# A Riddling Riddle

1. I am absolutely certain of my existence.
2. My ideal temperature range is between -40ºC and the temperature at which water freezes.
3. I can make positive improvements to myself.

What am I?

Hint:

Each and every one of you is probably barking up the wrong tree.

Hint 2:

The title of this puzzle has been updated and modified to be admittedly silly.

Enormously Bigly Hint 3:

What do all of the clues and hints have in common with each other?

• Should this have the knowledge tag? – MikeQ Jun 19 '17 at 19:02
• @MikeQ - the knowledge tag is probably not a good fit here. – TTT Jun 19 '17 at 19:11
• Hi Sub-zero I am liu kang =) – Alex Jun 19 '17 at 20:05
• Congrats on HNQ. – Mordechai Jun 20 '17 at 19:27

I think you are...

Redundancy

Because the puzzle and hints have a common pattern:

As Gareth pointed out in chat, there are multiple instances of redundant word choice:
- "Riddling Riddle"
- "absolutely certain"
- "positive improvements"
- "Each and every one"
- "updated and modified"
- "Enormously Bigly"
- "clues and hints"

And for line 2...

The temperature notation -40ºC is redundant because -40ºC is also -40ºF; unless you measure temperature in degrees Kelvin, then it would be sufficient to say -40º in casual conversation.

(Alternative interpretation: Water freezes when its temperature is decreasing. It begins at a temperature above 0ºC and drops to a temperature below 0ºC. So the water is already ice by the time it has dropped to -40ºC, and it is redundant to specify that it must be frozen.)

• Perfect. Well done! (For line 2, it's your first statement: specifying Celsius is redundant.) – TTT Jun 20 '17 at 15:55
• @TTT But the clues and hints have nothing to do with the answer! True, they do contain a form of it, but that's really too vague! – Fabio says Reinstate Monica Jun 20 '17 at 16:07
• Aw, crap. I had an answer half-written but had somebody stop by my desk. :| I couldn't think of the term you specified, so mine had said "tautology". – feelinferrety Jun 20 '17 at 16:35
• I accept, approve, endorse, affirm, and authorize this answer. – David Schwartz Jun 20 '17 at 21:52
• Well, I can just say xkcd – frarugi87 Jun 22 '17 at 8:28

Are you simply

Zero?

I am absolutely certain of my existence.

"Absolute zero" or 0K, in keeping with the temperature theme.

My ideal temperature range is between -40ºC and the temperature at which water freezes.

Water freezes at 0C - if that wasn't directly related to the answer somehow then what would be the purpose of writing it so obliquely?

I can make positive improvements to myself.

If you go up ("improve") from zero, you reach positive numbers.

What am I?

Zero.

Title - An Existential Riddle.

Both nothing (zero) and something at the same time.

I guess you are

Olaf : A snowman built by Elsa Frozen

I am absolutely certain of my existence.

Olaf is alive, he has concience

My ideal temperature range is between -40ºC and the temperature at which water freezes.

olaf is a snowman, he live in the very cold place

I can make positive improvements to myself.

Olaf is by far the friendliest snowman in Arendelle. He is innocent, outgoing and loves all things summer. Olaf may be a bit naive, but his sincerity and good-natured temperament make him a true friend to Anna and Elsa.

Each and every one of you is probably barking up the wrong tree.

I would guess

Ice

I am absolutely certain of my existence.

Exists from Absolute zero (-273ºC, or 0K)

My ideal temperature range is between -40ºC and the temperature at which water freezes.

Begins to form when water freezes and continues to expand as a solid until the bonds are completely symmetrical at -40ºC (233K) (Source)

I can make positive improvements to myself.

Expands to enlarge itself from 0ºC to -40ºC and improves the symmetry of molecular bonds

With regard to hints:

Each and every one of you is probably barking up the wrong tree.

Molecular bonds form trees

The title of this puzzle has been updated and modified to be admittedly silly.

The word "riddling" sounds like some sort of informal synonym or slang for "cold" as in "Brrrr, it's riddling outside!" (clutching at straws here!)

Are you

The Kelvin temperature scale?

I am absolutely certain of my existence.

Kelvin is an absolute scale, starting from 0k.

My ideal temperature range is between -40ºC and the temperature at which water freezes.

-40c is the point at which the Celsius and Fahrenheit measurements overlap. -40c = -40f.
Water freezes at 0c (273.15K). This is the value which is used to convert K -> C
[°C] = [K] − 273.15
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelvin

I can make positive improvements to myself.

Again, Kelvin is an absolute scale, it can only increase; cannot be a negative value

• Not it, but the fact that -40 is the intersection of the C and F scale is relevant. – TTT Jun 20 '17 at 2:19

A little bit farfetched, but...

An ice climber?

I am absolutely certain of my existence

An ice climber is a person, and people are aware of their own existence

My ideal temperature range is between -40ºC and the temperature at which water freezes.

When water freezes you have ice, and -40 in Celsius is equal to -40 in Fahrenheit. The objective of the ice climbers is to go up far (Fahr) and (en) reach the maximum height (heit).

I can make positive improvements to myself.

In the ice climbers video game, you can have a 2nd ice climber with you, which counts for an extra life, hence a positive improvement.

• No, but thanks for the chuckle. The fact that -40 is the intersection of F and C is relevant. – TTT Jun 20 '17 at 2:22

It's clearly

Me!

I am absolutely certain of my existence.

Well, I think, and therefore...

My ideal temperature range is between -40ºC and the temperature at which water freezes.

I like sledding. Below 40 below, though, that's just too cold.

I can make positive improvements to myself.

I taught myself to knit!

Most probably a for-fun answer but here goes:

Are you a

Cool Riddle?

I am absolutely certain of my existence.

Well, its cool. It knows it exists.

My ideal temperature range is between -40ºC and the temperature at which water freezes.

So cool that its literally below 0 in temperature?

I can make positive improvements to myself.

Cool riddles have hints, which are like improvements.

At least it would explain "Each and every one of you is probably barking up the wrong tree."

Who would guess something so basic and unusual?

The title of this puzzle has been updated and modified to be admittedly silly.

Is silly the keyword or what? :)

Doesn't fit as there is no "knowledge" tag, which would be required for this answer to explain a part of it. But anyway:

Anyone doing winter sports.

Certain of existence:

Anyone able to do any sports has enough functioning brain cells to be aware of his/her existence.

Best range between -40 and 0:

0 is obvious - ice and snow melts. At around -40C snow stops being slippery.

Some additional explanation for this -40 (you can safely skip it):

It was observed ages ago that snow behaves kind of like sand instead of being nice for sleds when it is cold enough (= around -35 or 40 or somewhere there). Yet interestingly, to this very day we still do not have a final explanation for this phenomenon. People are taught the completely incorrect "pressure melts ice" bullshit, which does not play a role at all. Currently it is believed there are two dominant contributions. Firstly, there is always a thin layer of water on top of ice (until it gets cold enough it is not energetically favorable anymore), secondly, friction heats up and melts the ice a bit - both producing water on which we slip.

Positive improvements:

Knowing how ice and snow behave lets us make positive improvements to our equipment, technique etc, achieving better results.

Barking up the wrong tree:

You need right wood for the best skis, sleds etc (plus a suitable combination with artificial materials)

No idea for the title.