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Riddle   /rˈɪdəl/   Listen
Riddle

noun
1.
A difficult problem.  Synonyms: brain-teaser, conundrum, enigma.
2.
A coarse sieve (as for gravel).



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"Riddle" Quotes from Famous Books



... with some of that grace of patience which comes to her sex like an instinct born of centuried servitude. How her husband ever fascinated so fascinatingly elusive a creature is a mystery to all who know him and a miracle to all who know her; but who has ever guessed the riddle of a woman's heart? Surely no man yet known to the world, except possibly Balzac, and he only occasionally by some sort of electric, psychological accident. The true story of Mrs. Blaine's infelicities has been carefully hidden from the public, ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... of the Sphinx is generally known: She was a monster, who delighted in putting a riddle to the Thebans, and slaying each poor dull Boeotian, who could not interpret it. OEdipus guessed the enigma, on which the monster destroyed herself for shame. Thus he attained the throne of Thebes, and the ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... Fresh from his fall, and fiercer grapple joyn'd, Throttl'd at length in the Air, expir'd and fell; So after many a foil the Tempter proud, Renewing fresh assaults, amidst his pride 570 Fell whence he stood to see his Victor fall. And as that Theban Monster that propos'd Her riddle, and him, who solv'd it not, devour'd; That once found out and solv'd, for grief and spight Cast her self headlong from th' Ismenian steep, So strook with dread and anguish fell the Fiend, And to his crew, that sat ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... light. I can't tell you all that—it's not in my line, that sort of talk. But he said, his face all pink under his skin, he said, 'Hapgood, I'll tell you a thing. I've got the secret. I've got the key to the riddle that's been puzzling me all my life. I've got the new revelation in terms good enough for me to understand. Light, more light. Here it is: God is—love. Not this, that, nor the other that the intelligence revolts at, and puts aside, and goes away, and goes on hungering, ...
— If Winter Comes • A.S.M. Hutchinson

... into worm or man, the loss of a particle never occurs. Death consequently is but the constituent of a change. When it comes, that which was living assumes a state that has in it the potentiality of another form. A tenement has crumbled and a tenant gone forth. Though just where is the riddle. ...
— The Lords of the Ghostland - A History of the Ideal • Edgar Saltus

... had dawned. Whatever hidden message lay in the tolling bells floated past these men unknown. Yet it was there. Veiled in the solemn music ushering the risen Saviour was a key-note to solve the darkest secrets of a world gone wrong,—even this social riddle which the brain of the grimy puddler grappled ...
— Life in the Iron-Mills • Rebecca Harding Davis

... at the lilac bush outside the window, the water spout where Billy often shinned up and down, the old apple tree that he would climb before he was large enough to be trusted, and then she read the letter again. But it meant nothing to her. It seemed a horrible riddle. She took a pencil and a scrap of paper and quickly transcribed the mysterious words, omitting not even the punctuation, and then hurriedly returned the letter to its envelope, clapped the flap down and held it tight. When it was dry she put ...
— The City of Fire • Grace Livingston Hill

... parlour, or her bedroom, and question her minutely about her ways and ideas; and she would look at her silently for a minute or two together; and then suddenly laugh and kiss her—Isabel's transparency was almost as great a riddle to her as her own obscurity to Isabel. And sometimes she would throw herself on Isabel's bed, and lie there with her arms behind her head, to the deplorable ruin of her ruff; with her buckled feet twitching and tapping; and go on ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... was headed by the industrious and indomitable Horace Greeley. His claim to the feelings of humanity should never be disputed; but as a practical man who sought to solve the riddle of every-day life he placed his practical views in the foreground. As a political economist he reasoned that slave labor was degrading to free labor; that free labor was better than slave labor, and, therefore, he most earnestly desired its ...
— History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George Washington Williams

... You go pretty fast, young man! Do you suggest that you have your little solution of the riddle ready?" ...
— The Hollow Needle • Maurice Leblanc

... tiny pebbles down on the heads of the guides as they passed through the door beneath. What a surprise it would be to Tony and Franz to have the stones come clattering down upon them; and what sport it would be to watch them as they tried to solve the riddle as to where the ...
— The Story of Porcelain • Sara Ware Bassett

... puzzled expression upon his wan, blood-streaked face. It was as though he were trying to wrest from the inner temple of his consciousness a vague and tantalizing memory that eluded him each time that he felt he had it within his grasp—the key to the strange riddle ...
— The Monster Men • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... with his mysterious smile, proud at being an unsolvable riddle: "It is like speaking of birds who do not fly, to talk of thieves who do ...
— Invisible Links • Selma Lagerlof

