only stay for a couple of minutes. I am considered by many to be very dirty, yet few people would want to live without me. Whenever people come to see me, they show a part of themselves that they rarely show to others. What am I?
- When you need me, you throw me away.
When you don’t need me, you bring me back.
What am I?
- I have many faces, expressions, and emotions, and I am only one tap away.
What am I?
- I have branches. yet I have no leaves, no trunk, and no fruit.
What am I?
- First, you throw away the outside. Then, you cook the inside. And, then you eat the outside and throw away the inside.
What am I?
- What has a head, a tail, is brown, and has no legs?
- I have four legs, but no hair.
People ride me for hours,
But don’t go anywhere.
Without needing to be tugged or turned on,
I always manage to be ready for work.
What am I?
- A word I know, six letters it contains,
Remove one letter, and twelve remain.
What am I?
- The more you take, the more you leave behind.
What am I?
- If a man carried my burden,
He would break his back.
I am not big, but I leave silver in my tracks.
What am I?
- From the beginning of eternity to the end of time and space, to the beginning of every end, and the end of every place. What am I?
- When I’m used, I’m useless,
Once offered, soon rejected.
In desperation I’m oft expressed.
What am I?
- I am a word of three syllables, each of which is a word.
My first is an article in common use.
My second, is a mammal of uncommon intelligence.
My third, though not an animal, is used in carrying burdens.
Put me all together and I am a useful art.
What am I?
- I’m done to boats, to cargo, to loads.
When indoors I am, in a way, a narrow road.
What am I?
- I am served at a table,
In gatherings of two.
I am served small, white, and round.
You’ll lose some;
That’s part of the fun.
What am I?
- I am at the beginning of all.
I am at the end of eternity.
I have a center path.
My whole embodies indifference.
What am I?
- I can flutter and take your breath away.
I can take a beating, but do not bruise.
If I stopped you would be sure to lose.
All day and night, I am with you.
What am I?
Hard Logic Riddles
Our hard logic riddles, as the name implies, provide a real challenge. Make sure you stop and think hard before guessing the answer. Some of them are sure to stump you.
- A man builds a house rectangular in shape. All the sides have southern exposure. A big bear walks by. What color is the bear?
- Mr. Green has 4 sons. Each of his sons has a sister. How many children does Mr. Green have?
- One big hockey fan claimed to be able to tell the score before any game. How did he do it?
- It is shorter than the rest, but when you’re happy, you raise it up like it’s the best. What is it?
- You can carry it everywhere you go, and it does not get heavy. What is it?
- A bus driver goes the wrong way on a one-way street. He passes the cops, but they don’t stop him. Why?
- What falls, but never breaks? What breaks, but never falls?
- It is an insect, and the first part of its name is the name of another insect. What is it?
- There is a boat with a ladder attached to it. The ladder is eight feet tall. If the water rises four feet, how much of the ladder will be on top of the water?
- Walk on the living, they don’t even mumble. Walk on the dead, they mutter and grumble. What are they?
- The man who invented it doesn’t want it for himself. The man who buys it doesn’t buy it for himself. And, the man who needs it, doesn’t know he needs it. What is it?
- A man is driving along and sees three doors: a diamond door, a ruby door, and an emerald door. Which does he open first?
- Jim and Tom decided to play tennis against each other. They bet$1 on each game they played. Jim won three bets and Tom won $5. How many games did they play?
- How can you add eight 8’s to get the number 1000?
Hard Story Riddles
Many riddle solvers consider hard story riddles to be no only the most difficult, but also the most fun. Remember, if you choose to share a story riddle, you do not have to do so verbatim. You can vary the names and the story as long as the clues are included and in the right order. See how you can do with our hard story riddles.
The Most Intelligent Prince
A king wants his daughter to marry the smartest of three extremely intelligent young princes, and so the king’s wise men devise an intelligence test.
The princes are gathered into a room and seated, facing one another. They are shown two black hats and three white hats. They are blindfolded, and one hat is placed on each of their heads. The remaining hats hidden in a different room.
The king tells the three princes that the first prince to deduce the color of his hat without removing it or looking at it will marry his daughter. A wrong guess will mean death.
The blindfolds are removed. You are one of the princes. You see two white hats on the other prince’s heads. After some time, you realize that the other princes are confused about the color of their hat, or are afraid to guess. After some thought, you tell the king the color of your hat. What is it?
The Captain’s Story
The captain of a ship told an interesting story.
“I have traveled the oceans far and wide. One time, two of my sailors were standing on opposite sides of the ship. One was looking west and the other one east. And at the same time, they could see each other clearly. Can you tell me how that was possible?”
Peas and Lentils
A poor farmer went to the market to sell his peas and lentils. However, he had only one sack and didn’t want to mix peas and lentils. So, he poured in the peas first, tied the sack in the middle, and then filled the top portion of the sack with the lentils.
At the market an innkeeper happened by with his own empty sack. He wanted to buy the peas, but he did not want the lentils.
Pouring the seed anywhere else but the sacks was not possible. Trading sacks would not work, nor did the farmer wish to cut a hole in his sack.
How did the farmer transfer his peas to the innkeeper’s sack?
A young man is arrested while on vacation for a minor infraction. He is put in a cell with a dirt floor and only one window. Although the window has no bars, it is too high for him to reach. The only thing in the cell is a shovel. He knows he won’t get any food or water. He only has two days to escape or he’ll die. The man can’t dig a tunnel because it will take him much longer than two days to do it. How will he escape from the cell?
A School Murder
On the first day of school, someone murdered the English teacher. There were four people at the school that the police suspected had done it: the janitor, a history teacher, a basketball coach, and the principal. These were their alibis:
- The janitor said he was cleaning the bathrooms.
- The history teacher said he was giving a mid-year test.
- The basketball coach said he was running practice drills with his players.
- The principal said he was in his office.
After giving their alibies, the police arrested the killer immediately. Who killed the English teacher and how did the police know?
Maria and Judith went out for drinks together after work one evening. They ordered the same drink. Judith was very thirsty and much more of a drinker than Maria. She finished five drinks in the time it took Maria to finish only one.
The drinks were poisoned, but only Maria died. Why?
Love and a Funeral
Sophia, a young girl was at the funeral of her mother. She met a nice young man that she had never seen before and after the service they spent a bit of time together. Then she got busy with other people and she did not get his name or phone number before he left. She made every effort to find him, but no one knew who he was or how to contact him. A few weeks later her older sister dies and the police suspect murder. Who killed the sister?
Well, there you go; plenty of hard riddles to challenge even the most proficient riddler. Share the short hard riddles with your friends. Test your friends and family with the hard logic riddles and the “What Am I?” riddles. And don’t forget the story riddles. You might find it fun to turn some of the non-story riddles in to story riddles. Simply add some names, details, and clues and create an imaginary scenario. Have fun and riddle on!
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.