There’s nothing like a good riddle to get your brain juices flowing! These thinking puzzles have been around for quite some time, and you may have encountered them early on in class as a bonus point on a test or even on the back of a cereal box as you ate your breakfast. Everybody knows solving hard riddles is good for the mind, but did you know just how beneficial they are?
If practiced often enough, hard riddles have the potential to rewire your brain! This is what makes them so challenging and so much fun to solve at the same time — you are growing your mind as you do it, making yourself smarter and sharper.
The Cognitive Impact of Riddles
First, it’s important to differentiate them from other interchangeable terms like puzzles and brain teasers to understand and appreciate riddles. Riddles are designed to test your logical reasoning, often in an amusing way, and come in the form of a written or spoken sentence or question.
Brain teasers are very similar, but they are typically more for amusement. On the other hand, puzzles are usually physical objects like toys or games that test your knowledge and ingenuity.
These exercises help people develop their lateral thinking ability, which is the formal term for thinking outside the box. It encourages more creative and less direct approaches to problem-solving.
People often experience a “Eureka!” moment when solving this nature’s problems because it uses unique solutions found in a new light. This is different from vertical thinking, which is used in analytical and logical problem-solving, usually found in math.
To keep your brain flexible and able to learn continuously through life, you need to have both. However, many people lose opportunities to exercise their lateral thinking skills, so hard riddles are still so important today.
Time to Solve Some Hard Riddles!
Ready to put your lateral thinking skills to the test? Here are some hard riddles that will make you scratch your head! Answers are just below eash riddle, so try not to peek.
Riddle 1: What word in the English language does the following: the first two letters signify a male, the first three letters signify a female, the first four letters signify a great, while the entire world signifies a great woman.
This gets tricky the longer you think about the words at play for genders. You’re also tasked to come up with a single word that meets all these conditions, but once you figure it out, it doesn’t seem so hard after all!
Riddle 2: What disappears once you say its name?
Riddles like these become difficult only if you think of them creatively. By straightforwardly using your logic, you’ll understand the conceptual metaphor of what disappears when you speak to arrive at the answer finally.
Source: ECG Productions
Riddle 3: It’s shorter than the rest, but when you’re happy, you raise it up like it’s the best. What is it?
Answer: Your thumb.
Some of the answers to the toughest riddles are right in front of you — literally!
Source: Plan Hub
Riddle 4: What has many holes but can hold a lot of water?
Answer: A sponge.
Finding the answer to this riddle might take a bit of time because it seems physically impossible to have an object full of holes and hold water!
Source: Delta Distributing
Riddle 5: I have keys, but no locks and space, and no rooms. You can enter, but you can’t go outside. What am I?
Answer: A keyboard.
If you’re not careful, then this riddle will successfully keep you thinking about rooms and spaces that can be entered. However, if you think about the word “keys” carefully, you will probably find your way out of this riddle!
Source: Blogx Place
Riddle 6: One of these words is the odd one out: Brawl, Carrot, Change, Clover, Proper, Sacred, Stone, Seventy, Swing, Travel. Which is it and why?
Answer: Carrot – because it’s the only word that doesn’t turn into another word when the first and last letters are removed.
In a riddle like this, you really need to pay attention to the words themselves rather than the order or the categories they belong to. Otherwise, you might miss the answer.
Riddle 7: I make thunder before lightning, but my lightning comes before the clouds. When I rain, it dries the land that it touches. What am I?
Answer: A volcano.
This riddle takes a bit of imagination to solve but makes perfect sense when you find the answer.
Source: The Conversation
Riddle 8: What word starts and ends with ‘e’ but has only one letter in it?
Answer: An envelope.
The key to solving this riddle is to analyze the part that says “one letter.” It could mean totally different things!
Riddle 9: You have a candle, a wood stove, and a gas lamp. Since you only have one match, which one should you light first?
Answer: The match.
Remember, when solving riddles consider which parts are important and which bits of information you can discard. In this case, you shouldn’t gloss over the match since it’s just as important as the rest of the stuff in the riddle!
Riddle 10: What gets bigger the more you take away?
Answer: A hole.
People might spend quite a bit of time trying to dig themselves out of this simple but tricky riddle.
Did you feel that?! That’s your brain stretching. Now, follow this link to keep it busy and in shape ;).