Brain Busters: A collection of the best riddles around

Riddles are a fun way to train your brain. And, in our Monday Brain Busters, we’re working on a compilation of the best riddles around. Here are the answers to each week’s riddle.

No.46: What is more useful when it is broken?

A: An egg.


No.45: How many sides does a circle have?

A: Two (the inside and the outside).


No.44: How do you make the number 7 even without addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division?

A: Drop the letter ‘S’.


No.43: What 8 letter word can have a letter taken away and it still makes a word. Take another letter away and it still makes a word. Keep on doing that until you have one letter left. What is the word?

A: Starting. As in: starting, staring, string, sting, sing, sin, in, I.


No.42: Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?

A: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.


No.41: What has six faces, but does not wear makeup, has twenty-one eyes, but cannot see?

A: A die (dice).


No.40: What can be stolen, mistaken or altered, but never leaves you your entire life?

A: Your identity.


No.39: All five sisters are busy. Ann is reading a book, Rose is cooking, Katy is playing chess, and Mary is doing the laundry. What is the fifth sister doing?

A: She’s playing chess with Katie of course!


No.38: A girl has as many brothers as sisters, but each brother has only half as many brothers as sisters. How many brothers and sisters are there in the family?

A: There are 4 brothers and 3 sisters are in the family.


No.37: What can you keep after giving to someone?

A: Your word


No.36: Which side of a chicken has more feathers?

A: The outside.


No.35: In what circumstances does today come before yesterday?

A: In the dictionary.


No.34: A man describes his daughters, saying, “They are all blonde, but two; all brunette but two; and all redheaded but two.” How many daughters does he have?

A: Three. A blonde, a brunette and a redhead.


No.33: What has many keys but can’t open a single lock?

A: A piano.


No.32: What can you hold in your left hand but not in your right?

A: Your right elbow.


No.31: I have a money box that measure 20cm wide and 10cm tall. Approximately how many coins do I need to place until my box is no longer empty?

A: Just one, after which it will no longer be empty.


No.30: What is unusual about the following words: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven?

A:Take the first letter of each word and place it at the end. It will spell the same word backward.


No.29: What ties to people together but touches only one person?

A: A wedding ring


No.28: How can a man who shaves several times a day still sport a long beard?

A: He’s a barber


No.27: What do an island and the letter “t” have in common?

A: They are both in the middle of water.


No.26: You’re in a dark room with a candle, a wood stove, and a gas lamp. You only have one match, so what do you light first?

A: The match


No.25: The water level in a reservoir is low, but doubles every day. It takes 60 days to fill the reservoir. How long does it take for the reservoir to become half full?

A: 59 days. If the water level doubles every day, the reservoir on any given day was half the size the day prior. If the reservoir is full on day 60, that means it was half full on day 59, not on day 30.


No.24: What has cities, but no houses; forests, but no trees; and water, but no fish?

A: A map


No.23: You’re escaping a maze, and there are three doors in front of you. The door on the left leads to a pit of lava. The door in the centre leads to a room filled with deadly gas. The door on the right leads to a lion that hasn’t eaten in three years. Which door do you choose?

A: Answer: The door on the right. A lion that hasn’t eaten in three years would be dead.


No.22: The person who makes it has no need for it. The person who purchases it does not use it. The person who does use it does not know he or she is. What is it?

A: A coffin.


No.21: Fourteen of the kids in the class are girls. Eight of the kids wear blue shirts. Two of the kids are neither girls or wear a blue shirt. If five of the kids are girls who wear blue shirts, how many kids are in the class?

A: 19


No.20: I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness. What am I?

A: The letter ‘S’.


No.19: Your parents have six sons, including you, and each son has one sister. How many people in total are in the family?

A: Nine – two parents, six sons and one daughter.


No.18: What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

A: Shorter


No.17: Arnold Schwarzenegger has a long one. Michael J. Fox has a short one. Madonna does not use hers. Bill Clinton always uses his. The Pope never uses his. What is it?

A: Their surnames


No.16: A man is looking at a photograph of someone. His friend asks who it is.

The man replies, “Brothers and sisters, I have none. But that man’s father is my father’s son.”

Who was in the photograph?

A: His son


No.15: What is harder to catch the faster you run?

A: Your breath


No.14: What comes next in the following sequence? O, T, T, F, F, S, S, E

A: N (O, T, T, F, F, S, S, E represents One, Two, Three, Four, Five etc.)


No.13: Felicity popped down to her local hardware store last Saturday to inquire about the cost of several items. When she asked about one particular price the store manager said: “You can have 1 for $5, you can have 14 for $10, or I’ll give you 341 for $15!”.

Happy with that final offer, Felicity took home 341. What was it that she was buying?

A: House numbers.


No.12: A man dived underwater with no tank, snorkel or any other device to allow him to breathe, yet he stayed down there to live for the rest of his life. How is this possible?

A: He drowned


No.11: Which word can precede all of the following to make new words: less, power, storm, wave and wash?

A: Brain

No.10: There is a word in the English language in which the first two letters signify a male, the first three letters signify a female, the first four signify a great man, and the whole word, a great woman. What is the word?

A: Heroine


No.9: A man pushes his car to a hotel and tells the owner he’s bankrupt. Why?

A: The man is playing Monopoly.


No.8: Guess the next three letters in this series: G, T, N, T, L,

A: I, T, S. The complete sequence is the first letter of every word in the sentence.


No.7: What breaks yet never falls, and what falls yet never breaks?

A: Day and night


No.6: A man pushes his car to a hotel and tells the owner he’s bankrupt. Why?

A: Because he was playing Monopoly.


No.5: Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?

A: The number 8 (which on its side represents infinity).


No.4: A man stands on one side of a river, his dog on the other. The man calls his dog, who immediately crosses the river without getting wet and without using a bridge or a boat. How did the dog do it?

A: The river was frozen.


No.3: ‘Woolly’ is an example of a word that contains two consecutive pairs of double letters, but can you think of one of the very few words in the English language that contains three consecutive pairs of double letters?

A: Bookkeeper.


No.2: Walk on the living, they don’t even mumble; Walk on the dead, they mutter and grumble. What are they?

A: Leaves; soft and silent when they’re alive but crunchy when dead.


No.1: Why is the number 8,549,176,320 unique?

A: The digits are arranged in alphabetical order

Do you have a brain buster to share? Why not send it to and we’ll do our best to publish it?

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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