Original (Previously Published) Riddles By Alexander Baron

  The one hundred and ten riddles on this webpage were published in A Book Of Conundrum Riddles - though the word book should not be taken too literally. In the original, the riddles were numbered sequentially 1 to 110, and the answers were published at the back (upside down). A number of very minor corrections have been made to this HTML version, for example, an unwarranted apostrophe has been dropped from (CR32); a comma has been inserted in (CR35); the word Pharoah has been capitalised in (CR38)...Below is page 1, verbatim, the introduction as it appeared in the original way back in 1989. Below that is the inside back cover, also verbatim.

                TO THE READER

The following small collection of rhymed conundrum riddles is a selection from some 1500+ I have composed since 1984. Previously, some, including a few which appear here, were published in the Voice newspaper under the Kids Korner column May and December of 1987. The fact that they never caught on was, I like to think, due entirely to the poor presentation, inappropriate selection of, and frequent tampering with the riddles, rather than the quality of the puzzles themselves. I have not attempted to grade the selection, so dead easy ones appear alongside real brain teasers. However, they are all readily solvable, and if you are the type of person who even dares attempt the Times crossword you should have no trouble in picking your way through this little maze of anagrams, puns and other assorted niceties. Depending on the response to this slim volume, more will follow. A Baron South East London 25th November 1988

Text by A Baron

Front cover designed by Theresia Weller

Layout and artwork by T D Man

The back cover bears the ISBN, 1 871473 30 6 and is copyright 1989 by ITMA.

The riddles were pages 2-18; pages 19 & 20 contained the answers (upside down). Except number 50, for which the answer did not appear! It took me a minute or two to work it out, but you will find it below.

(CR70) became obsolete soon after it was written, as will be seen from the answer.

In the original pamphlet, many of the answers were spelled out, eg bad-MIN-ton; here this is rendered simply as Badminton. One answer was given as Constable or constable. Here it is rendered Constable.

The answers appear on a separate page.

Riddles (CR1-CR115)


(CR1) This fruit might it be said
Is not quite lead?
Four letters.

(CR2) The Sun-god came, but not that way:
Itís in the picture, you might say.
Six letters.

(CR3) A Russian butterfly is all at sea.
Indeed, but what on Earth can this thing be?
Three and seven.

(CR4) Gee meets the girl and itís apparent
In five, heíll soon be transparent.

(CR5) A city with a zero
Together will uncover
An English playwrightís hero
And someoneís Latin lover.

(CR6) Hole in the ground. In four itís clear
A half bad animal lives here.

(CR7) A mythical beast?
Sicilian at least!

(CR8) Though it may be obtuse
It makes a point, or three,
Itís not a semi circle,
But itís of the same degree.

(CR9) Four letters, three,
Is he a pig?
No, but he doesnít give a fig
For others people, and I say,
Youíll find him on the motorway.
What is he?

(CR10) The people who walk down this path
Are not always lifeís winners,
But at least they donít feel the wrath
Of God, for theyíre not sinners.
Eight letters, three and six.

(CR11) A grim era, but one
That always has a happy start,
Though as the years pass
One or both may have a change of heart.

(CR12) A black man with an Irish sounding name:
In five, six, comic actor of some fame.

(CR13) Such music may age Reg, but itís forgiven
Because itís got a real pulsating rhythm.

(CR14) No big deal,
The fast baker serves a meal.

(CR15) Run far and bonk
I have a hunch
Will make, not plonk,
But first class punch.

(CR16) The loper joins Rex
And the two seem to be
The type who engages
In discovery.

(CR17) Methinks
A lynx,
A duck and hope
Can strike
The right
Orchestral note.

(CR18) Made to drink
Alcohol, I think.

(CR19) In nine, the dirty room is rearranged,
And sleeps a dozen when the linenís changed.

(CR20) Intelligent dame:
Hence radium came.

(CR21) Moon starer? yes, or one might say,
But Iíd not phrase it quite that way.

(CR22) A stew sir! and thus he was fed,
Of so ítwas heard, but not so read.

(CR23) Today, as in the past,
Theyíre a rich Tory caste.
Three and eleven.

(CR24) I finish with a lot,
And that is what Iíve got.
(Of enthusiasm).

(CR25) The last comes to the first, and ítwould appear
Another word for area is here.

(CR26) American communist?
Donít be absurd!
In five, six and three:
An innocuous bird.

(CR27) It sounds like a fake,
And also a stone,
But in letters eight
Itís Irish and grown.

