Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Anatomy of a Riddle

Some of the riddles on trumalia.com are quite tough. In many cases, more than one answer seems to fit perfectly. Other riddles will leave you staring at the screen, mouth agape, wondering who could have dreamed up such an obscure conundrum. Some riddles are quite wordy and descriptive, while others make a haiku seem lengthy.

Here's my first piece of advice: pay attention to the search results that surround the riddle. The prompts that lead to hidden riddles are picked for a reason. For instance, if you locate a traditional Bantu riddle amidst the results for the word "Kikuyu," you don't need to waste your time trying "horse," "bell," "sword," "loom" or other words that might be associated with other cultures. Instead, try to imagine yourself in the place of a Kikuyu several centuries ago. While "glasses" not be a good answer to riddle, "eyes" might be a reasonable solution.

My second hint: certain riddle solutions seem to pop up across many different cultures and centuries. The favorite, by a significant margin: "egg." References to these little treasures can be found everywhere, from the plains of Mongolia, to the African savannah, to 14th Century England. Other favorites are "stars", "moon", "shadow", and "teeth." I could go on and on, but I don't want to give too much away.


Blogger Kevin said...

I am a big fan or Trumalia. I found it last week while playing on Braingle, and since then have gathered a small solving team and have finished one enigma. Thank you for creating this, I and my friends enjoy Trumalia very much.

4:54 AM  

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