One rhyme,

Space, time.


The above is my attempt at the world's shortest riddle.

EDIT - 23 Aug 2015

Here is my bid to get the riddle re-opened. Naturally to satisfy the community I have to add other constraints outside of the four words and this may make the riddle less likely to be the shortest. However, even if my riddle isn't the shortest, I'm still posing the question and looking for an answer.

  1. The answer is a single 8-letter word.

  2. The answer contains four vowels. It begins with a vowel and ends with a vowel.

  3. Each line of the riddle must individually and independently fit the answer.

  4. You must convincingly explain how the answer precisely fulfils the clues (in a normal riddlish fashion), possibly with the use of dictionary definitions.

  • $\begingroup$ Animal, vegetable or mineral? $\endgroup$
    – moonbutt74
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 0:58
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The content of the riddle requires the stipulation that the answer is exactly eight letters long. Without that requirement, the riddle text is too open-ended. Your claim of shortest riddle must be reconsidered. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 2:22
  • $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald - Thanks for the explanation. I did put a question mark to indicate I wasn't sure if it was the shortest. Even if my riddle is the four words plus the stipulation "8-letters", that is still pretty short. Can anyone find a shorter one? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 9:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @moonbutt74 - All three! $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 10:13
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterTaylor - That is not what I had in mind. I can't see your reasoning, could you explain? Also I'd appreciate any tips on how to narrow it further if anyone has any. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 14:02

5 Answers 5


My answer is


One rhyme,

uni = one, verse = rhyme

Space, time.

The universe is all of space and time.

8-letters: Check.

The answer contains four vowels: Check.

It begins with a vowel and ends with a vowel: Check.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This was my intended answer. I've awarded it 'correct' on the basis that it is also the most popular in terms of up-votes. Props to Roland who had the best answer before I added restrictions in order to get the question opened again. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 0:03

I optimistically up-voted this, but it does feel quite broad. Here's a guess:


One rhyme,

Rhyme describes the sounds words have relative to one another.
Relative, as in family, could mean "Ma and Pa", two relatives whose (informal) titles rhyme.

Space, time.

A hint at Einstein's Theory of relativity, which describes how measurements of space and time are relative to their observer's velocity.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. Since you gave it, I have had to update the question to try and get it re-opened. This has made your answer incorrect in retrospect for which I apologise. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 10:38

Although this is apparently not the intended answer, I think that


is a good fit.

  1. One rhyme

    I'm working on the basis that two words rhyme if their sequence of phonemes from the most stressed vowel to the end is the same. (I think this is the same definition as used by Mark Liberman in his breakfast experiment on unrhymeable words). Working with CMUDICT, since I don't have access to CELEX2, I find that the only rhyme for my answer is


  2. Space, time

    The space is


    and the time is


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow that's complicated! +1 anyway. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ There are two letters in your answer which are not explained. But for that I could have +1'd it. $\endgroup$
    – ClickRick
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding 1., there is also Rot13(QRPERFPRAQB) or Rot13(QVZVAHRAQB), so... $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ @user477343, I did qualify "Working with CMUDICT" $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 11:12

Shame about the eight letter restriction, otherwise the answer could be:


One rhyme

The way that a poem sounds when read aloud has been described as one of the dimensions of a poem

Space, time

Are referred to as the first 3 dimensions and the fourth dimension.

  • $\begingroup$ Let's get this straight: (ROT13) Gvzr vf abg gur sbhegu qvzrafvba; vg vf vgf bja frcrengr qvzrafvba, nf vg vf abg fcnpvny (naq guhf gb or pbafvqrerq nf n sbhegu). Jr unir fcnpvny pbbeqvangrf va guerr qvzrafvbaf, ohg abg gvzr. Jr pna'g zbir sbejneqf naq onpxjneqf va gvzr; gur pbbeqvangrf va guerr qvzrafvbaf ner qrfpevorq ol "jurer", jurernf gur pbbeqvangr va gvzr vf qrfpevorq ol "jura"; nf Arvy Qrtenffr Glfba bapr fnvq, "Gvzr znxrf hf nyy n cevfbare bs gur cerfrag, sberire genafvgvbavat sebz bhe bja cnfg vagb na haxabja shgher." Gung vf hayvxr fcnpr, juvpu vf zrnfherq ol bhe guerr qvzrafvbaf :P $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 10:23

My answer


It is an

8 letter word.
The two vowels do have a rhyming quality to them.
Space and time are relative to each other and effect their respective frequencies and rhythms. I admit this last bit is a bit more poetic than scientific.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to PSE :) This is a nice first answer but unfortunately, the correct answer has already been given above (the one with the green checkmark). Btw, always put spoilers in your answers (I've already done that for you). Don't forget to check out the help center and get a tour of this site. Happy puzzling :D $\endgroup$
    – Kevin L
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 5:03

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