Riddles for Adults

70+ Riddles for Adults (With Answers) to Challenge the Mind [2020]

Test your logical thinking and problem-solving skills with these fun brain teasers and puzzles. These riddles for adults start on a light note with a dirty joke or fun riddle, and then gradually dives into the trickier puzzles. Towards the end, you’ll find the harder riddles, the ones that are more complicated and more difficult to solve… 

Funny Riddles 

Here are some easy riddles, ones that are funny and that you most likely have heard before. Keep in mind that there will be some dirty riddles in here that might not be appropriate for a kid. But if you’re an adult–enjoy! 

I am a rock group with four members. All dead, one was assassinated. What am I?

Mt. Rushmore.

What time is it when an elephant sits on a fence?

It’s time to fix the fence.

What’s messy and can be really annoying and/or tricky to clean up after sex?

Feelings.

I saw a boat full of people, yet there wasn’t a single person on the boat. How is that possible?

They were all married.

Why is Europe like a frying pan?

Because it has Greece at the bottom. 

I go in hard, come out soft, and you love to blow me. What am I?

Chewing gum.

What has ten letters and starts with gas?

Automobile. 

I start with a “p” and ends with “o-r-n,” and I’m a major player in the film industry. What am I?

Popcorn.

What goes up but never comes down?

Your age. 

A king, a queen, and two twins all lay in a large room. How are there no adults in the room?

They’re all beds!

Some people prefer being on top, others prefer being on the bottom, and it always involves a bed. What am I? 

A bunk bed.

Why can’t we take a picture of a man with a wooden leg?

The wooden leg is not a camera.

I assist with erections. Sometimes, giant balls hang from me. I’m known as a big swinger. What am I?

A crane.

Samuel was out for a walk when it started to rain. He did not have an umbrella and he wasn’t wearing a hat. His clothes were soaked, yet not a single hair on his head got wet. How could this happen?

Because Samuel is bald! 

All-day long it’s in and out. I discharge loads from my shaft. Both men and women go down on me. What am I?

An elevator.

What has four legs like a dog, two eyes like a dog, looks just like a dog but is not a dog?

A picture of a dog! 

What tastes better than it smells?

Your tongue! 

What is as light as a feather, but even the strongest man in the world can’t hold it in for long?

His breath. 

What does a teddy bear do when it rains? 

It gets wet! 

What’s long and hard and has cum in it?

A cucumber.

Challenging Riddles 

Here are some brain teasers that might require some problem-solving skills and logical thinking. They’re tricky, but not impossible to answer. It’s just some good riddles that will get you to really use your brain.  

You walk into a room that contains a match, a kerosene lamp, a candle, and a fireplace. What would you light first?

The match. 

How many letters are in the alphabet?

There are 11 letters in “the alphabet”.

A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms: the first is full of raging fires; the second, assassins with loaded guns, and the third, with lions who haven’t eaten in years. Which room is the safest?

The room with the lions because the lions are already dead. 

What five-letter word stays the same when you take away the first, third, and last letter?

Empty

All 5 sisters are busy. Ann is reading a book, Rose is cooking, Katy is playing chess, and Mary is doing the laundry. What is the 5th sister doing?

She’s playing chess, of course! 

A man is asked what his daughters look like. He answers, “they are all blondes, but two, all brunettes, but two, and all redheads, but two.” How many daughters does he have?

Three. One is blonde, one is brunette, and one is a redhead.

David’s father has three sons: Snap, Crackle and…? 

David.

You always find me in the past, I can be created in the present, but the future can never taint me. What am I?

History

A man is found hanging dead from the ceiling of a room. The room’s dimensions are 15 x 15 x 15. The man is only 6ft tall and the rope was only 2ft long. There are no windows and only one door into the room. The door is bolted shut from the inside and there is a puddle of water under the man. How did he kill himself?

The man stood on a block of ice.

How can you drop a raw egg on the concrete floor without cracking it?

The egg won’t crack the concrete floor! 

What has thirteen hearts but no other organs?

A deck of cards.

In a bus, there is a 26-year-old pregnant lady, a 30-year-old policeman, a 52-year-old random woman, and the driver who is 65 years old. Who is the youngest?

The baby of the pregnant lady.

Two in a corner, 1 in a room, 0 in a house, but 1 in a shelter. What am I?

