22
$\begingroup$

I surround men on all sides, I make them deaf, and I escort them to oblivion—and yet they love me. They have shed the blood of others to obtain me. I appear harmless and yet pierce those who approach me. Only come for me when all is hot and dry, or all will be lost.

What am I?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for all the answers guys! Now that someone has guessed the answer I was looking for, I would be curious to get some feedback. As this is my first riddle, I'd like to know if the style/wording was good, if the answer felt like it fit much better than alternatives or not, and if it was overall a good riddle. Any feedback appreciated. $\endgroup$ – levininja Dec 17 '18 at 13:26
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ A good riddle has many answers that come close to answering it, and one answer that fits it like a glove. This riddle satisfies that criteria very well :-). A very nice riddle, and we look to your continued contributions! $\endgroup$ – Phylyp Dec 17 '18 at 14:32

10 Answers 10

20
$\begingroup$

This may fit:

Cotton

I surround men on all sides, I make them deaf, and I escort them to oblivion—and yet they love me.

Cotton is a common clothing material, cotton is used in ear plugs to reduce noise, and ear buds to remove wax are used but these can damage ears. Bed sheets are popularly cotton and escorts people to sleep.

Shed the blood of others to obtain. Appear harmless, yet pierce. Come for me when hot and dry, or lost.

Cotton was the chief plant involved in slavery and the American civil war, looks soft to pick but the dried husks cut skin. It must be harvested at the right time towards the end of summer or the crop will be lost.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Congratulations! You pretty much nailed it. On the part about cotton making men deaf, it was a reference to the idea of using cottonballs in the ears to muffle sound, as in the phrase "take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth". $\endgroup$ – levininja Dec 17 '18 at 13:30
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Otological advice: Never put cotton in your ears. Expanding foam earplugs are safer and more effective. $\endgroup$ – Todd Wilcox Dec 17 '18 at 17:39
11
$\begingroup$

I think you are:

Water

I surround men on all sides,

A reference to both water in the body and humidity in the air

I make them deaf,

Being underwater makes your hearing muffled

and I escort them to oblivion—and yet they love me.

A reference to drowning yet all of us need water to live

They have shed the blood of others to obtain me.

A reference to water wars and violence when drinking water is in short supply

I appear harmless and yet pierce those who approach me.

Piercing the lungs

Only come for me when all is hot and dry, or all will be lost.

I.e. drink water when it's hot and dry

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nice answer although not the one I had in mind. Piercing the lungs doesn't quite fit and remember that the last line says to "ONLY" come when all is hot and dry. $\endgroup$ – levininja Dec 17 '18 at 13:21
9
$\begingroup$

You are

space

I surround men on all sides

Space is all around us.

I make them deaf

In space, no one can hear you scream.

and I escort them to oblivion

Space kills you, unless you're wearing some kind of a suit.

and yet they love me.

Who doesn't love space?

They have shed the blood of others to obtain me

Wars have been fought for living space.

I appear harmless

Invisible, in fact.

and yet pierce those who approach me

Even atoms are mostly empty space.

Only come for me when all is hot and dry, or all will be lost.

Once the Sun expands and swallows the Earth, humans face extinction unless we've managed to escape to space before that.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Very nice answer on several accounts, however space doesn't really pierce those who approach it, and also, it isn't that you can ONLY come for it when all is hot and dry...but I do appreciate the detail about the sun expanding and swallowing the earth. $\endgroup$ – levininja Dec 17 '18 at 7:38
5
$\begingroup$

Very controversial in these times but worth a guess.

Woman

I surround men.

There are women all around men.

I make them deaf.

Men are reputed not to listen to women's side of things!

I escort them to oblivion

Men are notorious for falling asleep after lovemaking.

and yet they love me.

Most men have loved a woman in one way or another during their life.

They have shed the blood of others to obtain me.

Helen of Troy for example.

I appear harmless and yet pierce those who approach me.

Women in general look less physically threatening than men but are quite capable of rejecting a man who approaches them.

Only come for me when all is hot.

Women have been shown in studies to feel the cold more than men, especially in open-plan offices when it comes to setting the temperature of the heating system.

... and dry, or all will be lost.

These days if you get too involved with a woman when either of you has been drinking then it's possible that one of you loses their reputation. Usually the man.