... riddle of our time. I look out upon the windy Channel and think of all those millions just over there, who seem to get busier and keener every hour. I could imagine the day of reckoning coming like a ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... was uppermost in a thousand of those vigilant minds, even as it was uppermost in mine, was the riddle—how much they understood of us. Did they grasp that we in our millions were organized, disciplined, working together? Or did they interpret our spurts of fire, the sudden stinging of our shells, our steady investment of their encampment, as we should the furious unanimity ...
— The War of the Worlds • H. G. Wells

... a series of books for little folks as has ever appeared since "Alice in Wonderland." The idea of the Riddle books is a little group of children—three girls and three boys decide to form a riddle club. Each book is full of the adventures and doings of these six youngsters, but as an added attraction each book is filled with a lot of the best riddles ...
— Tom Swift among the Fire Fighters - or, Battling with Flames from the Air • Victor Appleton

... of him with so little animosity that he judged his spectacular death inadequate. But who, he wondered, had staged it? Not Cassy. Cassy took things with too high a hand and reasonably perhaps, since she took them from where her temperament had placed her. Then, without further effort at the riddle, his thoughts drifted back to that afternoon when, from his rooms, the sunlight had followed her ...
— The Paliser case • Edgar Saltus

... the art of the ugly. His countenances are so repulsive that they attract. The psychology of the looks, and leers, and grins, and hot, hectic desires on the faces of his women is a puzzle that we can not lay aside—we want to solve the riddle of this paradox of existence—the woman whose soul is mire and whose heart is hell. Many men have tried to fathom it at close range, but we devise a safer plan and follow the trail in books, art and imagination. Art shows you the thing you might have done or been. ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... transformed death. To the eye of flesh it was the final direction of our fate,—the consummate riddle in this mystery of being,—the wreck of all ...
— The Crown of Thorns - A Token for the Sorrowing • E. H. Chapin

... don't understand you; it's not possible; you would not humiliate me. Come, come, it's a riddle, and I am too stupid to solve it. I give it up. Don't tantalise me any ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - LA CONSTANTIN—1660 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... brooded. She spoke sometimes sharply to Mr. Hazel, and sometimes with strained civility. She wandered away from him and from his labors for her comfort, and passed hours at Telegraph Point, eying the illimitable ocean. She was a riddle. All sweetness at times, but at others irritable, moody, and scarce mistress of herself. Hazel was sorry and perplexed, and often expressed a fear she was ill. The answer was always in the negative. He did not press ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... a riddle to Malcolm, but his reverence for her made him lay them up deeply, as he watched her kneeling at the Mass, her upturned face beaming with ...
— The Caged Lion • Charlotte M. Yonge

... faith, that spoils all the former, for these farthingales take up all the room now-a-days; 'tis not a woman, questionless. Shall I be put down with a riddle? Sirrah Heuresis, search the corners of your conceit, and ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... hears talked about her; that hesitating smile which held my youth in tether has come to seem but a grimace; and the pale mountains no more mysterious than a globe or map seen from a little distance. The Mona Liza is a sort of riddle, an acrostic, a poetical decoction, a ballade, a rondel, a villanelle or ballade with double burden, a sestina, that is what it is like, a sestina or chant royal. The Mona Liza, being literature in intention rather than painting, has drawn round ...
— Memoirs of My Dead Life • George Moore

... go, then; and God be with him! as surely He will be, if the simple, faithful prayers of fair, sad Hepsy Ann are heard. Thus will he, thus only can any, solve that sphinx-riddle of life which is propounded to each passer to-day, as of old in fable-lands,—failing to read which, he dies the death of rusting discontent,—solving whose mysteries, he has revealed to him the deep secret of his life, and sees and knows what best he may ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... riddle, the second, the third, all in one corner of the card—then turned it round impatiently to look at another. Before he could begin reading the riddles printed here, the sound of the church-clock stopped him. Eleven. ...
— The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices • Charles Dickens

... had to do. His work was even more important now. If he could solve the riddle of this deadly world, he could repay in ...
— Deathworld • Harry Harrison

... keeps," he announced, with the grin of a man who has solved a humorous riddle. "By refusing to thwart the lady you throw away your last slender chance of freedom, and you will find her waiting at the gate of the State Penitentiary when you come out. By Jove, you've been pretty rapid, though. No ...
— One Wonderful Night - A Romance of New York • Louis Tracy

