Riddles can help stretch the mind and create new thinking processes. Playing guessing games every day can help you think carefully, build good memories, and develop cognitive skills. Likewise, difficult riddles can also be solved if you use a few simple techniques.
Part 1 of 4: learn how riddles work
Step 1. Master the basics of riddles
There are two main categories of riddles namely: riddles and puzzles. The two are often presented as a dialogue between the questioner (who often has the solution to the riddle) and the interviewee.
- The puzzles are asked in the form of questions using metaphorical, allegorical or relational language whose answer requires creativity and experience. For example, “The sun sets like a pleasure garden, but when you look at it after dawn, you will only see an empty garden. What is it about ? (The answer is: the sky).
- Puzzles are also posed as questions that have traps in either the question or the answer or both. For example, "What flowers can be found between the nose and the chin?" (The answer is: tulips or both lips).
Step 2. Understand the guessing rules
Most of the riddles deal with very familiar topics. Their difficulty often comes from the way these subjects are described. Riddles often create a link between ideas in order to direct you to the answer.
For example, a very popular riddle by British writer JRR Tolkien from the book "The Hobbit" reads: "Thirty horses on a red hill, first they chew, then they stomp, then they stand still.". This riddle has made use of colloquial words such as "horses" and "hill" to metaphorically express the answer (which in this case is "the teeth")
Step 3. Realize that guessing can play tricks on you
Apparently, logical links can possibly be the wrong direction. The correct answer may be very obvious so that you may miss it at first.
- Diversions are a common form of bad leads through an affair, as can be seen in this riddle which is, “A green man lives in a green house. A blue person lives in a blue house. A red person lives in a red house. Who lives in the White House? The first answer that will come to mind would be "a white man", but it is the "White House" which is the diversion: the President of the United States lives in the White House!
- An African riddle states the following: “How do you eat an elephant? (The answer is: bite by bite). This riddle is a good example, because the answer is hidden in plain sight.
- The other riddles are not true riddles at all. For example, this yidish riddle says, "What is green, damp, hanging on the wall, and whistling?" The answer is "a herring" because you can hang it on the wall and if it is painted green it will be green. If the paint is not dry, it is wet. The joke is that he doesn't really whistle, which means there is deliberately no answer to this riddle.
Part 2 of 4: Improving Your Analytical Skills
Step 1. Solve puzzles frequently
To solve the puzzles, you need to combine what you already know with the new information from the puzzle. Much like riddles, puzzles require you to use old knowledge and contextual clues to come up with a real answer, which is often difficult to answer. Puzzles can potentially help you recognize situations and order.
- Puzzles like Tetris, as well as puzzles, require you to analyze a situation from several angles in order to find the correct answer. This process also applies when it comes to solving riddles.
- Certain types of puzzles and games are better ways to develop specific skills. So when you get used to doing a lot of crossword puzzles, you will probably be very good at it, but you cannot see such benefits in other areas. It helps to play a variety of games instead of focusing on just one type.
Step 2. Alternate your puzzle games regularly
The more you repeat a certain type of task, the less effort your brain will put into performing it. Regularly alternate the different types of games you participate in, and this will help your brain to avoid taking shortcuts.
Step 3. Read and then summarize something difficult
For example, you could read a complex story and then summarize it, which brings all the ideas together in a few key words. Studies have shown that it will help you see the obvious as well as the details. It is also a skill that comes in handy when solving the riddle.
Restating ideas in your own words can also help you develop linguistic flexibility and increase your intellectual capacity. Ideas are easier to remember when you've taken the time to paraphrase them, because your brain has to put a lot of effort into structuring the ideas in order to understand them
Part 3 of 4: Play the guesswork you know
Step 1. Break down some popular riddles
For starters, you may find this useful with some riddles that you already know the answer to. There are several collections of riddles that are online and in books that you can use to practice.
Step 2. Do the reverse circuit
Go back from the solution and try to find out how the riddle works. Riddles tend to assume that the answer should be already known, when in reality the entertainment part of a riddle is seen if you can distract someone by asking them questions about what they don't know about. 'he knows. While the wording itself may be difficult, the solution is usually something familiar.
