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puzzling question, specifically one that consists of a fanciful description or definition of something to be guessed. A famous riddle was asked by the Sphinx: "What goes on four legs in the morning, on two at noon, on three at night?" OedipusOedipus
, in Greek legend, son of Laius, king of Thebes, and his wife, Jocasta. Laius had been warned by an oracle that he was fated to be killed by his own son; he therefore abandoned Oedipus on a mountainside.
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 guessed the answer correctly: "Man—in infancy he crawls, at his prime he walks, in age he leans on a staff." Samson's riddle is also famous: "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness" (Judges 14.14). It refers to a lion he had just killed, on which he saw bees and honey; he ate some of the lion and the honey. Punning riddles are common, as: "When is a door not a door?" The answer is, "When it's ajar." There is comparatively little riddle literature, but riddles do figure prominently in Old English. The Exeter Book contains many English verse riddles of uncertain date; they vary considerably in matter. There are also many riddles in Latin hexameters dating from Anglo-Saxon England.


See A. Taylor, English Riddles from Oral Tradition (1951); H. H. Abbott, ed., The Riddles of the Exeter Book (1968).



a genre of folk poetry common to all nations; the poetic, often metaphorical description of an object or occurrence.

In antiquity the riddle had religious significance and pertained to popular superstitions and rites that prohibited calling objects by their names. With time the riddle acquired predominantly aesthetic and cognitive importance. It began serving as a test of wit. Riddles are distinguished by the variety of themes and wealth of artistic devices; inherent in them are compositional precision, rhyme, rhythm, and sound effects. Riddles often contain a humorous element that has social significance—for example, “The priest is short, the vestments many” (a cabbage: Stoit pop nizok, na nem sto rizok). Riddles have been widely incorporated into other genres of folklore, as well as into literature.


Anikin, V. P. Russkie narodnye poslovitsy, zagadki i detskiifol’klor. Moscow, 1957.
Mitrofanova, V. “Sovremennoe sostoianie russkikh narodnykh zagadok.” In the collection Sovremennyi russkiifol’klor. Moscow, 1966.
Mitrofanova, V. Zagadki. Moscow, 1968.


(design engineering)
A sieve used for sizing or for removing foreign material from foundry sand or other granular materials.


A sieve, esp. a coarse one for sand.


a sieve, esp a coarse one used for sand, grain, etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The court heard how Early was often heard screaming at Mr Riddler in the terraced house they shared on and off.
indicating that Riddler players request more pages and spend more time at the site per usage day than any other content site on the Web.
Riddler was banned from going near Nicola Turner over an alleged domestic offence, but Perth Sheriff Court heard she encouraged him to ignore the ban.
with their deluxe Batgirl, The Riddler and Catwoman costumes for adults; Mezco with Batman and Robin - in their signature Batmobile, along with The Joker and The Riddler Mez-itz mini-figures; CSS Industries with gift-tags and stationery; and Mead's 2014 wall calendar inspired by the show.
I was better able to deduce the character of the Riddler than to solve his riddles.
The Riddler is not an arch-criminal but world 400 metres hurdles champion Dai Greene.
Almost 25 years after Wouldn't It Be Good raced up the charts, Kershaw is bringing his show, The Riddler Returns, to Ouseburn - but don't expect too many synth sounds.
Michael Caine believes the Riddler will be Batman's enemy if and when director Christopher Nolan decides to make a follow-up to last year's blockbuster "The Dark Knight.
Eddie Murphy is to play The Riddler in the new Batman movie.
Cher, 62, was invited to join a cast which includes Johnny Depp as The Riddler.
It is believed the Riddler will be brought in to fight the Gotham City hero should a third film be made after the death of Joker actor Heath Ledger.
A MAN who died in a fatal house fire in Swansea on Thursday was yesterday named by police as 65- year-old Royston Riddler.