... low words. Then, moved by a marvellous influence which worked upon him irresistibly, Merefleet stooped and put the slight hand to his lips. He did not understand. He was as far from reading the riddle as he had been when he entered. But his love for this woman conquered his desire. He had thought to win an empire. He left the room a ...
— The Odds - And Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... grant it: by deeds, when, by what we do, we probe another's prudence, will or power. Either of these may happen in two ways. First, openly, as when one declares oneself a tempter: thus Samson (Judges 14:12) proposed a riddle to the Philistines in order to tempt them. In the second place it may be done with cunning and by stealth, as the Pharisees tempted Christ, as we read in Matt. 22:15, sqq. Again this is sometimes done explicitly, as when anyone intends, by word or deed, to put some person ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... he sat himself upon the edge of the sluice-box for some thoughtful minutes, and his mind traveled back over many scenes and incidents. But it dwelt chiefly upon Jessie Mowbray and her dead father. And it struggled in a great effort to solve the riddle of the ...
— The Triumph of John Kars - A Story of the Yukon • Ridgwell Cullum

... into the vast countenance of the crouching Sphinx and vainly tried to read the meaning of her calm eyes and smiling mouth. Was it, indeed, the mockery of all effort and all aspiration, as Tigranes had said—the cruel jest of a riddle that has no answer, a search that never can succeed? Or was there a touch of pity and encouragement in that inscrutable smile—a promise that even the defeated should attain a victory, and the disappointed should ...
— The Story of the Other Wise Man • Henry Van Dyke

... us how people of old accounted for the sea being salt. There are many such stories, each different from the other, all showing that the same childlike spirit of inquiry was at work in different places, striving to find an answer to this riddle ...
— Stories to Tell Children - Fifty-Four Stories With Some Suggestions For Telling • Sara Cone Bryant

... about food in the kitchen and hurried back to his guests. There was the riddle of the Quantocks to solve: there were the tableaux vivants imminent: there was the little red-haired boy coming in soon. What a ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... way," he continued, after crossing and re-crossing the room a few times, "what a riddle this Isabella Gonzales is; I wonder if she has got any heart at all. Here am I, who have gone scathless through the courts of beauty these many years, actually caught-surprised at last; for I do love the girl; and yet how archly she teazes me! Sometimes I think within myself ...
— The Heart's Secret - The Fortunes of a Soldier, A Story of Love and the Low Latitudes • Maturin Murray

... not enough to say, as the Frenchmen do, that their nation was taken by surprise. A nation, no more than a woman, is excused for the unguarded hour when the first adventurer who comes along can do violence to her. The riddle is not solved by such shifts, it is only formulated in other words. There remains to be explained how a nation of thirty-six millions can be surprised by three swindlers, and taken to prison ...
— The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte • Karl Marx

... away; but, in order to do that, I have, of course, got to go inside of her skull right to the brain itself, and the trouble might be here, or here, or here." He touched her now profusion of curls at different cranial points. "That is the riddle which you and I must solve, and I have got to look to you for the key. The human brain is still a book of mystery to us. Some day, physicians will be able to read it with full understanding; but so far, we have, after thousands of years, barely learned how to open ...
— 'Smiles' - A Rose of the Cumberlands • Eliot H. Robinson

... better reading of the riddle. There is never a "Might-have-been" that touches with a sting, but reveals also to us an inner glimpse of the wide and beautiful "May Be." It is all there; somebody else has it now while we wait; but the years of ...
— Real Folks • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... 14th DECEMBER, 1740 [day after his Majesty left]. Everybody here is on tiptoe for the Event; of which both origin and end are a riddle to the most. I am charmed to see a part of your Majesty's Dominions in a state of Pyrrhonism; the disease is epidemical here at present. Those who, in the style of theologians, consider themselves entitled to be certain, maintain That your Majesty is expected with religious impatience by the ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... was to solve this very riddle that rode by my side now, to answer the question of the Sphinx. What had come of all my studies? Not so much as I was learning now, here in the open, with this sweet savage woman whose leggins tinkled as she rode, whose tunic swelled softly, whose jaw was clean and ...
— The Way of a Man • Emerson Hough

... the riddle that I could not read. Among my last actions of this day was one that had been almost my earliest, and bedtime found me staring at his letter, as I stood, half undressed, by my table. The calm ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... the Pole Star remained fixed and stable, and it became, not unnaturally, a light of assurance and the footstool of the Most High.[12] Whatever its meaning, the Swastika shows us the efforts of the early man to read the riddle of things, and his intuition of a love at the heart ...
— The Builders - A Story and Study of Masonry • Joseph Fort Newton

... frippery, and vulgar excrescences, sound at core—a world whose implicit motto is: "The good of all humanity." But the herd-life, which is its characteristic, brings many evils, has many dangers; and to preserve a sane mind in a healthy body is the riddle before us. Somehow we must free ourselves from the driving domination of machines and money-getting, not only for our own sakes but for that ...
— Another Sheaf • John Galsworthy

