My daughter presented me with this mind boggling riddle that she said took her a week to figure out, but once she did she thought, "OMG that was so easy!"

She said to me, "My favorite color is green. What is your favorite color?" Then said that was the truth. Repeated the same sentence and said that was a lie, now tell me a truth. I responded many different ways even repeating what she said and she kept saying “that’s a lie.”

She won’t tell me the answer to this riddle and it’s driving me nuts! Anyone ever hear of this “game?” Her friend learned it at a religious summer camp.

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps the answer is simply Rot13("Jung" vf zl snibevgr pbybe). $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe she's saying the word "okay" before she starts. Maybe she rubs her nose, coughs, or blinks her eyes after she finishes talking. The answer almost definitely has to do with the subtleties. $\endgroup$
    – user46002
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 4:07
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    $\begingroup$ You should be more careful... $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ Tell her «You're going to say "That's a lie"» and tell us what face she makes. Just for fun. $\endgroup$
    – cdlvcdlv
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 10:57
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    $\begingroup$ If your daughter ever explains the game, can you update this with the "Answer"? $\endgroup$
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 16:13

9 Answers 9


There's not much information here. But generally, these types of "camp games" have the trick that the actual answer doesn't depend directly on the question, but some other context. For example:

  • In the game of "Scissors", you pass scissors around a circle, and each person asks if they're "open" or "closed". But the answer has nothing to do with the condition of the scissors themselves! The trick is that the scissors are "open" if the holder's legs are uncrossed, and "closed" if the holder's legs are crossed.
  • In the game "Bang Bang Bang", the leader mimes shooting several people, then asks who died. What the leader does doesn't matter though - the person who died is the person who talks first after the question.
  • In the game "Black Magic", two players (say, Alice and Bob) will pretend to have telepathy. Alice will be given a nearby object from everyone else while Bob is not in the room. Bob then returns, and Alice asks him a series of questions: "Is it my shirt?" "Nope." "Is it the sun?" "Nope." "Is it that tire?" "Nope. "Is it your necklace?" "Yes, that's it!" Bob knows the correct object every time -- but this isn't because of some sort of hint in the question involving the correct object. Instead, whenever the giver gives a question involving a black object, the correct answer is the next one.

So, there's not enough information here to give a definite answer. But the trick could be anything from whether you say "um" before answering, to whether you blink while answering, to whether she says "what is" or "what's". It's likely nothing to do with your actual answer, though.

  • $\begingroup$ To add to this one: I played one of these games where I had to guess a keyword to enter a gate in a story. The person telling me this gave some examples: 'red,red,white'. I can enter. 'white,red', cannot enter. 'white,red' I can enter. Turned out the colors were red herring, all that was required was starting with 'uhm...'. $\endgroup$
    – P1storius
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 8:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Brandon_J well said I just said it as a standard sentence... Sorry. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Quark-epoch No problem; I've had the same reaction before :) Happy puzzling! $\endgroup$
    – Brandon_J
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ To add to this one: I played one where you have to go to another country, and there are some objects that you can take, so you ask "I take an umbrella", if your name starts with the same letter as the object, you can take it. $\endgroup$
    – AleOtero93
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 14:26
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps the rule in this case is simply to follow your statement with "That was the truth". $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 12:54


The key is in the wording: she might have said “that was a lie, but tell me ‘a truth’”.

So the phrase that you should have said was

“A truth”


She asked you to tell her the phrase “a truth”.


Sounds a bit similar a game I've played in swedish 'Grinden' (= gate). In english it becomes something like:

The game starts by a sentence stating one item which can pass through the gate and one which cannot. And an invitation for the person investigate what can go through the gate.

"A goblin can pass through the gate but a leprechaun can not."

Then it goes:

The objective is to figure out the rule which allows items to pass through the 'gate'. This can be stated explicitly or be left to be figured out.

Then you ask whether or not various things get through the gate until you figure out why.

The standard rule for first time playing is to allow only things which starts with a letter in the word 'Gate' but only if said in the correct 'sequence'. The asker cycles through the word 'Gate' in their head and keeps track of which letter is currently allowed.

Does an Elephant get through? - No (needed something on G)

Does an Elephant get through? - No (needed something on a)

Does an Elephant get through? - No (needed something on t)

Does an Elephant get through? - Yes (needed something on e)

And so it goes until the 'victim' figures out the rule.

So try asking her 'Green' many times and see what periodicity it has if it comes up with different results. Though the format seems to suggest some other rule, hard to guess with the limited information.


She starts the riddle with a truth: "My favorite color is green."

When she asks "what is your favorite color" you made an assumption. You assume that the "you" means you. What if it doesn't? What if you are suppose to take the question much more literally. Like a child would take it when making a joke.

Father says to his son - Say "Hi" Jason! - son replies - Hi Jason! -

What is your favorite color?

Your favorite color is green!


Have you considered the following true statement...

"Your favourite colour has changed"

If your daughter doesn't agree this is the case, then there must be a specific answer she's looking for (i.e. the "logic" of the game goes out of the window, only one answer will suffice, in which case it'd be fairer to just let you know the answer).


It could be similar to the rules of a car game I tend to play with my family.

A person states "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing {food}" Where the first letter of the food they choose matches an arbitrary trait of the person, that they selected. Like i could say "I'm bringing tomatoes" because my username is TyJ. The other players would try to guess foods they can bring by saying "Can I bring sandwiches?" "Can I bring cookies?" and so on until they get approval.

You could try matching your favorite color things about you that start with a 'g' for her, or by working your way through the alphabet (my favorite color is aqua, my favorite color is blue, my favorite color is cyan etc) until hopefully you get a truth.


Extending El-Guest's answer:

If the key is in the wording: she might have said “that was a lie, now tell me ‘a truth’”.

So the phrase that you should have said could be

anything which is true and its truthfulness is known to the asker (your daughter in this case)

  • $\begingroup$ I would assume that one of the tries was stating their true favourite color, in that case this doesn't work. $\endgroup$
    – skymningen
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 15:09

All of the answers here are great and give possible answers to question.

Here is another possible solution that I know of:

(Again, this depends on the way you respond to the question and not what you answered.)

If you answer in a complete sentence: "My favorite color is green/red/purple" the answer is a 'truth'.

But if you answer with "green/red/purple", this would be a lie.


So she said 5 things:

  1. "My favourite colour is green. What is your favourite colour?"
  2. "That was the truth"
  3. "My favourite colour is green. What is your favourite colour?"
  4. "That was a lie"
  5. "Now tell me a truth"

Did she at any point allow you to answer the question she asked you, which was what is your favourite colour? See, it is difficult to know exactly what she is saying is a truth and a lie. Is she speaking about her own previous statement, or about your answer?

Possible answer 1:

If she asked you what your own favourite colour is twice and you gave two different answers, she may be calling you out on your second answer. The correct answer may be your first choice of your own favourite colour - or what she already knows to be your own favourite colour when you don't change it on a whim because you think you're playing a game.

Possible answer 2:

If she is saying that her own first statement of favourite colour was a lie (and that her following statement "that is the truth" was also a lie, then the answer might be "your favourite colour is not green", which is logically the only true statement that contradicts the lie.

Possible answer 3:

Is it possible that your daughter has mixed up the rules to this game her friend played once at camp? There is a popular game in which you make three statements about yourself, two of which are true, one of which is a lie.


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