(CR28) My secondís in shuffle,
But never in stepped,
My third is in notice,
But not in adept,
My fourth and my fifth
Are in brash, but not bribe;
Youíll find me - a language,
And also a tribe.

(CR29) The actorís in confusion,
Perhaps heís losing heart,
For it is no illusion
His is the lesser part.

(CR30) I play all the ABC
In fourtee letters, (A to Z).

(CR31) The mob is confused
And surrounded by three;
The Haitianís bemused,
Poor old chap, what is he?

(CR32) A slippery sounding place to live,
Itís first and last are that of give.

(CR33) A military weapon,
Whatever can it be?
For in the middle, (clearly seen),
Is a menagerie.

(CR34) Israelís bane and
A European land.

(CR35) A novel sort of fellow,
If you know what I mean,
For wherever you seek him
He is nowhere to be seen.
Perhaps Mr Wells knows him.
Three, nine and three.

(CR36) Turn the Greek
About to suit:
Not a leek
But still a root.

(CR37) A canineís one
Is better than none.
Four and six.

(CR38) A crooked line leads where-o?
Youíd better ask the Pharoah.

(CR39) Half time to iron: not leisure,
But something of a measure.

(CR40) More dates? Er yes,
But never to excess.
Return them then
To reasonable men.

(CR41) My first is in razor,
But never in blade,
My second in gazer,
But not in afraid,
My third is in powder,
But never in keg,
My fourth is in howdah,
But not Winnipeg,
My fifth is in yoghurt,
And so is my last,
Iím so slight youíll hardly
Perceive me go past.

(CR42) The pilots cheer, my word
Thereís not a single bird.

(CR43) Lois has it,
But her fella
And her best friend
Wouldnít tell her.

(CR44) A duck Iíd call
Almost dam all.

(CR45) The quack is in a state:
Confused and late.

(CR46) A third of commuters
Join some fly-by-night,
And in letters six
Theyíre involved in a fight.

(CR47) My first is in castle,
But never in keep,
My second is found
In awake and asleep,
My third is in porridge,
But never in wheat,
My fourth is in vicious,
But never in cheat,
An insect will finish me,
Iím something which
Youíll have in your household,
(Provided youíre rich).

(CR48) Heís just lost his metal,
This man from Down Under,
Now heís European
In eight, (and no wonder).

(CR49) Two of the dealerís change, I say,
And now heís showing us the way.

(CR50) Out of this world and sweet? my life!
(But donít forget to take your wife).

(CR51) Itís in your stomach first, but look,
In letter eight, itís back to book.

(CR52) A flaring end, but some would say
The same thing in another way.

(CR53) Sow it lad, or rather, sow them man,
Youíre only young once, get them while you can.

(CR54) A thousand go to war
With half of them, Iím told.
Another clue? Why sure:
In six, it isnít cold.

(CR55) This woman isnít large,
But you had best take heed,
Because sheíll surely charge
For what she claims to read.

(CR56) A fellow French precedes the day,
And yellow fruit is here. I say.

(CR57) A village on the way
Is Mr Shakespeareís play.

(CR58) Itís made of steel, although a lot of nylon can be found
In this thing which supports a heavy charge above the ground.

[The above riddle was first published in the Voice, September 15, 1987, page 47].

(CR59) About face and youíll see
A place where one takes tea.

(CR60) Itís cold and white,
And known to bite.
Five letters.

(CR61) Ray can spell a word:
Does it mean Island bird?

(CR62) This oneís easy as falling off a log:
In five, youíll name a pugilistic dog.

(CR63) These countries may be small or large,
But always they end in a charge.
Seven letters.

(CR64) This game starts in a good way? No!
The opposite, Iíll state.
It lasts for sixty seconds, though
It ends in quite a weight.

(CR65) This one wonít take a week
If I tell you, my friend,
Rayís name is simply Greek,
And motherís at the end.

(CR66) An artist uniformly dressed:
To paint, or to make an arrest!

(CR67) Does a teacher have many?
Thatís usually true,
Yet a pair are sufficient
For me and for you.
Six letters.

(CR68) He owns a tin and wears a cap,
That is my firm belief;
Heís usually a clever chap,
Thatís why he is the chief.

(CR69) Whatís that you say:
A magic bird of prey?
Six letters.

(CR70) A famous wizard changes one, provided
In six, a modern city is divided.

[Re the above, see also (70)].

(CR71) Respectful term for maybe
A pallindromic lady?
Five letters.