... taught the plan of salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet will go on talking pertly about God in nature, and of their ability to find themselves in him by studying him in his works? God in nature, without Christ, is a riddle, ...
— Oowikapun - How the Gospel Reached the Nelson River Indians • Egerton Ryerson Young

... those days and nights had the memory of Claire left me. Over and over in my mind I had reviewed all that had ever occurred between us, striving in vain to guess the riddle. Now I would see and talk with her brother, and perhaps obtain the explanation needed. Yet I have gone into battle with less trepidation than when I rode into Lee's headquarters, and asked his chief-of-staff for Eric ...
— My Lady of Doubt • Randall Parrish

... to attach no importance to it, seemed, itself, to be something wonderful. Here in Geometry and Arithmetic, here was order and harmony unsurpassed and unsurpassable. What wonder then that Pythagoras concluded that the solution of the mighty riddle of the Universe was contained in the mysteries of Geometry? What wonder that he read mystic meanings into the laws of Arithmetic, and believed Number to be the explanation and origin of ...
— Bygone Beliefs • H. Stanley Redgrove

... not until near the end of his third session in the school that the riddle was, quite suddenly, solved. Edgar Poe was now in his fifteenth year. One perfect May day, when the song of birds, the odors of flowers, the whisper of soft breezes and the languor of mellow sunshine outside of the open school windows were ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... a riddle—I said we are as fit as a fiddle!" cried Tom. "Never mind. No use trying to talk with the racket this motor makes, and it isn't the noisiest of its kind, either. I'll tell you when we get down. Do ...
— Tom Swift and his Air Scout - or, Uncle Sam's Mastery of the Sky • Victor Appleton

... darkness fell I saw him—just a vague, gray shadow with edges touched softly with silver light, which whirled once over my canoe and looked down into it. Then he vanished; and from far over on the edge of the waiting woods, where the mystery was deepest, came a cry, a challenge, a riddle, the night's wild question which no man ...
— Wood Folk at School • William J. Long

... But what was his astonishment to see the day after, the Journal des Debats of the 13th of September, an extract from his narrative, copied almost literally: he then endeavoured to discover whence the editors could have obtained these details; it cost him but little time to solve the riddle. ...
— Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal in 1816 • J. B. Henry Savigny and Alexander Correard

... believe that the theory of evolution would have made its way so easily and so quickly after Darwin took up the cudgels in favour of it, if he had not been able to support it by a principle which was capable of solving, in a simple manner, the greatest riddle that living nature presents to us,—I mean the purposiveness of every living form relative to the conditions of its life and its marvellously exact ...
— Darwin and Modern Science • A.C. Seward and Others

... Miserrimus Dexter could help him, in that or in any other way, was a riddle beyond ...
— The Law and the Lady • Wilkie Collins

... trade, did he stop here? she wondered. To gather wealth? She did not think it; he seemed to have no leanings that way either. It was a mystery. Still, she could wish to get to the bottom of Peter's heart, just to see what was hid there, since no man has a right to be a riddle to his loving cousin. Yes, and one day she would do it, cost what ...
— Fair Margaret • H. Rider Haggard

... sad story she asked us to give her our opinion as to the cause of the baby's disappearance. One of our men had the most likely solution of the riddle as he thought that the baby had watched her brothers discard their overcoats, and later their coats, as the exercise while skating warmed them, and Helen, childlike, thinking this the proper thing, had in a playful mood discarded her clothes, intending to skate barefooted upon the glistening ...
— The Trail of the Tramp • A-No. 1 (AKA Leon Ray Livingston)

... to the princess, in the midst of a profound silence, "I hardly dare guess; and yet in this riddle I plainly perceive my own happiness. I dared to think that your questions would have no difficulty for me, while you thought the contrary; you have the goodness to believe that I am not unworthy to please you, while I have hardly the boldness to ...
— Our Young Folks, Vol 1, No. 1 - An Illustrated Magazine • Various

... many of my readers. I was ordered to Farnham, to investigate a case of burglary, committed in the house of a gentleman of the name of Hursley, during the temporary absence of the family, which had completely nonplussed the unpractised Dogberrys of the place, albeit it was not a riddle at all difficult to read. The premises, it was quickly plain to me, had been broken, not into, but out of; and a watch being set upon the motions of the very specious and clever person left in charge of the house and property, it was speedily discovered ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

