Unless the sphinx can answer “that’s a paradox” or similar, this is going to be over very quickly.
No, it’s only a single doc.
I think Baron is up against the same thing Bilbo might have been up against in “The Hobbit when” Tolkien noted that “What is in my pocket?” was merely a question and not a riddle and that Gollum would have been within his rights to reject it as such. Good thing Gollum fumbled an easy Int roll in the heat of the moment. I wonder if the Sphinx is as likely to do the same thing? o_O
Yeah, somebody who reveres riddles would wish Frodo fell in the volcano instead of Gollum.
I’d call that Tolkein story the first run-in with a pedantic fanbase, but when Homer was telling the Iliad some nasally guy probably stood up and pointed out Hector was using the wrong spear or something.
Well, no, but those “topless towers of Illium” clearly had tops, and the ship designs were all wrong…
The topless towers were a well known tourist destination. The also filled with water during the rainy season.
So far as I can tell, the ‘topless’ trait of the towers of Ilium originated with Christopher Marlowe
“Headless Body Found in Topless Towers“?
Since Bilbo had the ring, the riddle contest didn’t matter, though he didn’t know that. Gollum tried to attack him anyway, but the ring saved him – it wanted to go with Bilbo and get back into the world.
More to the point, the question wouldn’t have counted…until Gollum accepted it, at which point fate started stepping in.
Yeah, but that’s not a plot hole. Gollum did say it wasn’t fair and Bilbo basically did a “is so”. Gollum was right and Bilbo was wrong but … that doesn’t mean it *didn’t* happen. Just that it *shouldn’t* have happened. … if by “should” you mean playing by the rules should have happened…
I can’t believe there’s a better question, or general kind of question, than the one I’m thinking of. Actually I’m kind of surprised this scenario isn’t a chestnut I’m familiar with. And we’re all going to be nice and not say it, aren’t we? Yes we are. Though I still expect to be wrong because Shaenon and Jeff came up with something funnier.
First word is the only w-word that starts with H.
Is anyone else reminded of “The Neverending Story?”
“What’s the difference between a duck?”
I understand that one of its legs is both the same.
No, that’s the REASON that the answer to
“What is the difference between a duck?” is …
“Because one of his legs are both the same.”
The way I heard it, each the other is just the same.
One of them is covered in down.
Oh, this one’s easy. “Supposing you were a Buddhist, what is the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything?” The answer is silence, because Buddhists seek oblivion from the cycle of incarnation. And because silence is the same as not answering, you win.
Ah, so THAT’s the sound of one hand clapping.
But if Silence is the answer then by remaining silent IS answering you. Alternately the could just spell out that they still seek Oblivion.
Ooh, I like that.
Don’t be ridiculous, the answer is 42
Why is a writing desk like a raven?
Can’t answer, is not the same as has no answer. Many have answered that.
Because there is a ‘b’ in both and an ‘n’ in neither.
I believe it’s pronounced neither.
They both have inky quills.
If memory serves, Reverend Dodgson provided an answer to that riddle in a private letter: THe only notes you can get from either one are flat.
“Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end in front!”
Except the stupid editor “corrected” the word “nevar” to “never” missing the entire point of the second clause.
And so did my phone’s autocorrect, go figure.
I’m sorry about the autocorrect. I couldn’t believe my luck that some-one on *these* boards wouldn’t know that and I could arrogantly pontificate at. I jumped at the chance. I should have known everyone *here* would know that. … (and everyone everywhere else continues to look at me funny and not care…)
Poe wrote on both.
They are both nevar put backwards.
1. Because the notes they are noted for are not musical notes.
2. Because the one time that the Reverend Dodgson dreamed of a talking writing desk, all it would say was, “Nevermore!”
“What’s Irish and stays out in back of the house, even in the rain?”
What’s brown and sounds like a bell?
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie-roll pop? (In retrospect, I’m not sure why that kid thought forest animals would be the go-to knowledge base on that one.)
Owls are allegedly wise…
The first riddle I ever heard, one familiar to almost every Jewish child, was propounded to me by my father:
“What is it that hangs on the wall, is green, wet — and whistles?”
I knit my brow and thought and thought, and in final perplexity gave up.
“A herring,” said my father.
“A herring,” I echoed. “A herring doesn’t hang on the wall!”
“So hang it there.”
“But a herring isn’t green!” I protested.
“But a herring isn’t wet.”
“If it’s just painted it’s still wet.”
“But —” I sputtered, summoning all my outrage, “— a herring doesn’t whistle!!”
“Right,” smiled my father. “I just put that in to make it hard.”
— Leo Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish
That kind of riddle was used as a story point in a fantasy story by the late L. Sprague deCamp. The hero was trying to outwit a giantish creature, as I recall, and the riddle was something to the effect of “What’s green, has wheels, and runs around the house.”
That comes up in *MirrorMask* as well. I didn’t know it was a pre-existing riddle!
The best riddle ever was created by my friend’s grandfather:
Q: Why is the sea salty?
A: It’s because of all the herring!
(OK, so if you weren’t brought up on that Jewish delicacy, unbelievably salty dried herring sticks, you might not get this, but I feel that this riddle deserves a much wider audience than my friend’s family and me.)
The Anti-Sphinx is waiting,
To serve her clientele.
And with her laser eyeballs,
She’ll send you straight to hell-
O Nick and Lovelace.
Wishing you some luck.
You’re really up against it
She doesn’t give a—
Ducking’s not an option,
You’ve got to see it through.
Your guns are worse than useless,
You’ve stepped into the–
Do be awful careful.
Don’t expect a pass.
Remember, if she answers,
She’ll burn your sorry—
Ask the sphinx a question.
Give her a surprise.
The object is to stump her,
So you won’t burn and die…
—(I didn’t have time to post anything yesterday, but I did just now.)
Shell? Duck? Brow? Glass? Wise?
My first is in fork but not in cork.
My second is in duck but not in dock.
My third is in tack but not in tank.
My fourth is in back but not in bactrian camel.
What am I?
… because Whimsy.
Antisphinx, Anasigma hmm
I’m sure there’s other “An”s
And, this being this comic, they’re all related
Also, what is the capital of Assyria?
Oooh, that’s a good one.
Since the question is in the present tense, the answer is “none”, because it doesn’t exist anymore. Too bad Sir Robin didn’t think of that, huh?
Since this is a Whimsy-based world, if somewhat twisted, Nick and company will need to come up with a classic riddle. Otherwise there are a few mathematical problems that I’m sure they could use to break the Antisphinx (xnihpS?) along with the rest of the world. Alas, alack.
“What is the eternal Tao?”
(For the uninitiated, any answer it can say is by definition wrong, because “the Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”)
Nowhere is it writ that it has to be the right answer.
Ask about coconut-laden swallows!
European or African?
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