xx: What Has It Got in Its Pocketses? (Reader Comments and Addenda)
(14 July 1998)
Answers to the riddles (I'll put up answers only to those that readers
have answered correctly):
- Tower for a cold queen;
Death for the donor;
Tickled by a master;
Wealthy is the owner.
- Stronger than a mountain,
Slower than a snail;
Blue as a cornflower,
Colder than hail.
- A glacier.
- A monster, a giant, my size ever grows,
My tale ever stretches, yet only one knows
How fierce is my bite, and how great is my strength,
Which grows and grows with every drink.
- The one that got away.
(Dominus guessed the Hudson River; Pierre guessed a tapeworm.)
- A story many thousands of years old,
At a single glance it can be told,
Of a queen trapped by her lust for gold,
Unrescued by a knight so bold,
Now a treasure to be bought or sold.
- A bee (or termite or ant) in amber. (Thanks to Stacey, Samuel, and Pierre.)
- Below your thoughts I am sent [scent] for you;
Above your words I invent [in vent] for you.
- Your nose. (Thanks to Stacey and Samuel.)
- What is it you break even as you name it?
- What is it that a contented man desires,
A wealthy man requires,
And a poor man has,
Misers spend, and spendthrifts save,
And all men carry to their grave?
- Nothing. (Thanks to Pierre.)
- I went on a hunt with a view to kill.
Those that I caught, I kept with me not;
Those I did not are with me still.
- Fleas. (Thanks to Dominus and Danny Fahs.)
By the way, my "rock" riddle is a joke/parody (which is why I included
the answer), the point being that good riddles do not generally contain the
answer explicitly along with half a dozen ultra-specific pointers to the
answer. Metaphor and contradiction are part of what make riddles
Here's another Medieval riddle from Jeepsie:
- One is sick, one cold
One is thin, one bold
All around the world we ride
From our vengance none can hide.
- The four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
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Jed Hartman <email@example.com>