... to be his companions, but in reality to be a guard upon him, that he might not attempt to give them any disturbance. Now as they were drinking merrily and playing, Samson said, as was usual at such times, "Come, if I propose you a riddle, and you can expound it in these seven days' thee, I will give you every one a linen shirt and a garment, as the reward of your wisdom." So they being very ambitious to obtain the glory of wisdom, ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... riddle, monsieur?" she asked. "All kinds of solutions come to me, madam, but none that seem to ...
— Princess Maritza • Percy Brebner

... meditated Amarilly, "what possessed the cow. She's been so gentle always, and then to fly to pieces that way, and riddle the surplice to bits! It was lucky there was ...
— Amarilly of Clothes-line Alley • Belle K. Maniates

... first of men who have tried to find in vain how and when a relationship becomes an entanglement. He ought to break off now, and the riddle was just why he should feel this compunction in breaking off now. He had disappointed her, and he ought not to have disappointed her; that was the essential feeling. He had never realized before ...
— Soul of a Bishop • H. G. Wells

... entertaining gentleman who had made his exit from the house in so unorthodox a manner. There was logic running right through the piece; every little incident seemed to dovetail into the others, yet, because I did not have the key, I could not read the riddle. Why did the man on the beach fire at Bryce? I could not say. Then just for amusement's sake I got a piece of paper and a pencil and dotted down the items that wanted explaining. They ...
— The Lost Valley • J. M. Walsh

... to spend the entire summer trying to solve this riddle for all time, concentrating on it to the exclusion of everything else. They drove west in a station wagon stuffed with equipment and tracking a U-Haul-It packed ...
— The Hohokam Dig • Theodore Pratt

... had eaten, the King put a riddle to the Waiting-woman. "What does a person deserve that deceives his master?" ...
— Children's Hour with Red Riding Hood and Other Stories • Watty Piper

... crumbled. She saw him young, and proud, and strong, as for instance when he had kissed her lying on the bed in that London hotel—she forgot the name—in 1866; and now he was old, and worn, and horrible, and dead. It was the riddle of life that was puzzling and killing her. By the corner of her eye, reflected in the mirror of a wardrobe near the bed, she glimpsed a tall, forlorn woman, who had once been young and now was old; who had once exulted in abundant strength, and trodden ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... not cross, although it is hard for any one who has read The Riddle of the Sands to refrain. Had we been there in the nesting season I might have wandered in search of the sea birds' and the plovers' eggs, just for old sake's sake, as I have in the island of Coll, but we were too late, and The Helder had depressed us. It was off ...
— A Wanderer in Holland • E. V. Lucas

... spied his father turning his next corner homeward. Nevertheless, with this trifling exception, he was a pattern of filial duty; and now the time was come that his father must die—his mother was dead long before; and he was left alone in the world with his riddle. The whole house, board, trade—what there was of it—all was his. When he came to take stock, and make an inventory—in his head—of what he was worth, it was by no means such as to endanger his entrance into heaven ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850 • Various

... say that professed moralists and philosophers did much to help me out of the dilemma; but the riddle which history presented I found solved in the pages of Shakspeare. There the crooked appeared straight; the inaccessible, easy; the incomprehensible, plain. All I sought, I found there; his characters combine history and real life; they are complete individuals, whose hearts and souls are laid open ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... said to have visited Solomon, "to prove him with hard questions," by which have generally been understood enigmatical puzzles. Some of these are to be found in sacred writ, of which the riddle which Samson proposed to the young men of Timnath, is a very ancient and curious specimen. It appears from the writings of the ancients, that the Greeks and all the Eastern nations, were singularly attached to enigmas. Plutarch, in his Feast of the Seven Sages, introduces ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... "However, I feel I cannot offer any excuse for their past conduct; yet," continued the Pleasant-Faced Lion wisely, as he jogged contentedly on, homewards towards Balham, "I have a fair proposition to make to you, although it may seem somewhat in the nature of a riddle to you both ...
— The Tale of Lal - A Fantasy • Raymond Paton

... him a moment in wide-eyed amazement, and then without attempting to solve the riddle of his remarks, proceeded to reduce her wind-blown locks to something like their usual law and order. The dark heavy waves, rioting in the breeze, seemed to offer a problem to the deft white fingers that fluttered among them, but they were speedily subjugated, and the despised bonnet was added ...
— An Algonquin Maiden - A Romance of the Early Days of Upper Canada • G. Mercer Adam

... voice of Mrs. Yeobright's son—for Clym it was—startling as a sound? No; it was simply comprehensive. All emotional things were possible to the speaker of that "good night." Eustacia's imagination supplied the rest—except the solution to one riddle. What COULD the tastes of that man be who saw friendliness and geniality in ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... a pause). They call me keen-witted beyond all others in the land. I believe they are right. The keenest- witted—— No one knows how I became so. For more than twenty years I have fought to save my child. That is the key to the riddle. Ay, that sharpens the wits! My wits? Where have they flown to-night? What has become of my forethought? There is a ringing and rushing in my ears. I see shapes before me, so life-like that methinks I could lay hold on them. (Springs up.) Lord Jesus—what is this? Am I no longer ...
— Henrik Ibsen's Prose Dramas Vol III. • Henrik Ibsen