For example, in Sophocles' book titled “Oedipus the King”, the riddle posed is: “What has four legs in the morning, two at noon and three in the evening? The answer is "the man", because when he is a child, in the morning of his life, he walks on all fours, when he is an adult he stands on his two legs and when he is old, on the evening of his death. life, he needs a cane to move around
Step 3. Break the riddles down into parts
With the riddle from the book “Oedipus the King”, the ideal word you could start with is “the paws”, since all the words in the riddle are related to it. The words four, two and three are associated with it alone.
- What has four legs? Many animals have four legs, so this may be the answer. Tables and chairs also have four legs and are common things, so keep those in mind.
- What has two feet? In this case, humans are the obvious answer, since humans are familiar and have two feet. Tables and chairs don't have two legs, so they're probably not the answer.
- What has three feet? This then is the difficult part. Animals usually do not have three legs, unless one leg has been amputated. However, if the animal had four legs initially and then comes to two legs, a third leg could no longer grow back. This means that we are probably looking at the third leg as some kind of tool, that is, something that has been added.
- What uses tools? A person is the most familiar response, therefore that person could be the target.
Step 4. Think about the actions mentioned in the riddle
In this riddle, there is only one verb which is "a". So we know that whatever the answer is, it is able to take action (move).
This could mean it is moving, because something else can also cause it to move (like a car), don't just change your mind just yet. Instead, keep an open mind, as this will obviously be of crucial help in solving the riddles
Step 5. Consider any other information in the riddle
The other information in the riddle taken from Oedipus the King is the problem of time. The riddle mentions "morning", "noon" and "evening" as the times when the actions took place.
- Since the puzzle begins in the morning and ends in the evening, it is likely to hint at something that takes place following a temporal progression from start to finish.
- Be careful to avoid overly literal thoughts when it comes to guesswork. They are almost always expressed figuratively. Noon doesn't mean 12 o'clock in the afternoon so much in the middle of something.
Step 6. Eliminate unlikely answers
Combine the actions described in the riddle with your potential answers. You can now begin to limit possible responses by eliminating the ones you don't need.
- Chairs and tables cannot move on their feet. This makes the latter unlikely solutions.
- Man has several feet, and he can add more by serving implements such as canes and crutches. He can also move on his feet. Even if you don't yet know how the feet actually work over time, a “person” seems like the right answer.
Part 4 of 4: Solving the Riddles
Step 1. Determine the type of guesswork you are dealing with
Some riddles require mathematical skills, such is the example in this riddle: “A barrel filled with 9 liters of water. What should be added to have only 5 liters of water? (The answer is: a hole).
Although the puzzles and riddles both come in question form, the puzzles often pose more complex problems while the riddles can be a simple question
Step 2. Consider the possibilities
With a difficult riddle, it may be helpful to break the riddle down into several parts, as demonstrated in Part 2.
While breaking a riddle down into parts and considering several possible answers may seem embarrassing or awkward at first, it will be faster and easier when you exercise regularly
Step 3. Reserve your judgment on the answer
One of the most important tactics when listening to or reading a riddle is not to jump to conclusions. To solve a riddle, you will need to consider the literal and potential meanings of the words.
For example, this riddle reads, "What gets wetter as it dries?" (The answer is: a towel). Even if the answer seems contradictory, a towel does dry things out and gets wet as it goes
Step 4. Be flexible in considering the answers
Try to think of the different ways of interpreting the clues that the riddle gives. In particular, riddles are very often expressed figuratively, meaning that they will use words with a literal definition to express something metaphorically.
For example, this riddle asks the following question: "What has golden hair and is standing in the corner?" The answer is a broom, because "golden hair" refers to a traditional broom made of yellow straw and is placed "upright" in a corner when you are done using it
Step 5. Realize that riddles sometimes set traps for you
This is especially common with riddles that are written down and appear to require an inappropriate and explicit answer. The possibility of giving more than one answer allows both parties to laugh.
The goal of a difficult riddle is to get you to give the most "obvious" (and especially the most explicit) answer. For example, there are riddles that have multiple answers and to give the correct one you have to imagine beyond most common guesses and think with more flexibility
- Read lots of guessing books. The more you get used to how riddles work, the better you'll be able to solve them.
- Be patient with yourself. Riddles are designed to challenge your intelligence. Feeling puzzled at a difficult guess does not mean that you are illogical or stupid.
- Create your own riddles! Creating your own riddles will help you understand how they work and help you break them down into parts in order to solve them.