Subscribe to free monthly riddles and brain teasers

How Old Is The Shepherd?

There are 125 sheep and 5 dogs in a flock.

How old is the shepherd?

You can’t determine the answer.

I debated adding this riddle because it is less of a riddle and more of an illustration of how kids are (or are not) being taught to think for themselves. But after reading how kids feel the need to make up an answer without understanding why, I thought this could be a good reminder for all of us to exercise our critical thinking skills.

(via Student Voices)

Posted in Riddles

I Can Kill People

I can kill people, or cause great pain.
You eat me.
I can mean you’re crazy.
I hold things together.
I help climbers stay safe.
I can replace a swear.
And I’m on a violin.

What am I?


People with nut allergies can die from eating nuts. Being hit in the nuts hurts (I speak from experience. Painful, painful experience). You eat nuts (unless you’re allergic, in which case you should run away). If someone says you’re nuts, it doesn’t mean you’re a peanut or an almond. Nuts and bolts hold things together. A climber’s nut or chock wedges into a rock. Instead of swearing, you can say, “Aww nuts!”. And finally, the nut on a violin is a small piece of hard material that supports the strings.

Posted in Riddles
Tagged with

Ancient Arabic

I’m Arabic, but if you speak English, you probably use me every day.

What am I?

The Arabic numerals, 1, 2, 3, etc.

Posted in Riddles
Tagged with

I Am Worthless

I am worthless, yet when added to others I add worth.
I confounded the ancient Greeks, yet I changed men’s understanding.

What am I?

0 (Zero).

Zero is nothing, yet when you add zeroes to a number like 1, it becomes 10, 100 or 1,000.

The ancient Greeks did not have a name for zero and did not use a placeholder. They seemed unsure about the status of zero as a number, philosophizing about how nothing could be something. Once zero was added, it allowed for more mathematical understanding.

Posted in Riddles
Tagged with

Measured But Not Seen

What can be measured but not seen?

Time. Or my toes when I’ve had one too many donuts…

Posted in Riddles

Made of Five Letters and Seven Letters

I’m made out of five letters,
And I’m made out of seven letters;
I have keys but I don’t have locks,
I’m concerned with time, but not with clocks.

What am I?

A piano. The word piano has five letters, and the scale on the piano is A through G, seven letters. The piano keys don’t have locks and playing piano requires you to keep time (but with a metronome, not a clock).

Posted in Riddles
Tagged with

Old Mother Hubbard’s Seven Letters

What seven letters did Old Mother Hubbard use when she opened her cupboard?


(Oh, I see you are empty)

Posted in Riddles

I Tell You When to Start

I tell you when to start,
Or remind if you forget.

I smash others to break them apart,
But I’m pushed by another of me.

What am I?

Cue. A cue tells you when to start, or if you forget your lines in a play. A cue ball is used to break at the beginning of a game of pool and the cue stick is used to push the cue ball on the break.

Another interesting tidbit is that cue is how you spell the letter q if you’re writing it out.

Posted in Riddles
Tagged with

What’s Nowhere But Everywhere

What’s nowhere but everywhere except where something is?

Nothing. (From Gotham)

Posted in Riddles

In School Without Learning

I’m in school without learning,
And control from the middle.

What am I?

A fish. They swim in schools and the fish in the middle of a school control the school. The fish on the outside are guided by those in the middle.

Posted in Riddles
Tagged with