5) I turn the whole; the part turns.

9) I turn the part; the whole turns not.

0) Five turning circles has the part; four the whole.

What is the whole? What is the part?

As always, a good answer will not only give the correct answer to the riddle, but will also explain all of the clues.

Hint 1

Look at the tags.

Hint 2

The answer for the whole is an extremely specific thing (and yes, it is physical).

Hint 3

What is the significance of the contant repetition of 'turn'?

Hint 4

Even the Romans would do better than you're doing!

Hint 5

What if you replace 'turn' with the synonym 'roll'?

I will add more hints if people are having difficulty.

  • $\begingroup$ I guess this could also have the word tag (?) $\endgroup$ May 31, 2016 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ @JonathanAllan It does now! $\endgroup$
    – Ladifas
    May 31, 2016 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible to solve this with only the English language at least? :/ $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2016 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers Perhaps, but it would be extremely difficult. See Hint 4. $\endgroup$
    – Ladifas
    Jun 1, 2016 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ That's me out. Unless it's just a reference to numerals? $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2016 at 14:05

2 Answers 2


Could it be -

an aeroplane (whole) and a propeller (part)? The plane would have Yaw, Pitch and Roll and could come full circle on its self (giving it 4 turning circles). The propeller inherits these rotations from the plane and it rotates on its own axis.

  • $\begingroup$ This is getting there (very loosely), but it doesn't explain what the numbers mean. Also, the idea that coming full circle on itself gives a aeroplane four turning circles is slightly far-fetched. $\endgroup$
    – Ladifas
    May 31, 2016 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, I can't know that it's going to make perfect sense until I know how to solve it. :) $\endgroup$ May 31, 2016 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ i dont know if a technical solution is the way to go, otherwise you could use 2 cogs or anything with a 4:5 transmission. "whole" is the larger cog. part is the smaller cog. turn the smaller cog (part) one full rotation, the bigger one (whole) does only turn x0.8. turn the whole x1, and the part turns x1.2. finally, 4 full rotations of the whole equals 5 rotations of the part. but thats just a technical translation of the riddle :/ $\endgroup$
    – Peter1807
    May 31, 2016 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Peter1807 That's far too technical for me! $\endgroup$
    – Ladifas
    May 31, 2016 at 16:20

I think the whole is

drill (looks like riddle tag)

Part is

drill bit.


When you turn drill, drill bit turns too. But when you turn drill bit, drill doesn't turn.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm afraid that's not it either. It doesn't address the third point (0), nor does it address the strange numbers. $\endgroup$
    – Ladifas
    May 31, 2016 at 15:06

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