At lunch today, the Italians were telling riddles, making the newbies in the group guess the answers. The Italian word for riddle is indovinello, which is similar to the verb to guess, indovinare. Here are the two riddles that I actually understood. I'll post the answers in the comments in a day or so.

1) There are three ants in a line. The first one says, "There are two ants behind me but no ants in front of me." The second ant says, "There is one ant in front of me and one ant behind me." The third ant says, "There are two ants in front of me and two ants behind me." How is this possible?

2) It's a dreary day at the castle, raining and windy. The queen is in her bed chamber, and the king is in his study. Also in the household are a butler, a gardener, an historian, and a cook. The king hears a scream, runs into the queen's bedroom, and finds her dead. He questions the house staff. The butler was in the foyer cleaning silver, the gardener was tending to the garden, the historian was in the library writing up the events of the day, and the cook was in the kitchen making lunch. Who killed the queen?



Hmmm, you guys are lame. I assume you're all too busy reading Harry Potter to guess the answers. Here they are:

1) The third ant is lying.

2) The gardner. (It's a rainy day, so he wasn't in the garden.)
Anonymous said…
Seriously? Both riddles are answered by, "Someone lied?"

I have better answers.

For #1, when the third ant said "two ... behind me," he meant it metaphorically. Perhaps they are supporting is presidential candidacy, or they do not rank as highly as he does in international tennis standings, or the third ant has read further in his new Harry Potter book.

For #2, the butler threw a silver knife from the foyer, the gardener had earlier given the queen a rose with a poisoned thorn, the historian had put a deadly scorpion in a hollowed-out book, and the cook had poisoned the queen's breakfast. In spite of all their efforts, the queen, in fact, offed herself. It was painful, and she regretted it, so she screamed.

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