The letter “R”

What English word does the following: the first two letters signify a male, the first three letters signify a female, the first four letters signify a great person, while the entire word signifies a great woman. What is the word?

“Heroine.”

A boy and an engineer were fishing. The boy is the son of the engineer but the engineer is the father of the boy. Then who is the engineer?

The engineer is the boy’s mother. 

In a one-story pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower– everything was pink! What color were the stairs?

There weren’t any stairs, it was a one-story house!

A plane crashed between the border of Canada and America. Where do you bury the survivors?

They are survivors, you don’t bury them.

A woman is sitting in her hotel room when there is a knock at the door. She opened the door to see a man whom she had never seen before. He said, “Oh I’m sorry. I have made a mistake. I thought this was my room.” He then went down the corridor and in the elevator. The woman went back into her room and phoned security. What made the woman so suspicious of this man?

You don’t knock on your own hotel room door! 

What is special about the number 854,917,632?

It’s the numbers from 1-9 in alphabetical order.

What word in the English language has three consecutive double letters?

Bookkeeper.

My first is in chocolate but not in ham, my second’s in cake and also in jam, my third at tea-time is easily found, my whole is a friend who’s often around. What am I?

A cat.

Two fathers and two sons are in a car, yet there are only three people in the car. How?

They are a grandfather, father, and son.

A woman shoots her husband, then holds him underwater for five minutes. Next, she hangs him. Right after, they enjoy a lovely dinner. Explain.

She took a picture of him and developed it in her darkroom.

A man is trapped in a room. The room has only two possible exits: two doors. Through the first door, there is a room constructed from magnifying glasses. The blazing hot sun instantly fries anything or anyone that enters. Through the second door, there is a fire-breathing dragon. How does the man escape?

He waits until night time and then goes through the first door.

Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?

Nothing.

A is the brother of B. B is the brother of C. C is the father of D. So how is D related to A?

A is D’s aunt.

A man was found murdered on Sunday morning. His wife immediately called the police. The police went to the crime scene and question the wife and staff and got these alibis: The wife said she was sleeping, the cook was eating breakfast, the gardener was picking vegetables, the maid was getting the mail, the butler was cleaning the closet. The police instantly arrested the murderer. Who did it and how did they know?

It was the Maid. She said she was getting the mail but there’s no mail on Sundays.

Difficult Riddles

All of the puzzles below are considered to be logic riddles, ones that you’ll really need to think about to get the answer

Tim and Mel are long-distance lovers. Tim has just purchased an engagement ring for Mel and wants to mail it to her. Unfortunately, the only way to ensure the ring will be received is to place a lock on the package. Tim has locks and Mel has locks but neither have keys for each others’ locks. How can they ensure the ring isn’t stolen?

Tim places a lock on the package and sends it to Mel. Mel places one of her locks on the package and sends it back to Tim. Tim removes his lock and sends the package back to Mel.

I am a word of 5 letters and people eat me. If you remove the first letter, I become a form of energy. Remove the first two and I’m needed to live. Scramble the last 3 and you can drink me. What am I?

Wheat, heat, eat, tea

Which English word is the odd one out – Stun, Ton, Evil, Letter, Mood, Bad, Snap, Straw?

Letter.

The person who makes it has no need of it; the person who buys it has no use for it. The person who uses it can neither see nor feel it. What is it?

A coffin 

The answer I give is yes, but what I mean is no. What was the question?

“Do you mind?”

My buddies and I were inseparable mates
Til one by one were we split
My teacher, she gave me a smack on the pate
And off in the corner I sit.
Admittedly still I’m not hitting the books
Though now I’m hugging a tree
I guess in the end it’s not bad as it looks
I went from a C to a B…

(Clue: it’s an object)

A staple

What can go up a chimney down, but can’t go down a chimney up?

An umbrella.

What can you hold in your right hand, but never in your left hand?

Your left hand.

A man is found murdered in his office. The suspects are Peter, Julie, Jason, Molly, and Brian. In the office is a calendar with the numbers 6,4,9,10,11 written in blood. Who is the killer?

Jason is the killer. The numbers indicate months and the first letter of each month spells the name of the murderer, e.g. the 6th month is June and the first letter of June is J, the 4th month is April and the first letter of April is a, and so on.

There are 3 switches outside of a room, all in the ‘off’ setting. One of them controls a lightbulb inside the room, the other two do nothing. You cannot see into the room, and once you open the door to the room, you cannot flip any of the switches anymore. Before going into the room, how would you flip the switches in order to be able to tell which switch controls the light bulb?

