Elisha Anderson

Riddles 30

EASYIt gives power to the prostrate:This potato's little pet.Old-school surfers used it dailyLong before the internet.ANSWER: The remote controlINTERMEDIATEThose who manage great collectionsStand in front and come right after;Maintain order; Promote posture;And sound like the final chapters.ANSWER: BookendsDIFFICULTBattles burns but won't fight fires.In a bath it disappears.Completely base with snow white face.Saline taste not quite like tears.ANSWER: An antacid tablet

Riddles 29

EASYLooking through a hall of mirrorsAt a clump of broken glass.The room begins to turn and I See gorgeous patterns form and pass.ANSWER: A kaleidoscopeINTERMEDIATEThrives on changes. Bought for change.Freshness only lasts a day.Color lingers on my fingers.Brings closer those things far away.ANSWER: A daily newspaperDIFFICULTA single line shaped. Simple form.A question perched on tapered slopes."Oh my, How such things multiply!"Helps those with lots of hang-ups cope.ANSWER: A coat hanger

Riddles 28

EASY:The staircase no one wants to use.Ugly eyesore stuck in back.Made for moments of intense heat.Eight foot drop from end of track.ANSWER: A fire escapeINTERMEDIATEMusic maker temperamental.Just plays notes -- no melodies.Man makes maker, but not music.Music shaped by summer breeze. ANSWER: Wind chimesDIFFICULT: Like sandpaper but much smoother.Like perfume but not on long.Gold and chocolate share its shaping.Without water can't be strong.ANSWER: A bar of soap

Riddles 27

EASYIt eats up energy reserves,Or may rely upon the sun.I keep punching -- it keeps crunching;In seconds it gets tough work done.ANSWER: A calculatorINTERMEDIATEPartners in a game of chanceKnow well the feel of sweaty palms.Fate keeps throwing them around.They spend their days with sharks and cons.ANSWER: A pair of diceDIFFICULTStraight up standing it's a cube.Underfoot: a trick on ice.Fast asleep: infinity.Take a zero, draw it twice.ANSWER: Eight

Riddles 25

EASY In my lap and on the table;Problem solver and protector.Helps take care of accidents.Expert cleaner. Food collector.ANSWER: A napkinINTERMEDIATEExample of how tastes can change.A snap decision I'll regret.A painful application once,And now an old flame on my chest.ANSWER: A tattooDIFFICULT It interrupts one's browsing.Flaps and falls when flippers flip.One stoops and scoops the letter,Scans the pitch and lets it rip.ANSWER: A magazine drop card

Riddles 24

EASYUnder four feet,And over doors.When thrown for funThe hookers score.ANSWER: HorseshoesINTERMEDIATEThis scar upon the human raceReminds us of what came before.Was once a mouth down in the south.Is now much less; a healed sore.ANSWER: A bellybuttonDIFFICULTSphere of stone in piece of meat.Piece of meat in purse of bone.Purse beneath a body blue.Body blue on sphere of stone.ANSWER: A pearl in an oyster beneath the ocean on the earth

Riddles 23

EASYVictims of ineptitudeAnd violence wear this stain.Dark glow below the surface Marks a memory of pain.ANSWER: A bruiseINTERMEDIATEIn this quiet communityThe folks keep out of sight.One never sees a soul around'Cept sometimes late at night.ANSWER: A cemeteryDIFFICULTThis simple physician Sticks to small emergencies.Old and young alike haveSought his healing on their kneesANSWER: A bandaid

Riddles 22

EASYSome prefer a plumper one.Others ask for one that's flat.Cradle and an elevator.For my head but not a hat.ANSWER: A pillowINTERMEDIATEIs this a combo collar/leash?Or maybe just a stylish noose?It chokes me up while I'm at workAnd after work I wear it loose.ANSWER: A tieDIFFICULTGrisly form of punishmentBecomes a sacred cow.Folks with sharp teeth hate it butBefore it others bow.ANSWER: A crucifix

