Updated: August 27, 2022

73 Best Workplace Riddles for Adults

Here is our list of funny workplace riddles for adults.

Workplace riddles for adults are brainteasers that get teammates thinking outside the box. These questions encourage employees to use problem-solving skills. For example, What is easy to lift but difficult to throw? Or, Which month in the year has 28 days in it? You can use these sayings as icebreakers and build confidence and relationships among team members.

These prompts are a problem-solving exercise similar to team building riddles and brain-teasers for teams.

This list includes:

  • hard riddles for adults
  • logic riddles for adults
  • short riddles for adults
  • smart riddles for adults
  • good riddles for the workplace

Let’s get started!

Hard riddles for adults

  1. You are walking through the forest and get lost. You come to a fork in the road with one path leading out of the forest to safety and the other deeper into the woods. There is a guard at each path. One guard always tells the truth, and the other always lies. You do not know which guard is truthful, and you can only ask one question. What do you ask to find the way out of the forest?
    • (Answer: If I were to ask the other guard which path leads to freedom, then which path would he tell me?)
  2. This runs but does not walk. It has a mouth but never speaks. It has a head but never weeps. It has a bed but never sleeps. What is it?
    • (Answer: A river.)
  3. There is a word in the English language in which the first two letters denote a man, the first three letters denote a woman. The first four letters of this word mean someone great, and the whole word together means a great woman. What is the word?
    • (Answer: Heroine).
  4. A man bought a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage at a market one day. While going home, the man came to a river. The only boat he could use to cross the river could only hold himself and one other thing. However, if the man left the goat with the wolf, the wolf would eat it. If he left the cabbage with the goat, the goat would eat it. The man has to figure out how to get across the river with all his things. How does he do it?
    • (Answer: First, take the goat across, then come back alone. Take the wolf across, then bring the goat back. Next, leave the goat and take the cabbage across. Finally, leave the cabbage and go back for the goat.)
  5. Four men were playing golf. Their names were Mr. Black, Mr. White, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Blue. The caddy asked them their names at the first hole. One of them, Mr. Brown, told him a lie. The first golfer mentioned, “The second golfer is Mr. Black.” The second golfer said, “I am not Mr. Blue.” The third golfer replied, “Mr. White is the fourth golfer.” The fourth golfer did not say anything. Which golfer is Mr. Blue?
    • (Answer: The third golfer.)
  6. What can break, but never fall? What can fall, but never break?
    • (Answer: Day and night.)
  7. A man commits murder. A judge condemns him to death, then tells him to pick one of three rooms for his execution. The first room has a raging fire. The second room has a firing squad. The third room has hungry lions that have not eaten in three years. What room does he choose?
    • (Answer: The third room. Lions that have not eaten in three years would be dead.)
  8. There were five men eating bananas. Man A finished his banana before man B. But, man A finished behind man C. Man D finished behind man B, but before man E. What was the order the men finished eating their bananas?
    • (Answer: CABDE.)
  9. There is one of me in every corner, but two of me in every room. What am I?
    • (Answer: The letter O.)
  10. This is a five-letter word. With all five letters, people eat it. However, if you remove the first letter, then I become a form of energy. If you remove another letter, then I am required to live. If you mix up the final three letters, then I am a drink. What word am I?
    • (Answer: WHEAT.)

