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The Riddles

Part I – The Riddles

So I’m walking through my back yard and I find this bridge. It’s just out in the middle of the yard, some trees around maybe. It’s wooden, and kind of old, so I don’t step on it. Then suddenly this little guy pops out from under the bridge and yells something about being a troll and I can’t celebrate the Passover until I have my bar-mitzvah. Of course I’m like ‘what the heck?’ and he just keeps yelling about the Passover. I tell him I’m not even Jewish, but he keeps just saying this stuff.
Finally I get close enough to hear what he’s saying. He’s actually trying to tell me I can’t pass over the bridge until I answer some riddles. I say ‘I don’t even want to pass over,’ but he just keeps saying this over and over. So I just tell him to lay it on me, and he quiets down.
‘Sure,’ he says, and gives me these things to answer.

1)Six guys come up to you. They’re all wearing jeans and white undershirts. The first one asks for cash and says he’ll pay you back. The second one says not to trust number one, because he always lies, but he himself always tells the truth. ( To avoid confusion, we’ll call the guys by their numbers.) So Three tells you to go ahead and lend the guy the money, he always tells the truth, but that Two always lies. Three claims that he’s only told two lies in his life, and he only plans on lying one more time before he dies. Four says that you shouldn’t give One the money, because he doesn’t lie much, but he’s never been good with money. He’ll probably just forget. Four also says that Three is lying, but everyone else is telling the truth. Five pipes up and says how he lent money to two and Three, and neither one ever payed him back. He also says that Six is the nicest guy he knows. Six says that Five is lying, they didn’t even know each other, and that the rest of the guys were all grave robbers. So here’s the question: Who should you lend ten bucks to?

2) You’re all alone on a deserted island. All you have with you is a broken television, a screwdriver, an empty beer can, and a little piece of driftwood. For days you just lay there, dying in the sun. On the fourth day, though, your luck turns around. You see a ship and an airplane at the same time. The plane is flying low, and the ship’s pretty close. Question: which should you signal, and how?

3) You’re talking to a little troll guy on a bridge. He gives you two impossible riddles, neither of which you can even begin to answer. Then he gets to the third and final riddle, the most confusing of all. He tells you the story of a guy who’s talking to a troll on a bridge, and has to answer three riddles to pass over. The riddles are the same as the ones you’ve just heard, and the last one’s about a guy who meets a troll on a bridge. He answers two riddles, then gets to this one about a guy who meets a troll on a bridge, who answers three riddles, and the last one’s about a guy who meets a troll on a bridge, and he agrees to answer some riddles to get across…

Part 2 – the Answers

1) Lend the money to number Six. Remember how Five said Six was the nicest guy he knew? He was telling the truth. Six was lying this time, but he didn’t do it much. Don’t lend the money to One, because two says he always lies, and Two’s telling the truth except for the part about always telling the truth. In fact, he barely ever does. Three says to lend One the money, which isn’t right because One is lying. He’s telling the third lie right now. Four is telling the truth because he thinks that One always tells the truth, but he’s lying about him being bad with money. One never forgets anything. Four is telling the truth about everyone lying, although he’s telling the truth in doing so. Five is telling the truth about lending money, but he’s lying about two not giving the cash back. Three did. Five is telling the truth about Six being really nice. Six just lied because he knew Five was lying and didn’t want to be associated with liars, which happened anyway since he was in a riddle with them.

2) Don’t signal either one. The ship is so close it’s about to run aground, killing everyone inside. The plane’s flying low because a deadly disease broke out inside, and everyone but the pilot is dying. He’s trying to land on the island. He knows that even a tiny amount of beer could heal all the people. So he lands on the island, and you give him your empty beer can. There’s one drop left, but it’s eough to heal the people. You ask if you can come with him, but he says the plane’s full, so you talk to one of the people on theplane who says he’d stay if you gave him a working TV. So you fix the TV with the screwdriver, and give it to the guy, and he lets you take his place on the plane. You get on board, and arrive home safely. You keep the driftwood as a souvenir.

3) The troll moves.

Part 3 – The End

So the troll lets me pass. I cross over the bridge, arriving on the other side. I run back to my house and tell my friends that I met this troll who gave me three riddles, and after I answered them I ran home and told my friends that I met this troll who gave me three riddles, and after I answered them I ran home and told
My friends that I met this troll who gave me three riddles…

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