Riddles 21

EASYFor half of a secondHalf-looking what worksIs a whole message sent From a half-blinded flirt.ANSWER: A winkINTERMEDIATEThese nesting dolls they made me cryAs I removed so many skins.No cry of pain or saddening strainBut stung I was, it made me wince.ANSWER: An onionDIFFICULTThey're a fuzzy conceptOf color coordination.All frills but used in drills;And some leaders often shake them.ANSWER: Pom-poms

Riddles 20

EASYI've put up this snappy snippetFor your eyes, so you can knowWho I am and what I stand forIn this spell while traffic's slow.ANSWER: A bumper stickerBumper stickers often make the use of a short, snappy phrase to say something about the owner of the car -- political views, favorite band, etc. Bumper stickers are most often read by people who sit behind you in traffic.INTERMEDIATESee it brooding by the roadsideOr hear it screaming late at night.It's always looking for the worstAnd throwing off an anxious light.ANSWER: A police carPolice cars are regularly seen by the roadside -- either watching for speed demons or pulling them over. Their sirens are often heard late at night. While they cruise around, scanning for signs of trouble, police cars throw off the notorious red and blue lights that make everyone anxious.DIFFICULT:A reservation kept on handA band well known for flashy rock.In time a priceless heirloom orAnother piece of pawnshop stock.ANSWER: An engagement ringWith an engagement ring on her hand, a woman has "reserved" her fiance. Each ring is a band (another word for "ring") that often holds flashy gems. In time, the engagement rings can become a family heirloom or -- depending on how sucessful the marriage is -- a pawn shop item.

Riddles 19

EASYI unfold a rectangleAnd feed it to this hungry box.A circle and a cylinderAre returned as a response.ANSWER: Soft-drink machineI unfold my rectangular dollar and stick it into a soft drink vending machine. A quarter and a can of soda are returned to me in response.INTERMEDIATEModel made of one of nineKept in classroom on a stand.I mimic a revolutionMoving nations with my hand.ANSWER: GlobeThe globe in a school classroom is a model of Earth, one of the nine planets. By spinning the globe with my hand -- "moving nations" -- I can mimic the revolutions of the Earth.DIFFICULTRough paperwork hereAnd abrasive conditionsEradicate flawsAnd help smooth transitions.ANSWER: SandpaperLots of rough "paper" work is necessary to smooth the abrasive conditions of splintered or jagged wood. Once the wood's flaws are eradicated, different pieces of lumber can be fitted together to create impeccably smooth surfaces -- such that no bumps or transitions are perceivable between the wooden pieces.

Riddles 18

EASYIt's noxious yet self-effacing.Unseen it deserves our thanks.Corrects defects infecting textsBy filling them in with blanksANSWER: White-outWhite-out has a noxious odor and yet it effaces its own presence once it dries. If white-out goes unseen then it has done its job. White-out corrects mistakes by replacing defects in the text -- typos -- with blanks.INTERMEDIATEAlong with clothes and special seatNoisemaker shows symbolic rule.Calls attention. Ends decisions.Reminds us of a handy tool.ANSWER: GavelThe gavel is one of a judge's accessories, who also wears special clothes and has a distinctive high seat. The gavel helps the judge establish his or her rule over the court room. While calling the court's attention and closing cases, the gavel reminds us of a more common tool -- the hammer.DIFFICULTOne pulls, it slides. In stores its sold.It moves around, across and in.Holds something up though full of holes.It's staying close through thick and thin.ANSWER: A beltWhen ones pulls his or her belt, it slides through the belt loops. Sold in most clothing stores, the belt moves around one's waist, across one's midsection and it cinches in. The belt is full of holes and yet it holds up your pants. Whether you are thick or thin -- or fluctuating between the two -- the belt always stays close to your waist.

Riddles 17

EASYI cut away the outside shellExposing red meat without bones.Gripped in one claw I eat it raw,And pause to spit out small, black stones.ANSWER: WatermelonWhen one cuts open a watermelon rind the red, boneless meat of the fruit is exposed. Watermelon is usually eaten with the hands, and always requires one to spit out the small, black seeds.INTERMEDIATESynthetic pebble on my tongueAnd a freight train on my mind.Then later on, the train is gone,And no pebbble left behind.ANSWER: An aspirin and a headacheThe aspirin -- a "synthetic pebble" -- is put on the tongue to subdue headaches, which can often feel like freight train in one's mind. After swallowing the aspirin the headache is gone, and so is the pill.DIFFICULTMugger's mark.Circle work.Bad impression.Drinker's quirk.ANSWER: A coffe mug stainIf he's not careful, a "mugger" -- one who drinks from a mug -- leaves a circular coffee stain where he places his cup. This bad impression of the bottom of the mug is a common coffee addict's quirk.