Logic riddles for adults

  1. A man was in prison and sentenced to death. The warden gave him a chance to free himself. He said, “If you tell us a lie, then we will hang you. If you tell us the truth, then we will shoot you.” What did the prisoner say to save himself?
    • (Answer: “You will hang me.”)
  2. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have five daughters. Each of their daughters has one brother. How many children do Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have?
    • (Answer: Five daughters and one son equaling 6 children.)
  3. A woman in California owns a pear tree. This tree is beautiful and has been growing for 50 years on her land. Because the tree produces so well, a local grocery store buys fruit from her. The woman knows that there are 20 branches on the tree. Each branch has exactly 10 boughs. Each bough has 8 twigs. If each twig can grow one piece of fruit, then how many plums will the woman deliver to the local grocery store?
    • (Answer: None. The woman owns a pear tree, not a plum tree.)
  4. A lily pad is growing in a small pond. Every day, it doubles in size. On the 20th day, the lily pad covers the entire pond. Which day was the lily pad only half the size of the pond?
    • (Answer: The 19th day.)
  5. You are riding on a ship in the ocean. You are talking to the captain and he tells you a story. In this story, two of his crew were standing on opposite ends of the ship. One sailor was looking east and the other sailor was looking west at the same time. However, they could see each other. How is this possible?
    • (Answer: While the sailors were at opposite ends of the ship, they were facing each other.)
  6. In the Davis family, there are seven kids. Each was born two years apart. The youngest child just turned seven years old. How old is the oldest sibling?
    • (Answer: The oldest sibling is 19 years old.)
  7. I come along at the beginning of December. But, I am not in any other month. I am not a celebration or a holiday. What am I?
    • (Answer: The letter D.)
  8. I contain cities, but not any houses. I contain mountains, but not any trees. I contain water, but not any fish. What am I?
    • (Answer: A map.)
  9. How can you physically stand behind your friend when they are also standing behind you?
    • (Answer: You stand back-to-back.)
  10. What fills up a room but never takes up any space?
    • (Answer: Light.)
  11. One evening, a woman shoots her husband. Next, she holds him underwater for several minutes. Finally, she hangs him. Later that evening, they enjoy a nice dinner together. How is this possible?
    • (Answer: She took his picture, developed it, and hung the print up to process.)
  12. The Smith family has a daughter named Jane. Jane has as many brothers as she does sisters. However, each brother has only half as many brothers as he does sisters. How many sons and daughters are in the Smith family?
    • (Answer: Three sons and four daughters.)
  13. A man is your mother’s brother’s only brother-in-law. Who is he?
    • (Answer: Your father.)
  14. Some horses are in a field. Two horses are in front of two other horses. Then, there are two horses behind two other horses. How many horses are there total in the field?
    • (Answer: Four horses in standing in a square.)
  15. I show up once in June and two times in November. But, I am not in May. What am I?
    • (Answer: The letter E.)
  16. Four different claim people Adam is their brother. However, Adam says he has no brothers. How can this be?
    • (Answer: The people are Adam’s sisters.)

Short riddles for adults

  1. I am measured in hours, yet I help you by expiring. When I am fat, I am slow. When I am thin, I am fast. The wind is an enemy of mine. What am I?
    • (Answer: A candle.)
  2. What has a head and tail but does not have a body?
    • (Answer: A coin.)
  3. What is easy to lift but difficult to throw?
    • (Answer: A feather.)
  4. I am not known until I am measured. You miss me when I am gone. What am I?
    • (Answer: Time.)
  5. What has lots of teeth, but cannot bite?
    • (Answer: A comb.)
  6. What do you have to break before you can use it?
    • (Answer: An egg.)
  7. I have a neck, but no head. I have two arms, but no hands. What am I?
    • (Answer: A shirt.)
  8. What gets wetter the more it dries?
    • (Answer: A towel.)
  9. What has hands, but is unable to clap them?
    • (Answer: A clock.)
  10. What is something full of holes that still holds water?
    • (Answer: A sponge.)
  11. What starts with an e, but only has one letter?
    • (Answer: An envelope.)
  12. I speak with no mouth and hear with no ears. I do not have a body, but the wind makes me come alive. What am I?
    • (Answer: An echo.)
  13. What has many keys but opens no locks?
    • (Answer: A piano. Bonus answer, a keyboard!)
  14. I am lighter than what I am made from. There is more of me hidden than seen. What am I?
    • (Answer: An iceberg.)
  15. What has many needles, but does not sew?
    • (Answer: A Christmas tree.)
  16. What is something that is always in front of you, yet you cannot see?
    • (Answer: The future.)
  17. What kind of coat should you put on wet?
    • (Answer: A coat of paint.)
  18. If your uncle’s sister is not your aunt, then what is she?
    • (Answer: Your mom.)
  19. Which month in the year has 28 days in it?
    • (Answer: All of them have 28 days.)

