# A loving marriage?

A simple puzzle of my own creation:

The heartless man threw down his shovel and laughed as his wife fell into the hole.

There is a very simple explanation as to what is happening here, can you tell me what it is?

I think the answer should be obvious once figured out and solvable without hints, but to avoid any fear of it being too open-ended I'll add a few hints.

Hint 1:

This is a common situation that likely happens many times a day.

Hint 2:

The man loves his wife, but he is still heartless.

Hint 3:

He couldn't have thrown the shovel if he wasn't so heartless.

• Are the man and the wife both humans? Because my immediate thought is that this is one of those 4chan greentext ruses and the "wife" is actually a golf ball or something. Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 22:19
• @F1Krazy their both human, and nothing as bizarre as that. Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 22:22
• Is it just my marriage, or is the surface reading entirely plausible? Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 1:14
• "I think the answer should be obvious once figured out" Most answers are. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 16:21

I think the man and his wife...

are playing a card game, specifically Hearts

Hint 3:

The wife led with hearts $\color{red}{\heartsuit}$. If the husband had hearts he would have been required to follow suit. However, since he is heartless, he can discard a shovel (spade ${\spadesuit}$ - even better if it is the Queen, as this will penalize her with 13 points)

Hint 2:

It's just a friendly card game. He is laughing because he knows he's going to win, but still loves her.

Hint 1:

I'm sure a decent number of couples play Hearts on any given day...

And the original riddle:

Mostly explained in Hint 3 above, but since she is leading with hearts, that is probably the only suit she has left, which means she'll be collecting a lot of penalty cards at the end of the game, and therefore "falling in the hole"

But...

The joke's on him, as she is about to shoot the moon!

• Yep you got it. Though It could apply to any number of other games. Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 23:01
• Brilliant answer!! Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 11:23
• I don't understand the "his wife fell into the hole". I've never heard this term before (even though familiar with the context explained in this answer). Is there another meaning I'm missing? Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 0:02
• @SteveBennett I think “dig yourself into a hole” is a more commonly used expression. A hole is just a metaphor for a bad situation that is getting progressively worse (dug deeper) and thus can be fallen into. english.stackexchange.com/a/380166 Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 2:28
• "Dig yourself into a hole" is an expression. "Fall into the hole" isn't. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 3:17

Not sure about the shovel yet, but is the wife

falling into the toilet because her husband didn't put the seat down?

• Wait this is actually the best answer. Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 5:21
• Without a doubt this answer is the funniest. Take your upvote! Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 13:28

I guess I have a partial answer:

They are playing cards. The man does not have any heart-cards and is therefore playing a shovel (spades) card. If he had harts he had to follow suit. He laughs because this situation puts him in front/his wife is losing. I guess it's a characteristic situation for some specific game.

• not just one. There is a whole genre it would apply to. Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 23:01
• What does falling into the hole mean in this context? Does it just mean losing? Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 23:04

They are a kind of "prank couple" and he made some booby trap against her...

• That wouldn't be much of a riddle :) Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 12:06