So here is another really bad/old riddle I know that I couldn't find posted yet, so I decided I'll take the hit for adding it. I am curious as to how many people might have never heard it before.

This riddle is intended to be spoken, instead of written, so I will put both interpretations.

When spoken, the intended interpretation:

What is black and white and red all over?

When written [Spoiler]:

What is black and white and read all over?

There would always be given the vast amounts of non-nonsensical answers, so I will provide hints to limit them although they are normally not provided when told in person.


  • Kids don't use most of it

  • They are now not as popular as before

  • It is not any sort of animal

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Kinda upset that hint 3 rules out the bloody zebra answer :P $\endgroup$
    – Set Big O
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ The zebra answer is my favourite. : ( $\endgroup$ Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Geobits Without the hints, things would get wild and the question would be much too broad...But as a side, it was always penguins for me ;P $\endgroup$
    – Mark N
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ lol @ "take the hit for adding it" $\endgroup$
    – JLee
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ Michael Jackson in a blender. $\endgroup$
    – n00b
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


The answer I believe you're looking for is

a newspaper - Kids generally only use the comics section, they have become less popular due to the internet, and it's certainly not an animal!

This riddle loses some of its luster when it's not spoken, because the misinterpretation of "red" and "read" is what really makes it tick. I also don't think you need the hints, although I acknowledge that without them you'll get some silly answers, such as:

A penguin in a blender! This is my personal favorite answer to this question, but unfortunately it's at least 50% animal. :(

  • $\begingroup$ It seems you are one who have heard it before. :p $\endgroup$
    – Mark N
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I thought about a book. I think it fits as well $\endgroup$
    – A.D.
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ @A.D. In the original riddle people make up a slew of answer, but I added the hints to fit the intended one. A book could work on the original riddle, but for this edition, kids do use books. $\endgroup$
    – Mark N
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkN but you wrote Kids don't use most of them which means that they use a subset of them. You should change the OP to add more restrictions. $\endgroup$
    – A.D.
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ @A.D. fixed to most of it, so now its of the item itself, and not of possible item groups. Sorry, grammar isn't my top strength. $\endgroup$
    – Mark N
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:55

I have a similar answer, but different reasoning:

Frank looked up from his paper as someone knocked politely before entering his office. Smiling broadly, Frank set the paper down on his desk and walked out to shake his guest’s hand.

“Ah, excellent, it’s good to see you my good man. I assume the job went well?”

'My good man' was The Puzzler, the most skilled hitman in Chicago. Normally an assassin of his quality would be out of Frank’s price range, but The Puzzler came at a discount because of his singular eccentricity: he always asked his victim a puzzle or riddle before killing them. If they solved it, he let them live and returned his payment. 'The job' was to kill Frank’s rival, Jimmy “Blue Eyes” Lucas, who had been moving into Frank’s territory over the last few months.

After a moment, Frank prompted The Puzzler again. “Well? What happened?”

“He tried to make a counter-offer,” The Puzzler said seriously.


“His answer to my riddle was not the one I had in mind.”

Frank leaned back against his desk in relief and let a little chuckle escape. “I see, I see. And what was the riddle?”

The Puzzler gave him an intense look and said, “I only ask riddles to those who will attempt to solve them. Are you saying you want to try to solve my riddle?”

“Oh sure, why not,” Frank grinned. “Lay it on me.”

“Very well. What is black and white and red all over?”

Frank thought for a second and shrugged. “I dunno, I give up. What is it?”

“Your newspaper,” said The Puzzler.

Frank digested the answer and then barked a laugh.

“Hah, I get it! ‘Red’ and ‘read’, that’s cute. Unfortunately, your answer’s a little off.” He turned and reached for his paper. “I pretty much only read the Sports section, so I don’t really read it ‘all over’. You might want to grglhurgl—” Frank’s comment was interrupted by The Puzzler’s knife slicing through his throat.

“I gave you Jimmy’s answer,” said The Puzzler. “I think it works better than mine.” He wiped his knife as Frank collapsed onto his desk. As The Puzzler left the room, Frank’s blood continued to leak from his throat, pooling onto the front page of his newspaper.

So my answer is "Frank's newspaper". :D

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ As a side note, Jimmy's nickname came about after he escaped from some island by guessing his eye color. $\endgroup$ Commented May 29, 2015 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ “Oh sure, why not,” Heh, perhaps because this guy kills those failing to solve his puzzles? I would be extremely wary when such assasin offered me that. instead of The Puzzler He should have been nicknamed The Sphinx. $\endgroup$
    – Ángel
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 22:29

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