Riddles 15

EASYAwe for infinite variationCaught on coat sleeves in the cold.Patterns shaped by idle angels.Beauty that warm hands can't hold.ANSWER: SnowflakesThe awe inspired by snowflakes comes with the knowledge that each flake has its own, utterly individual pattern. One might say that the snowflakes' patterns are shaped by angels (who reside, of course, in the heavens). The snowflakes can't be held in warm hands because in the presence of warmth they quickly melt.INTERMEDIATEOld Grandpa Tall stands in the hallAnd sings his song in booming tones.While Grandson Small sits by my hand,Twittering like a cellular phone.ANSWER: A grandfather clock and a digital watchBy using the words "Grandpa and Grandson" this riddle conveys an "old and young" relationship between the two answers. The grandfather clock is an antiquarian clock that stands tall in the hallways of old houses. A digital watch rests on a person's wrist and beeps like a cellular phone.DIFFICULTMoney paid for money-like.Money-like slipped through a slot.Push the bar. Get in the car.A trip below is what you've bought.ANSWER: A trip on the subwayIn the subway station you exchange coins for a coin-like subway token. The token is slipped through a slot in the turnstile. One pushes the bar of the turnstile to pass through it. Later one enters the subway car. The subway travels below the streets.

Riddles 13

EASYSometimes its prescribed by doctors.Something given to employees.Its also something students get;Think: sun-shine, Mickey and the Keys.ANSWER: A vacationDoctors prescribe vacations to ease stress, bosses grant their employees at least two week a year, and students all get lengthy vacation time. Sun-shine, Disneyland/world and the Florida Keys are all often associated with vacations.INTERMEDIATEHaiku is structured by syllables;But here by feet each stage is done.A stone is thrown. A task is shown.Then: one, one, one, two, one, two, one.ANSWER: HopscotchLike the syllables of a haiku, every game of hopscotch follows a repetitive structure of hopping and jumping. A player throws a stone on the chalked out squares the hops and jumps across the board in a one, one, one, two, one, two, one pattern.DIFFICULTCommunity of vacancies.One person lives at each address.A half seeks whole. Dream of two souls.Each life in thirty words or less.ANSWER: The personals sectionThe personals section brings together a community of vacant hearts. Even though a whole person "lives" in each advertisement, that person is trying to complete a relationship, making it whole. Those who place a personals dream of bringing two souls together -- but have to do it in thirty words or less.


EASYA mode of re-translation.Its words composed of points and lines.Then this terse communicationBecomes a train of bleeps and whines.ANSWER: Morse codeIn Morse code, letters are re-translated into different groupings of "points and lines" -- dots and dashes. The terse messages are then sent over a telegraph wire in a train of bleeps (for dots) and whines (for dashes).INTERMEDIATEIn my hands I held a circle.Above, another one glowed red.Beneath me four more started turning.Then through another cross I fled.ANSWER: A car stopped at a traffic lightThe circle in my hands was a steering wheel. The circle above me -- a red stoplight -- glowed red as I waited for it to change. The four circles below me (wheels) began to turn as I accelerated, and when the light went green I fled through another intersection -- the "cross" of two streets.DIFFICULTIntroduction to an evening outIs a choose your own adventure.Its words you put back in your mouth.Options and their definitions.ANSWER: A menuAn evening out at a restaurant frequently begins with a menu. Every available dish is a different experience -- an "adventure" you can choose. You will ultimately eat one of the dishes described on the menu; it will go back in your mouth. The menu not only gives you options, it usually defines those options.