... you are not au fait of all my lady acquaintances. But, to solve the riddle, it was Miriam who first came here and put me on ...
— The Unseen Bridgegroom - or, Wedded For a Week • May Agnes Fleming

... the application of the other candidate, Andrew J. Williams. Mr. Williams set out in detail his qualifications for the position: his degree from Riddle University; his familiarity with the dead and living languages and the higher mathematics; his views of discipline; and a peroration in which he expressed the desire to devote himself to the elevation of his race and assist the ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... said, I thought ye would ask me a riddle, Sir, and ye ask about Yu[109] and Ch'iu.[110] He that holds to the Way in serving his lord and leaves when he cannot do so, we call a great minister. Now Yu and Ch'iu I ...
— The Sayings Of Confucius • Confucius

... writing, remains a romantic episode, a dramatic centre of interest, from the heroic endurance and brilliant gallantry displayed by its garrison; but, from the practical side, the action of friend and foe, the fact of occupation and the conduct of {p.113} the siege, present a military riddle not ...
— Story of the War in South Africa - 1899-1900 • Alfred T. Mahan

... moccasins; and my only baggage was the pair of snowshoes. It was the season of light travel. A single Englishman touring the world as the crow flies occupied the car. He looked at me so askance that I made an opportunity of talking to him. I should like to read his "Travels" to see what he made out of the riddle. In similar circumstances, and without explanation, I had fun talking French and swapping boulevard reminiscences with a member of a Parisian theatrical troupe making a long jump through northern Wisconsin. And once, at six of the morning, letting myself into my own ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... Chiltistan, and they found the riddle easy to read. The melons were the infidels which would be cut to pieces, even as a knife cuts a melon. The grain was the army of ...
— The Broken Road • A. E. W. Mason

... of the house where you are going. The country houses here are very like those upon the Thames between Richmond and Kingston (this, particularly), with grounds all round. At Mr. Cerjat's we were obliged to be carried, like the child's riddle, round the house and round the house, without touching the house; and we were presented in the most alarming manner, three of a row, first to all the people in the kitchen, then to the governess who was dressing in her bedroom, then ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... last, my darling one, Flushed and tired with thy play, From morning dawn until setting sun Hast thou been at sport away; And thy steps are weary—hot thy brow, Yet thine eyes with joy are bright,— Ah! I read the riddle, show me now The ...
— The Poetical Works of Mrs. Leprohon (Mrs. R.E. Mullins) • Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon

... it be, your majesty," said Caroline gayly, "but the explanation of the riddle that has been puzzling all the brains in the palace for a ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... obscure allusion than others—some from natural penetration, some from familiarity with the subject. There are those who cannot enjoy any joke which they do not make themselves. Some cannot guess the simplest riddle, while others could soon detect the real nature of a cherry coloured cat ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... thee thus in fancy, as in books A man may see the naiads of the brooks;— As one entranced by potions aptly given May see the angels where they walk in Heaven, And may not greet them in their high estate. For who shall guess the riddle wrought of Fate Till he be dead? And who that lives a span Shall thwart the Future where ...
— A Lover's Litanies • Eric Mackay

... rarities As please the mind will, and will feed the eyes With those, which, if a Christian, thou wilt see Not small, but things of greatest moment be. Nor do thou go to work without my key; (In mysteries men soon do lose their way;) And also turn it right, if thou wouldst know My riddle, and wouldst with my heifer plough; It lies there in the window. Fare thee well, My next may be ...
— The Holy War • John Bunyan

... life of her she could not tell what lay at the bottom of the business. The strange conflicts and discrepancies between Glen's very own letters made the riddle utterly obscure. She felt that Searle was fashioning falsehoods in every direction. That he had not visited Glen at all was her fixed conviction. A sudden distrust, almost a loathing for this heavy-browed ...
— The Furnace of Gold • Philip Verrill Mighels

... winnowing corn, in the primitive way, with "riddles," betwixt two open doors. On the Bishop making his appearance, the honest man ceased his winnowing operations, and in the gladness of his heart stepped briskly forward to welcome his pastor; but in his haste he trod upon the rim of the riddle, which rebounded with great force against one of his shins. The accident made him suddenly pull up; and, instead of completing the reception, he stood vigorously rubbing the injured limb; and, not daring in such a venerable presence to give vent to the customary strong ejaculations, kept twisting ...
— Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character • Edward Bannerman Ramsay

