# How does one write a short riddle that is not too vague and not too obvious?

I have recently been offered to write riddles for a shop, which I will not go into too much detail about (because that is personal). However, I will say that the shop mostly prefers a riddle up to four lines long, so I made a riddle and would like to share it with this community to see the feedback.

I believe my riddle is way too easy, but I have made riddles and seen heaps of riddles in my life, so I cannot be too sure. The audience I will be targeting these riddles to are just everyday people who may or may not be great at riddles.

Is my riddle too easy? Can I make it harder? In my opinion, my riddle below is not a proper riddle, as I define a riddle to be something that takes you a while to think about until you find out the answer was really obvious all along, or there is something funny to the answer.

Riddle me this:

I protect you from above,
When the puddles are below;
Held by Mary Poppins' glove,
Driest wishes I bestow.

What am I?

I tweaked on my original riddle which was very similar, just so I can make the rhyming sound more pleasant to the ear. In that tweak, I also included a reference to Mary Poppins to make the riddle a little bit more interesting. I am no professional riddle-maker (if such a job even exists); I am just a teenager who simply likes puzzles, that of which includes riddles.

What do you think?

Polished Riddle:

I protect you from above,
When the puddles are below;
Held by Mary Poppins' English nanny's glove,
Driest wishes I bestow.

Heavy thanks to @jafe for this suggestion!

Another Riddle:

I always turn the corners,
To which I point at North.
I'm never worn by mourners,
But a spring do I set forth.

What am I?

This riddle is just for fun, but I may also use this one too. If you want, you can attempt at finding the answer (if you have not already).

Yet Another Riddle just for fun (@RohitJose enjoyed this riddle, so I decided to edit it here):

My first is joyful, short and stumpy;
Second always loves to point;
My third is tallest, rude and grumpy;
Fourth wears jewellery at its joint.

What is my fifth?

• Try puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/5249/…. It's not exactly your question but there are a number of good observations – Hugh Meyers Jul 27 '18 at 11:14
• @HughMeyers Checking out the link, there a some good suggestions/answers (including yours!) but the main idea is that riddles can never be fully solid. (For instance, you made this riddle and perhaps did not expect two different answers to it.) If this is true, then I guess you have partly answered my question, so thank you for your comment :) – Mr Pie Jul 27 '18 at 11:34
• In my early days on SE, I was once told that "questions shouldn't be moving targets". If you keep editing new riddles into your post, it becomes "too broad". Separate riddles should usually be posted as separate questions (unless they all link together into a big metapuzzle or something). – Rand al'Thor Sep 3 '18 at 10:06
• @Randal'Thor thank you for letting me know. Whoever stated that "questions shouldn't be moving targets" does have a strong point. This won't happen again. – Mr Pie Sep 3 '18 at 10:10

I think the third line might give it away a little bit. There's exactly one object that immediately comes to mind in association with Mary Poppins, and that happens to fit the rest of the clues as well. It would make it more difficult if the clue was more ambiguous (e.g. "English nanny's glove" instead of naming the person directly).

• Okay, thank you. Would you want me to credit you as part of the riddle once I reveal the new version to the people working at the shop? – Mr Pie Jul 27 '18 at 12:01
• Nah, feel free to take credit :) – jafe Jul 27 '18 at 12:02
• Thank you for your answer, @jafe. In my future riddles, I will try not to be too direct with my references :) – Mr Pie Jul 27 '18 at 14:31

You are

A hand

A pinky finger.

My first is joyful, short and stumpy

The thumb is the shortest and thickest finger, and a thumbs up is used for approval.

Second always loves to point

The index finger is also known as the "pointer finger" for this reason

My third is tallest, rude and grumpy

Raising your middle finger at someone is a rude, obscene gesture often done out of anger.

Fourth wears jewellery at its joint.

This refers to a ring on the ring finger.

• Yes, you got it! There won't be any real reward, though, apart from my upvote in at least $8$ hours (curses to the daily voting limit). I just put up this riddle because another user enjoyed it :) – Mr Pie Sep 2 '18 at 15:21
• – ThePuzzlingPlatypus Sep 2 '18 at 15:29
• I just hit 55 earlier this morning. – ThePuzzlingPlatypus Sep 3 '18 at 22:15
• I just want to point out that this does not answer the question that was asked. The question was about how to write good riddles, and was soliciting input on whether the ones listed were of good quality and difficulty and/or in need of other improvement. Answering the riddles themselves is not answering OP's question at all, making this Not an Answer to the question as posed. – Rubio Sep 5 '18 at 1:08
• I answered the second half though. – ThePuzzlingPlatypus Sep 5 '18 at 23:42

Well, assuming that an answer should be provided to this - it is( partial one)

An umbrella

As,

It protects us from rain , that comes from above and also can be from splashed puddles on the ground, when held upside down.Also puddles are common when it rains heavily.

And

An umbrella is supposed to keep one dry, when properly used.

Not sure on the gloves part.

• Well, Mary Poppins wears gloves a lot... :) – Mr Pie Jul 27 '18 at 12:29
• I just want to point out that this does not answer the question that was asked. The question was about how to write good riddles, and was soliciting input on whether the ones listed were of good quality and difficulty and/or in need of other improvement. Answering the riddles themselves is not answering OP's question at all, making this Not an Answer to the question as posed. – Rubio Sep 5 '18 at 1:09
• @Rubio $\diamondsuit$ regarding this particular post, I agree. – Mr Pie Sep 7 '18 at 7:22

Isn't that like..... an umbrella?

Cut the Mary Poppins part out, it's way too revealing.

Write something like: "You will also smell no dove" or idk