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

You are

Light

I surround men on all sides,

Every day. And honestly, most nights

I make them deaf,

You don't listen with your eyes. People tend to close their eyes when they want to focus more on what they hear

and I escort them to oblivion—

Go towards the light. Actually, don't.

and yet they love me.

I mean, who doesn't?

They have shed the blood of others to obtain me.

Warriors always believed they were banishing the darkness in the name of light. Also, ancient lamps used oil from animals.

I appear harmless

It's just pretty colors, right?

and yet pierce those who approach me.

Until it's X-ray or radio

Only come for me when all is hot and dry, or all will be lost.

This one I'm a bit lost on. Maybe because the light would dissipate or be absorbed?

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

You are:

Electricity

I surround men on all sides,

Static / atmospheric electricity, modern wiring

I make them deaf

Possible relation to deafness caused by electric shock?

I escort them to oblivion—and yet they love me.

Electricity can kill, but modern people can't live without it!

They have shed the blood of others to obtain me.

Wars have been fought over fuels necessary to make electricity

I appear harmless and yet pierce those who approach me.

You can't see electricity, but it will shock right through you if you get too close!

Only come for me when all is hot and dry, or all will be lost.

Hot and dry are important for insulation

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

I would say it fits (except for the last line)

Freedom

I surround men on all sides

Freedom to do things is everywhere

I make them deaf

Freedom to ignore all reason

I escort them to oblivion

Death, the liberator from life

Yet they love me

Everybody wants to be free

They have shed the blood of others to obtain me

Revolution

I appear harmless and yet pierce hose who approach me

Freedom has killed many a human and could destroy societies yet we yearn for more.

Only come for me when all is hot and dry, or all will be lost.

Got no explanation for this

p.s. Has already been correctly answered but i still wanted to provide my idea.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer. That fit better than I expected. On the escorting men to oblivion, it also occurred to me the phrase "give me liberty or give me death" makes that part fit as well. $\endgroup$ – levininja Dec 17 '18 at 15:24
1
$\begingroup$

Is it

money

I surround men on all sides

money is pretty much everywhere

I make them deaf

people can go crazy over money, not listening to others if they have the opportunity to win a lot

and I escort them to oblivion

In some ancient cultures, people left money on dead people (Charon's obol for Romans and Greeks for example)

—and yet they love me.

people love money

They have shed the blood of others to obtain me.

wars

I appear harmless

it's just round metal pieces or paper

and yet pierce those who approach me.

people who start earning a lot of money may become greedy

Only come for me when all is hot and dry, or all will be lost.

banknotes don't like water

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Not finished yet, but I may be off to a good start I think.

You are

concrete, or, more punny, cement, the key ingredient in concrete (see next sentence).

I surround men on all sides

In the word "cement", "men" is surrounded on both sides by other letters.

I make them deaf

Not sure.
If you get concrete poured over you, you can't hear after it gets in your ears, but that would be the least of your problems.

and I escort them to oblivion

In cliche crime stories, people are often thrown into the river with their feet in concrete, leading them to oblivion.

and yet they love me

Sure, concrete builds houses and roads and cities. We'd be nowhere without it!

They have shed the blood of others to obtain me.

A bit far-fetched, but the story goes that people used to use blood to temper steel swords. Maybe that could also be done with the steel bars used for reinforced concrete.

I appear harmless and yet pierce those who approach me.

Reinforced concrete looks smooth on the outside, but all these sharp steel bars inside can pierce you if you're not careful.

Only come for me when all is hot and dry, or all will be lost.

If you step onto a concrete surface when it hasn't dried yet, you may sink into it and be lost.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Not a perfect fit, but I do like your thinking on the hot and dry part. $\endgroup$ – levininja Dec 17 '18 at 13:41
0
$\begingroup$

A Gun

because

Men love guns.

Guns can make men deaf because of the noise they make.

Guns help men get to places through the enemies, only to find more men love guns.

Some guns look harmless but still can kill.

you only want to shoot when your gun isn't too hot, so it won't go into a melt-down.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Not too bad; it checks several of the boxes, but guns aren't known for surrounding men on all sides or appearing harmless. :-) $\endgroup$ – levininja Dec 17 '18 at 4:31

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.