... the secret of Venetian history, the one key by which it is possible to understand the strange riddle of the Republic. For thirteen centuries Venice lay moored as it were off the coast of Western Europe, without political analogue or social parallel. Its patriciate, its people, its government were not what government ...
— Stray Studies from England and Italy • John Richard Green

... of the dispatches were in a complicated cipher which resisted all attempts at solution. The Tribune published samples from time to time, keeping interest alive in the hope that somebody might solve the riddle. Finally two members of the Tribune staff were successful in discovering the key to the cipher in a way that recalls the paper-covered detective story. The newspaper aroused and excited public interest by publishing specimens ...
— The United States Since The Civil War • Charles Ramsdell Lingley

... this morning owing to an alarm of illness seizing grandfather. He had been taken with a sudden faintness. Of course we sent for the doctor, but before he arrived the faintness had passed, so he looked wise at us, like a prize riddle which had to be guessed before his next visit, left us his autograph (a wonderful hieroglyphic), and went away. Since then grandfather has been in the hands of a less taciturn practitioner, whom he calls the 'flower of Glenfaba' (that's me), and after talking nonsense ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... pigmy scraper, wi' his fiddle, Wha us'd at trysts and fairs to driddle, Her strappan limb and gausy middle He reach'd na higher, Had hol'd his heartie like a riddle, An' blawn't ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... The world-riddle of pathology the past twenty years has been: Is cancer due to the invasion of a parasite, a veritable microscopic crab, or is it due to alterations in the communal relations, or, to speak metaphorically, the allegiance of the cells? Disappointing as it may be, the ...
— Preventable Diseases • Woods Hutchinson

... bleak winter in his fireless attic in an Edinburgh wynd. He talked to Marcella, dogmatically, prodigiously, unanswerably. On her legends and fairy-tales and poetry he poured contempt. He read the "Riddle of the Universe" and the "Kritic of Pure Reason," orating them to Marcella as they worked together in the harvest field. She did not even understand their terminology. He had a quite unreasoning belief in the stolidly utilitarian of German philosophers ...
— Captivity • M. Leonora Eyles

... discover nothing about either this Plautius or this Hirrius, but it appears that Archelaus wrote a book under the title Bugonia, of which nothing survives. It may be conjectured, however, on the analogy of Samson's riddle to the Philistines, "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness," (Judges, XIV, 14), that Plautius meant to imply that some good might be the consequence of the evil Hirrius had done: and that Vaccius cited the allusion to suggest to Varro ...
— Roman Farm Management - The Treatises Of Cato And Varro • Marcus Porcius Cato

... Worship, Discipline, and Customs of the Early Church; with an Introduction, containing a Complete and Chronological Analysis of the Works of the Antenicene Fathers. Compiled from the Works of Augusti, and other sources. By the Rev. J. E. RIDDLE, M.A., Author of an English-Latin and Latin-English Dictionary, Luther and his Times, &c. ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the - Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) • Thomas Clarkson

... meanings (see Richardson in v.). As used by Ben Jonson and Swift, it is expressive of contempt. In Holland's translation of Pliny it signifies a snail. There is likewise a nursery rhyme or riddle: ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 208, October 22, 1853 • Various

... be so difficult," continued De Fervlans. "The imprisoned marquis will not reveal the destination of the fugitives; but we have learned, through your clever little daughter, that they have gone to a country where there is order, but where there are no police. That, methinks, is not a very difficult riddle to solve. You need only journey from place to place until you find such a country. The fugitives will be certain to betray themselves by their secrecy, and I have not the least doubt but your search will be rewarded before the year is out. For one year you shall have the command of three ...
— The Nameless Castle • Maurus Jokai

... unusually sympathetic and sensitive nervous system. Such a temperament gives one the capacity not only for moods of the highest transport, but for an unspeakable sorrow tenfold more profound. This is the unsolvable riddle. An artist so ideally endowed [ein so ideal angelegter Kuenstler] as MacDowell must ask himself: Why have I received from nature this delicately strung lyre, if I were better off without it? So unmerciful is Life that every artist must ask ...
— Edward MacDowell • Lawrence Gilman