Riddles 11

EASY:A sweet geometryThat quickly disappears.Becomes palatial tinge,This small, white bit of cheer.ANSWER: A sugar cubeA cube of sugar dissolves quickly in one's coffee or tea. Once dissolved, the sugar becomes a sweet, cheerful tinge on the tongue.INTERMEDIATEHaiku is structured in syllables,But here each stage by feet is done.A stone is thrown. A task is shown.Then: one, two, one, two, one, two, one.ANSWER: HopscotchSomewhat like the pattern of the syllables in a haiku (5-7-5), the steps of a hopscotch game are ordered according to the number of feet one uses. After throwing a stone and seeing your task, the hopper jumps (with two legs) and hops (with one leg) to victory.DIFFICULTThe field is budding with new day's growth.The farmer awakes and it starts to rain.The earth is cleansed. The field is cut.The field lies smooth, but the farmer feels pain.ANSWER: A Morning ShaveThe "field" in this riddle is a man's face -- budding each morning with one day's growth of facial hair. When the man wakes up he showers, cleaning the "earth," and then "cuts the field." While his field now lies smooth, the farmer feels the pain of razorburn.

Riddles 10

It moves fast without thinkingAnd has one single aimIn the grips of obsession:To kill or to maim.ANSWER: A bulletA bullet moves fast, unthinking, aimed at a single target. In the hands of an obsessed killer, a bullet is fired to kill or to main.INTERMEDIATESix dead sailors in a box.Preserved in oil. Closely packed.Use the key to open itAnd you'll never close it back.ANSWER: A tin of sardinesSix dead sardines come in the average tin. The bodies are closely packed into the container and are preserved in oil. A key that comes with the tin may be used to open the container -- but the container will never be re-sealed.DIFFICULTIt's paint that should accentuate.It's sometimes like a mask one wears.Other times it should work so wellThat folks will think it isn't there.ANSWER: MakeupMakeup should accentuate a person's most attractive features. While it sometimes masks a person's true coloring -- think hot pink lipstick -- it can, when skillfully applied, erase its own presence and make accentuated beauty look completely natural.

Riddles 9

EASYAdjustments made by slow degreesUse metal studs and rubberbands.Someday we'll see a proud, white wallOf stones set close; straight-up they'll stand.ANSWER: BracesBraces, intricate patterns of rubberbands and metal studs, make gradual adjustments to a person's teeth. After the braces are removed, one's smile is filled with straight, closely-set teeth.INTERMEDIATEA channel from a distant sourceSnakes tail-like along the groundBeneath the legs of this and that.It feeds the mouths of light and sound.ANSWER: An extension cordAn extension cord channels power from a distant outlet to an electrical source. Typically the extension cord snakes along the floor, under the legs of tables, chairs, beds, even people. Stereos and lights often feed from the extension cord's electrical current.DIFFICULTOn the warmest days she wears a coatMade from green and feathery cloth.A chill prompts her to change the style;But when its freezing she takes it off.ANSWER: A tree and its foliageIn the summer a tree "wears a coat" of green, often feathery leaves. In the fall, the changing leaves alter the style of her "coat." When temperatures drop in the winter, the leaves fall off, leaving the tree bare.

Riddles 8

EASYGoes up and down.Gets wet, no doubt.No good to youWhen inside-out.ANSWER: An umbrellaAn umbrella opens and closes, going up and down. When used, it gets wet -- unless it's uselessly turned inside-out.INTERMEDIATEMulti-purpose by no small stretch.A missle. Small-scale tourniquet.Hair-do helper. Organizer.Hand-held musical instrument.ANSWER: A rubberbandA stretchy rubberband has many uses. It's often fired as a tiny missle, and could be used as a tourniquet to staunch any leak. Many have helped keep pony-tails in place and have served as desktop organizers. And, of course, a rubberband held between two outstretched fingers can be melodically strummed.DIFFICULTSurface smoothed by frequent traffic.Gendered entrance (but both may go).Metal door rests on no hinges.Goes deep to places few will know.ANSWER: A manholeThe manhole cover is smoothed by many cars and trucks. Although it is called a "man"hole, women may enter through it. Though it is a metal door, a manhole lacks hinges. The manhole leads to subterranean places where few people ever go.

