Situation Riddles

With these riddles, the riddler gives an initial prompt, and the solver(s) ask yes-or-no questions to decuce the full circumstances of the situation.

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A man goes to a seaside restaurant and orders Albatross. When his food arrives, he takes a bite, pulls out a gun, and shoots himself in the head.

Solution Years ago or whatever the man was in a plane crash, where only he and his friend and some stranger survived impact and made it to a desert island. After several weeks will little food, the stranger and the friend go hunting deeper in the island while The Man, TM, just dicks around on the beach or something. Mr. Stranger kills and cuts up Friendo on this hunting outing, then comes back with the story that Friend died somehow but they managed to find some albatross, and here have some. In the next couple days they’re rescued, and part ways for good. Some time later Man decides he wants some more albatross for old times sake or something, but when he tastes it, he realizes what he had on the island was not albatross. Wham bam thank you ma’am.

The Dust

If he had seen the dust, he would have lived.

Solution *He* is a short person, the shortest person around actually, and he’s in a freak show for that reason. He’s also blind. There’s this other short person who’s not so good at being short, so out of jealousy he slowly grinds down the blind one’s cane, so as to make the blind man feel as though he’s growing. This succeeds, and the blind man is so bummed about losing the one thing that makes him cool that he ends it all. But of course if he had seen the sawdust he would have recognized the deception and lived.

Rainy Elevator

A guy can take the elevator all the way up when it’s raining, but only half way up when it’s sunny.

Solution The guy is a short person. He can reach all the buttons only when he has his umbrella with him.


A man wakes up in the morning, looks outside, and sees scores of people in his yard.

Solution The man is a lighthouse keeper. Who lives in a lighthouse. His yard is a rocky shore. He forgot to light the lighthouse one night, a ship got wrecked, bodies washed up. You get worked.

Work Shoes

A woman buys a new pair of shoes, goes to work, and dies.

Solution The woman is the assistant to a circus knife-thrower. The new shoes have higher heels than she normally wears, so that the thrower misjudges his aim and one of his knives kills her during the show.


A man lies dead next to a cactus. Stuck to the cactus is a slip of paper.

Solution The man was lost in the desert for days. He couldn't find any landmarks, so he started sticking slips of paper to cactuses he passed. After another day of walking, with almost no water left, he came across this cactus, which had a slip of paper on it already; he knew that he was walking in circles, so rather than wait to die of thirst he shot himself.

Abel and Cain

Abel walks out of the ocean. Cain asks him who he is, and Abel answers. Cain kills Abel.

Solution Abel is a prince of the island nation that he landed on. A cruel and warlike prince, he waged many land and naval battles along with his father the king. In one naval encounter, their ship sank, the king died, and the prince swam to a deserted island where he spent several months building a raft or small boat. In the meantime, a regent was appointed to the island nation, and he brought peace and prosperity. When Prince Abel returned to his kingdom, Cain (a native fisherman) realized that the peace of the land would only be maintained if Abel did not reascend to his throne, and killed the prince (with a piece of driftwood or some other impromptu weapon).

A rope breaks. A bell rings. A man dies.

A rope breaks. A bell rings. A man dies.

Solution A blind man enjoys walking near a cliff, and uses the sound of a buoy to gauge his distance from the edge. One day the buoy's anchor rope breaks, allowing the buoy to drift away from the shore, and the man walks over the edge of the cliff.