Smart riddles for adults

  1. A and B are brothers. B and C are brothers. C is the father of D. How are A and D related?
    • (Answer: A is D’s uncle.)
  2. What is a word with five letters that becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
    • (Answer: Short.)
  3. What has a bottom at its top?
    • (Answer: Legs.)
  4. John’s parents have three sons. They named the first son Snap. They named the second son Crackle. What is the third son’s name?
    • (Answer: John.)
  5. What is something that always goes up, but can never come down?
    • (Answer: Your age.)
  6. What is easy to catch but impossible to throw?
    • (Answer: A cold.)
  7. One person makes me, though they will not need me. Another person buys me, but they will not use me. The person who will use me does not see or feel me. What am I?
    • (Answer: A coffin.)
  8. I am a word that you pronounce the same way whether I am written correctly or you take away four of my five letters. What am I?
    • (Answer: Queue.)
  9. Right now, I am an odd number. However, if you take away one letter I will be even. What am I?
    • (Answer: Seven.)
  10. There were a group of runners in a race. Bob worked his way up from the back and overcame the second-place runner. What place is Bob in now?
    • (Answer: Bob is now in second place.)
  11. There is a one-story house called the blue house. Everything is blue. The walls are blue, the doors are blue, and the furniture is blue. What color are the stairs?
    • (Answer: There are no stairs, it is a one-story house.)
  12. When does a door quit being a door?
    • (Answer: When it is ajar.)
  13. What belongs to you, but everyone else uses it?
    • (Answer: Your name.)
  14. I have one eye, but I cannot see. What am I?
    • (Answer: A needle.)

Good riddles for the workplace

  1. I have many keys, but no locks. I have space, but no rooms. You may enter, but you may not go outside. What am I?
    • (Answer: A keyboard.)
  2. I often have many branches, but I do not have leaves, a trunk, or fruit. What am I?
    • (Answer: A bank.)
  3. You can either make me, change me, raise me, lose me, or change me. What am I?
    • (Answer: Money.)
  4. If there are three books on the table, and you take away two of them, then how many books do you have?
    • (Answer: You have two books.)
  5. I have pointed fangs, and I sit and wait. I have piercing force, and I crunch with weight. I grab my victims, but they do not fight. I join them each with a single, quick bite. What am I?
    • (Answer: A stapler.)
  6. I am at the beginning of everything. Yet, I am also at the end of everywhere. I start eternity but end time and space. What am I?
    • (Answer: The letter E.)
  7. The fifth-grade class each ran one mile to see who was the fastest. Jim was the fiftieth fastest in his class. He was also the fiftieth slowest runner. If no two runners are the exact same speed, then how many kids are in Jim’s class?
    • (Answer: 99 students.)
  8. What is one word in the dictionary that is spelled incorrectly every time?
    • (Answer: Incorrectly.)
  9. Two moms and two daughters are at a farmer’s market. At a fruit stand, they each buy an apple. Apples are $.50. The total is $1.50. How is this possible?
    • (Answer: There is one grandma, her daughter, and her granddaughter.)
  10. What is a common verb in English that uses the same letters in the present and past tense?
    • (Answer: Eat and ate.)
  11. If it takes two to tango, but three are a crowd, then what do you get with four and five?
    • (Answer: Nine.)
  12. Sally and Susie were born at the same moment. But, they do not share a birthday. How is this possible?
    • (Answer: Sally and Susie were born in different time zones.)
  13. When I am forward, I am heavy. However, when I am backward, I am not. What am I?
    • (Answer: The word NOT.)
  14. What day is yesterday’s tomorrow and tomorrow’s yesterday?
    • (Answer: Today.)


You can use riddles in the workplace can in a variety of ways. First, you can open either virtual or in-person meetings with a riddle. Or, use a riddle as a brain break during a meeting so team members get a chance to blow off some steam. These questions and riddles can encourage camaraderie in employees if they find the answers in teams.

Next, check out these lists of problem-solving books and team building problems.

FAQ: Workplace riddles

Here are answers to questions about workplace riddles for adults.

How can you use riddles in the workplace?

Riddles in the workplace can be used in a variety of ways. First, you can open either virtual or in-person meetings with a riddle. Or, use a riddle as a brain break during a meeting so team members get a chance to blow off some steam. These questions and riddles can be used to encourage camaraderie in employees if they find the answers in teams.

What are some work good riddles for adults?

Good work riddles for adults encourage team members to think outside the box. The answer should be possible to find, but should take work to figure out. It is best to avoid topics that could be controversial. For example, the classic two guards, one tells the truth and one lies.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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