Ol' Jay's Brainteasers

BRI members enjoy trying to stump us with brainteasers and riddles. Now we try to stump you back.

1. One morning while she was eating breakfast, Laura's diamond ring slipped off her finger and fell into a full cup of coffee, but the ring didn't get wet. Why not?

2. Sam's father is five years older than Sam's grandfather. How can this be?

3. What grows down while it grows up?

4. Five hundred begins it, five hundred ends it,
Five in the middle is seen.
The first of all letters, the first of all people,
Take their place in between.
Combine them all to make the name of a famous king.

5. What is the only professional sport in which neither the players nor the spectators know the score until the match is over?

6. What ship has two mates but no captain?

7. What is it that turns everything around but does not move itself?

8. What is the greatest worldwide use of cowhide?

9. I know a man who can shave ten times a day and still have a full beard. Who is he?

The answer is neither one of these guys.

10. My friend Julia was walking down Fifth Street when she found something that had no bones and no legs. She brought it home and put it on her windowsill. A week later, it walked away. What did Julia find?

11. I can sizzle like bacon,
I am made with an egg,
I have plenty of backbone but lack a good leg.
I peel layers like onions, but still remain whole;
I can be long, like a flagpole, yet fit in a hole.
What am I?

12. Hi there! Ma and Pa told me I'd better tell you that all the two-letter words in this paragraph have something in common -or else! What's the deal?

13. The first man is the master of priceless gems;
The second man is the master of love;
The third man is the master of shovels;
The fourth man is the master of big sticks;
Who are they?

14. What well-known object is described in this poetic riddle by the 19-century English poet Sir Edmund Goss?

My love, when I gaze on thy beautiful face,
Careering along, yet always in place,
The though has often come into my mind
If I ever shall see they glorious behind.

Continue reading for the answers when you are ready for them.

Highlight the answer you want to see.

1. The cup was filled with dry, ground coffee.

2. Sam's father was 50 when he married. His bride was 25; her father was 45. When Sam was born a year later, his father was 51 and his grandfather on his mother's side was 46.

3. A goose.

4. David ("D" is the Roman numeral for 500, "V" is the Roman numeral for 5, "a" is the first letter of the alphabet, and "I" is the first person).

5. Boxing.

6. A relationship.

7. A mirror.

8. To cover cows.

9. He's a barber.

10. An egg.

11. A snake.

12. They're all abbreviations of U.S. states. HI -Hawaii, MA -Massachusetts, PA -Pennsylvania, ME -Maine, ID -Idaho, IN -Indiana, OR -Oregon.

13. They're kings in a deck of cards.

14. The moon.


The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Slightly Irregular Bathroom Reader, a fantastic book by the Bathroom Readers' Institute. The 17th book in this the Bathroom Reader series is filled to the brim with facts, fun, and fascination, including articles about the Origin of Kung Fu, How to Kill a Zombie, Women in Space and more!

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

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