Riddles 7

EASYLate afternoons I often bathe.I'll soak in water piping hot.My essence goes through see-thru clothes;Used up I am -- I've gone to pot.ANSWER: a teabagTea time is generally celebrated in the late afternoons. A teabag is soaked in piping hot water. The essence of the leaves soaks through the transparent paper of the bag and into the water of the teapot until the teabag is all used up.INTERMEDIATEA gridwork and a patternOf grand interconnection.The truth is only hinted at.One works in two directions.ANSWER: a crossword puzzleA crossword puzzle is a patterned gridwork into which one fits various words. A completed puzzle shows an interconnected web of words. The puzzle's clues only hint at the true answers. Crossword enthusiasts works both across and down.DIFFICULTA small cup for a larger one.Two halves will never make a whole.A fingered flap. A plastic scrap.And smoky swirls in blackish pools.ANSWER: a restaurant container of half and halfA small plastic cup of half and half is for your larger cup of coffee. The two "halves" in the half and half are from different liquids (milk and cream). After you use your fingers to pry the flap open you're left with a plastic scrap. When you pour half and half into your coffee it produces smoky swirls in the blackish brew.

Riddles 6

EASYLike a cracker and a prophet:Crunchy, sweet, with sane advice.The Chinese sage in our dim ageComes after the fried rice.ANSWER: a fortune cookieThe fortune cookie is crunchy and sweet. Its consistency matches that of a cracker. Because it tells your fortune it is much like a prophet also. Fortune cookies are typically served in Chinese restaurants at the end of the meal.INTERMEDIATEA white fruit on a highest branchWill linger whole for but a whileUntil the night when one large biteWill make it seem a side-ways smile.ANSWER: the moonThe full moon in the evening sky glows like a white fruit on a branch high above. The moon stays full for only a short time. On some evenings the shadow of the earth blocks out all but a small strip of white that resembles a side-ways smile.DIFFICULTWith his two more violent brothersHe works in formal settings.Sometimes he'll help the doctor,Or make upside-down reflections.ANSWER: a spoonAlong with the fork and knife, the spoon is an essential part of a formal place setting. Sometimes a doctor will use a spoon to give a person their medicine. One's reflection in the bowl of a spoon always appears upside-down.

Riddles 5

1. EASYViolent outburst unexpected,Travels fast and I close my eyes,Bow head to chest -- a pause -- I'm blessed,And then clean-up. No big surprise.ANSWER: A sneezeThe sneeze is a violent outburst which comes unexpectedly. The sneeze travels quickly. At the moment of eruption one closes one's eyes and bows one's head to one's chest. After a pause someone else typically says, "God bless you." Then the sneezer cleans up. A sneeze is not a big surprise.2. INTERMEDIATEYellow fellow dried and jarred.Plucked away from rows of more.Under heat explosive feat:Inside bursts from hardened core.ANSWER: PopcornThe yellow corn kernel is plucked away from rows of other kernels, dried and then put into a jar. Under intense heat the inside of the kernel explodes out.3. DIFFICULTFour snakes have circled round and round.Each next, in turn, consumes the last.One sleeps, one wakes, one lives, one makesOf death immense, a sleep less vast.ANSWER: The four seasonsThe four seasons work in a cyclical pattern. Each new season merges with and eventually overcomes its predecessor. Metaphorically speaking, the world sleeps in winter, awakens in the spring, lives and grows in the summer and then recedes into a death-like hibernation in the autumn.

Riddles 4

1. EASYSlender guide whose figure tapers.As the night grows she slowly shrinks.Solid to liquid to invisible vapor.Glows but for blows which make her wink.ANSWER: A candleThe candle is a long, slender figure whose figure tapers towards a point atthe top. Through the course of an evening the lit candle shrinks. The waxof the candle goes from a solid to a liquid to an invisible vapor. Thecandle glows until someone blows on the flame; then it winks out.2. INTERMEDIATEMan-made and yet quite natural.Composed of hair or sometimes milk.Think: Jesus, Hitler, Marx and Freud:An idea on each of these men's lips.ANSWER: A mustacheFacial hair grows on a man's upper lip; by this it is both completely naturaland man-made. Mustaches are usually made up of hair. There are suchthings as milk mustaches also, however. Jesus, Hitler, Marx and Freud allsported mustaches.3. DIFFICULTTwo pieces and one hinge.Nailed mechanism. MarkedWith printed signature.A ratings game. A part.ANSWER: a thumbAbove the knuckle your thumb is composed of two pieces and one hinge joint. The thumb has a (thumb)nail. The thumb has its own distinctive (orsignature) print. Thumbs are used by people to rate the quality of things(think Siskel and Ebert). The thumb is a part of your hand.

