A riddle gives indirect clues about an unnamed object or concept to be identified. It is often presented in the form of a poem. Do not use this just to mean a difficult problem or puzzle.

What is a riddle?

A riddle gives indirect clues towards the identity of an unnamed object or concept, often presented in the form of a poem. The goal of any riddle is to figure out what it is describing. A riddle employs turns of phrase, metaphor, polysemy, selective omission, and other literary techniques to conceal, obfuscate, or befuddle. The clues presented in the riddle must clearly relate to a unique answer, especially once the answer is known.

What makes a good riddle?

  • Riddles must be based on calculation and/or interpretation and not rely on assumption. The answer must be unique and clearly fit all the given clues. Riddles that have a large number of possible answers often get closed as "too broad".
  • Riddles must contain enough information and have an unambiguous, clearly correct answer. Hints should be optional: A riddle should be fully specified regardless of whether any user looks at the hint or not.
  • Riddles should be clever and creative. Riddles that are too easy or unimaginative are not fun to solve, although it is hard to draw a line here since difficulty is very subjective. In addition, riddles with crucial details omitted can frustrate solvers.
  • Users can receive feedback, development advice and guidance on riddles they are working on by posting them to The Riddle Sandbox before posting them on the main site.

How should I try to solve a riddle?

  • Analyze the riddle line by line. Note words or sentences that seem out of place.
  • Keep a list of possibilities that fit the description the riddle provides and slowly eliminate possible options. Keep in mind double meanings of words and the possible use of metaphor.

How should I answer the question once I have the solution to the riddle?

  • Make sure your solution fully fits the description in the riddle.
  • Answer the riddle fully, and provide a detailed explanation. Provide a line-by-line analysis if necessary to justify your solution.
  • Spoilertag content that directly relates to the answer, but do not write an answer entirely in a spoiler. It is useful to place some plain text in between so a reader who just wants to see part of a solution can easily choose the right one. Spoilertags hide part of a post by placing >! at the beginning of a line.
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