Flip the first switch and keep it flipped for five minutes. Then unflip it, and flip the second switch. Go into the room. If the lightbulb is off but warm, the first switch controls it. If the light is on, the second switch controls it. If the light is off and cool, the third switch controls it.

You walk into a creepy house by yourself. There is no electricity, plumbing or ventilation. Inside you notice 3 doors with numbers on them. Once you open the doors you will die a particular way. Door #1 You’ll be eaten by a lion who is hungry. Door #2 You’ll be stabbed to death. Door #3 There is an electric chair waiting for you. Which door do you pick?

Door #3, Since There Is No Electricity To Harm You.

With pointed fangs I sit and wait, with piercing force I serve out fate. Grabbing bloodless victims, proclaiming my might; physically joining with a single bite. What am I?

A stapler.

Short Riddles: Math Edition 

Everyone loves a good ol math riddle! Math riddles are a great way to test your smarts and make sure that you actually did learn something in school: 

I have two coins equaling fifteen cents. One of them is not a nickel. What are the two coins?

A dime and a nickel. One of the coins is not a nickel, but the other one is. 

Mom and dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the family?

7.

If 9999=4, 8888=8, 1816=6, 1212=0, then 1919=? (Clue: Closed areas.)

  1. 9999 has 4 closed areas (the top of the ‘9’).8888 has 8 closed areas (the top and bottom parts of 8 and there are no other digits). 1816 has 3 closed areas (top and bottom of 8 and bottom of 6, and it has 2 other digits (3 * 2 = 6)). 1212 has 0 closed areas, (0 * 4 = 0).

If you multiply me by any other number, the answer will always remain the same. What number am I?

Which is correct: 18 plus 19 is 36. Or 18 plus 19 are 36?

Actually, both are incorrect – 18 plus 19 is 37!

When does 11+3=2?

On a clock.

There was a large truck that needed to cross a 20-mile long bridge. Unfortunately, the bridge could only hold the weight of 12000 lbs. Even a single pound extra, the bridge would collapse. However, the weight of the truck is exactly 12000 lbs. The driver carefully drove and crossed almost 85% distance of the bridge. He stopped to get a small break. Suddenly, a bird landed on the truck. Did the bridge collapse? 

No, the bridge doesn’t collapse. The truck almost crossed 85% of total distance. Equivalent diesel would have been lost. So the extra weight of the bridge doesn’t add any extra load to the bridge.

3 hens lay 3 eggs in 3 days. How many eggs do 12 hens give in 12 days?

48 eggs. One hen lays 1 egg in 3 days or 4 eggs in 12 days. 12 hens give 48 eggs in 12 days.

Challenging Adult Riddles 

Here are some fun yet complicated riddles for adults wanting to challenge themselves and really use the depths of their brains to figure out the answer(s).

Hard Mythology Riddle 

There is a mythological story of a Sphinx, a monster with the body of a lion and the head of a woman. Apparently, the Sphinx sat on top of a rock along the road to the city of Thebes, stopping travelers and proposing to them a riddle. The Sphinx claimed that whoever failed the riddle would be killed, and evidently, not pass through to the city. This is the riddle

What animal walks on four legs in the morning, two legs during the day, and three legs in the evening?

Oedipus, the king of Thebes, figured out the answer to this logic puzzle:

Man, who in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in manhood walks erect, and in old age with the aid of a staff. (Morning, day, and night are representative of the stages of life.)

Buried Treasure Riddle

The best way to find the right answer to this brainteaser is through logic and deductive reasoning. 

After a storm tears through the Hex Archipelago, you find five grizzled survivors in the water. Shivering their timbers, they explain that they’re the former crew of the great pirate Greenbeard, who marooned them after they tried to mutiny. Each was bound up in a different spot on a small island, until the storm washed them out to sea. In gratitude for saving them, they reveal a secret: the island they were on is also where Greenbeard has buried his treasure hoard. But when the sailors try to describe the island, something seems off. All agree it was flat and barren with no prominent features except for some trees. Yet each pirate claims they saw a different number of trees, ranging from two to six. The pirate who saw two trees says the treasure was buried right at his feet. When you fly your hot air balloon over the area to investigate, you see hundreds of small islands, each with exactly six trees. The next storm will be here soon, so you’ll have to hurry and narrow your search. What does the island with Greenbeard’s treasure look like from the sky? And where will the treasure be on that island? 