Riddles 3

1. EASYPastel pastime;Blow your wad.A sphere and thenAgain, a blob.ANSWER: bubblegumBubblegum typically has a pastel color. After chewing a wad of bubblegum for a while you blow it into a spherical bubble. Quite soon, however, it pops, reverting to its original blob form.2. INTERMEDIATESharp edges will define it.When lost it often shows.Same is name for whole or part.Although it's dead it grows.ANSWER: the hair on one's headSharp edges, or scissors define the kind of haircut one gets. When a person loses their hair it is often noticeable. Both the individual strand and the collection of strands are called "hair." Although hair is dead (no living cells in it) it nonetheless grows.3. DIFFICULTWeight and bearing make impression.Stamped and textured. Line of flight.Wordless message. Vagrant vestige.Something followed. Surf-side sight.ANSWER: footprintsOne's weight and bearing (way of holding themselves) affect the print they make. Footprints are literally stamped into the soil and they have a definite texture. Footprints define a line of flight. A footprint is a wordless testament which says "a person was here." Vagrants leave footprints behind. Footprints are often followed. One can see footprints by the surf (often by looking behind them).

Riddles 2

1. EASYMy friend he loves the needle;When he's stuck he sings so sweet.His skin, it gleams. When scratched, he screams.He runs in circles without feet.ANSWER: a recordA record plays music only when you lower the needle onto its surface. Therecord's surface gleams. When you scratch a record it makes a horriblescreeching noise. A record moves in constant circles on the turntable.2. INTERMEDIATEThe last man on a lush, green lawnWaits for the cue, dressed black as coal.A man in white comes forth and taps him.The man in black runs - jumps in hole.ANSWER: an eight-ballIn the pool game eight-ball the last two balls on the table at the end ofthe game are the eight and the cue ball. A pool tabe is most often coveredin green fabric. The eight-ball sits in one place until the cue ball comesforward and knocks it into a hole.3. DIFFICULTThe little room was never used;Now heat turns solid what was not.Remove the wall, now in this hall:A ball within a rounded box.ANSWER: a hardboiled eggThe egg which you eat never served the purpose of incubating a babychicken. When you boil the egg in water the liquid insides turn solid.When you remove the shell of a hardboiled egg you find a ball-like yolkinside an encasement of egg-white.

Riddles 1

1 EASYIn alleys where the gutters endIt rushes towards defenseless men.Knocks them down and disappears;But when it strikes it meets with cheers.ANSWER: a bowling ballThe alleys are bowling alleys. At the end of a bowling alley the gutters end. At the end of the alley the bowling ball knocks down pins. After knocking down pins the ball disappears. When a person gets a strike people often cheer.2 MEDIUMSimple symbol. Well-known band.Used alone. Purchased in pairs.Stamped. Addressed to one we love.A link. A mark. Something to wear.ANSWER: a wedding ringThe wedding ring is a simple symbol. It is also a well known kind of band: a wedding band. Wedding rings are worn separately (alone) but they are purchased in pairs. A wedding ring is typically stamped for its gold content. In a wedding ceremony you address the ring to your new spouse ("With this ring, I thee wed"). A wedding ring serves to link two people together. It marks a person as married. It is something you wear.3 HARDTreat it like an ice cream cone.Artwork delivered with bad taste.An homage. A rough-edged traveler.Not worth much but money-based.ANSWER: a postage stampBoth ice cream cones and postage stamps are licked. The stamp is a miniature work of art which is delivered with the mail. The stamp tastes terrible. A stamp is typically an homage to something famous (think of the recent Elvis Presley stamp). It has rough (perforated edges). The postage stamp is not worth much. It is based on a money system.

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