(CR72) About a rag to start a root,
Then fifty-one will follow suit,
It finishes in letters six,
A century completes the mix.

(CR73) When a German affirmative comes to the East
Youíll expect us to visit the country at least.
With a deity perhaps?

(CR74) My first is in chorus,
But never in line,
My second in torus,
But never in sine,
My third is in wonder,
And also in seen,
My fourthís not a blunder,
But is found in green,
Two more finish me,
Itís a thing you might feel,
But not if youíve eaten a nourishing meal.

(CR75) The frogís voice fades a bit, and thus youíll see
What once was little has become a tree.

(CR76) Solve this one, but first take a pew:
A book thatís half old and half new.

(CR77) Pour sulphur on a dwelling
And you can dig a hole
With the resultant spelling,
Or move a pile of coal.

(CR78) A Yugoslav is out of joint:
His cash is at its lowest point.

(CR79) A cereal that warms you when you eat,
For even when itís cold, itís full of heat.

(CR80) An American card game,
And one that I think
Is all right for imbibers:
Itís nearly all drink.
Three and five.

(CR81) Liz takes her bra
And travels far;
In six sheíll be
In nut country.

(CR82) A transcendental on the rates
Becomes the scourge of shipping states.

(CR83) Spelt with two aitches and and íoí,
In letters five itís known to flow.

(CR84) It may be regular, although I fear
It sounds as though the parrot isnít here.
Shape this from seven letters.

(CR85) A pig surrounds a wall,
And gulps, or so Iíve heard;
This story isnít tall,
It just describes a bird.

(CR86) So two hundred begin, I say,
But only twenty-two can play,
Six letters and five.

(CR87) In the vernacular
This oceanís dwellerís seen
When (seven letters),
Someone throws a saint.
But at the Queen?

(CR88) Eleven and me company in order
Will designate a place south of the border.

(CR89) Youíll solve this one at once or very soon:
The place hydroxyl meets Jovian moon.

(CR90) A half negative thing youíll know well
On account of its functional smell.

(CR91) Dishevelled heaps become the norm
When they take geometric form.

(CR92) A game for two, but are you sure
It often comes under the door?

(CR93) A thing with strings thatís often seen
Preventing little Josephine.

(CR94) Wrap up warmly when youíre afloat
Inside this pallindromic boat.

(CR95) My first is in carrot,
But never in bean,
My second in burrow,
But never in green,
My third is my fourth,
And I end in a ďyĒ,
Iím spicy and edible,
So what am I?

(CR96) A beast of burdenís in front of the car,
And thus at university we are.

(CR97) Is Bon a carnivore? No, but you oughta
See him out grazing, or down by the water.

(CR98) Atill joins Gary, and Iím fairly certain
Youíll find them together behind the Iron Curtain.

(CR99) Lay it, nearly
Is Latin, clearly,

(CR100) An ugly creature and a girl
Whose name begins with zed:
Goes very nicely with a glass
Of wine, or slice of bread.

(CR101) A magazine with a foodstuff is spied:
In six the thief is feathery and pied.

(CR102) You should know better:
A bird in a letter?

(CR103) Itís only a dot,
But the power itís got
When it moves just a step to the right!
If it moves twice again,
Then a hundred times ten
Is the end result, such is its might.
But can you name it in seven and five?

(CR104) A bird for which Iím willing
To pay one pound, one shilling.

(CR105) Iím in the academy,
Know what I mean?
And Iím rumoured to be
The first man on the scene.

(CR106) The kind of garment I declare
That any kangaroo would wear.

(CR107) A Caribbean fellow who is said
(In letters five) to have a copper head.

(CR108) Five yen is seen
To make one green.

(CR109) Something thatís all around
Yet itís iron in the middle,
Ten men and five are found
Within, so solve this riddle
In eleven letters.

(CR110) The twenty-fifth receives a rub,
And Iíd sure like to own
This precious stone.

(CR111) Young Edward may riot,
But not here, beyond,
In a world famous city
Across the big Pond.

(CR112) Two vowels prefix a sibling,
Familiar form, of course;
Youíll need this in the desert,
And so too will your horse.

(CR113) Red rum as a drink can be filling,
In another form it can be killing.

(CR114) A game of ups and downs by chance,
Retreat (by serpent) or advance.

(CR115) In three letters, four, a strange one, Iíll confess;
An event where the rodents are winning, no less.

To Answers (CR1-CR115)
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