Clues: 

  1. All islands have exactly 6 trees of equal height. 
  2. The islands are all flat, have no obstructions other than trees and their precise shapes aren’t important.
  3. Each pirate was confined in a specific spot and saw a different number of trees, ranging from 2 to 6. They could look all around but not move. 
  4. The treasure was buried at the feet of the pirate who saw 2 trees.

Answer:

No, the pirates aren’t delirious from dehydration. Remember, each was confined to a separate point on the island, and no two of them could see the same number of trees. That means that for all but one pirate, something was blocking their view. And since there are no other features on the island, that something could only have been other trees.

A pirate would see fewer trees when two or more fell along a straight line from their vantage point. So we need to find the island where five different pirates standing in different spots would each see a different number of trees. Virtually every island has a position from which you can see six trees. And on most islands there’s a position where 5 trees can be seen by standing in line with two of them. It turns out that the hardest locations to find are those with fewer visible trees precisely because they require more trees to line up with the viewer’s position. So how can we see just two trees. One way would be if all the trees were lined up in single file, such as on this island. Then, you could stand at the end of the line and see one, stand in the middle and see two, or stand anywhere else and see all six. But there’s no place from which you can see only three, four, or five, so one straight line of trees is out. So what about two lines of trees? So long as the lines aren’t parallel and they intersect over land, there’ll always be a position where the two lines converge from which you could see exactly two trees. And if they’re grouped two and four, or three and three, there are many arrangements in which you could also see three, four, five, and six trees. 

Fortunately for us, there’s only one island in the archipelago with two non-parallel lines of trees, and it’ll be buried at the intersection of the two lines. (X marks the spot!) You land on this island and dig up a chest containing a massive pile of tree seeds. 

Prisoner Hat Riddle

Here’s a great mind-boggling riddle:

100 prisoners are lined up single file. A blue or red hat is placed on each of their heads randomly. The prisoners cannot see the color of the hat on their own head, but they can see the colors of all the hats in front of them. The prisoner in the back can clearly see all 99 hats in front of him. The 50th prisoner in line can see the 49 hats in front of him, and the prisoner in the front of the line cannot see anything but the forest before him. Also, the prisoners don’t know the proportion of red hats to blue hats in advance—it could be 50/50, but it could also be any combination that adds to 100.

A guard is going to walk down the line, starting in the back, and ask each prisoner what color hat they have on. They can only answer “blue” or “red.” If they answer incorrectly or say anything else, they will be shot dead on the spot. If they answer correctly, they will be set free. Each prisoner can hear all of the other prisoners’ responses, as well as any gunshots that indicate an incorrect response. They can remember all of this information.

Before the executions begin, the prisoners get to huddle up and make a plan. How can the prisoners ensure that most people possible survive?

Answer:

The prisoners come up with the following plan: 

If the first prisoner to speak—the one in the back of the line—sees an even number of blue hats, he will yell out “blue.” If he sees an odd number of blue hats, he will yell out “red.”

Let’s assume the first prisoner to speak yells out “blue,” indicating that he sees an even number of blue hats. Then the next prisoner to speak can look at the line in front of him, and if he sees an odd number of blue hats, he knows his hat must be blue to make the number even. Similarly, if he sees an even number of blue hats, he knows his hat must be red to keep it that way. The same logic works if the first prisoner yells out “red,” indicating that there are an odd number of blue hats.

The next prisoner in line listens to the prisoner behind him and takes that information into consideration. If he sees an even number of blue hats and the prisoner behind him yells “blue,” making the total number of blue hats odd, then he knows his hat must be blue to make the total number even again (of the 99 seen by the first prisoner). In the same situation, if his hat were red, the total number of blue hats would be odd (of the 99 seen by the first prisoner).

As you go down the line, each prisoner must count how many blue hats are behind them. Then he must consider the blue hats in front of him. If the number of blue hats behind a prisoner plus the blue hats he can see in front of him equals an odd number, then he knows his hat must be blue to make the total number even, or red to make the total number odd (not counting the very first prisoner).

The very first prisoner is the maybe-martyr of the group. He is imparting information to the rest of the group that has nothing to do with the hat on his own head, which he cannot know, and so his chances of living are only 50%.

More Riddles

About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, dreamer, and occasional exotic dancer and a collective pen name. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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