... with the eye of to-day, or even of the whole nineteenth century, but with his mind educated to the strange conditions of earlier civilisation. For in these conditions will be found the root of the widespread mischief—the answer to many a riddle which superficial observers have been unable to comprehend. The racial hatred between Boer and Briton is not a thing of new growth; it has expanded with the expansion of the Boer settlers themselves. In fact, on the Boer side, it is the only thing ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... at her, trying to read the difficult riddle of a woman's perversity. "You were in love with me yesterday," he ...
— Amabel Channice • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... lapping milk just now, but leave the dairy door open, and see if she is not as bad a thief as the kitten. There's fire in the flint, cool as it looks: wait till the steel gets a knock at it, and you will see. Every body can read that riddle, but it is not every body that will remember to keep his gunpowder out of the ...
— Brave Men and Women - Their Struggles, Failures, And Triumphs • O.E. Fuller

... are asking me a riddle? Well, then—Society, men of birth, men of recognised position, men above eccentricity, in a ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... open doors of the Commercial Trust Building, together they left-turned into the elevator, and simultaneously raised their heads to examine its roof, as though in its panelled ceiling was concealed some Delphic oracle who would answer the riddle which circumstances had ...
— Bones in London • Edgar Wallace

... the necessity of forming anything which had sharper collisions than an elaborate notion of Gog and Magog: it was as free from interruption as a plan for threading the stars together. And Dorothea had so often had to check her weariness and impatience over this questionable riddle-guessing, as it revealed itself to her instead of the fellowship in high knowledge which was to make life worthier! She could understand well enough now why her husband had come to cling to her, as possibly the only hope ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... for a man to whip himself in cold blood is a hard thing, especially if the stripes fall upon an ill-nourished and worse-fed body. Let my lady Dulcinea have patience, and when she is least expecting it, she will see me made a riddle of with whipping, and 'until death it's all life;' I mean that I have still life in me, and the desire to make good ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... tired, the Police told him to unhitch the team, mount one of them and come along to camp for breakfast. Then Berube wished to get his pocket-book out of the wagon, but instead he fished out a revolver and galloped away saying he would riddle them if they followed. Of course they followed. With the usual Police restraint they forbore to shoot. Campbell overtook the smuggler, but just as he ranged alongside the policeman's horse stumbled and fell, Campbell, leaping off as the horse fell and grabbing ...
— Policing the Plains - Being the Real-Life Record of the Famous North-West Mounted Police • R.G. MacBeth

... where I see My own glad face peep out at me; These windows beam like June's own skies: Guess me the riddle,—baby's eyes! ...
— The Nursery, May 1873, Vol. XIII. - A Monthly Magazine for Youngest People • Various

... vulgar Images, such as are immediately fetch'd from Nature, and rang'd thro' the Circle of the Sciences to fetch their Ideas from thence. But as the Resemblances of such Ideas to the Subject must necessarily lie very much out of the common Way, and every piece of Wit appear a Riddle to the Vulgar; This, that should have taught them the forced, quaint, unnatural Tract they were in, (and induce them to follow a more natural One,) was the very Thing that kept them attach'd to it. The ostentatious Affectation of abstruse Learning, peculiar to that Time, ...
— Preface to the Works of Shakespeare (1734) • Lewis Theobald

... progress is not the concern of the artist at all; but, on the other hand, you will find but few of the great artists of the ages who have not been thrilled and haunted with the deep desire to help others, to increase their peace and joy, to interpret the riddle of the world, to give a motive for living a fuller life than the life of the drudge and the raker of stones ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... eight years she had given her life utterly and entirely to Oliver and the children—and the result was that he was happier with Abby—with Abby whom he didn't even admire—than he was with the wife whom he both respected and loved! The riddle not only puzzled, it enraged her. Though she was too simple to seek a psychological answer, the very fact that it existed became an immediate power in her life. She forgot the lateness of the evening, she forgot the children who were anxiously watching ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... do? What could they? Compared with this question, the riddle of the Sphinx was simple, the supposition that they were going to batter coast-walls in the S. Pacific being hardly now tenable. The Boodah finally came to rest some miles North of lat. 50 deg. and East of long. 20 deg.: and there—just on the northern rim ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... defect of memory, I have others which very much contribute to my ignorance; I have a slow and heavy wit, the least cloud stops its progress, so that, for example, I never propose to it any never so easy a riddle that it could find out; there is not the least idle subtlety that will not gravel me; in games, where wit is required, as chess, draughts, and the like, I understand no more than the common movements. I have a slow and perplexed ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... appeared can be said to be even approximately correct. Its mysterious quality evades us; and we have to be content with outward characteristics and accompaniments, leaving the thing itself an unsolved riddle. At the same time Mr. Herbert Spencer's masterly elucidation of the chief phenomena of Life has placed philosophy and science under many obligations, and in the paragraphs which follow we shall have to incur a further debt on ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond



Words linked to "Riddle" :   get, bewilder, flummox, figure out, vex, stupefy, mystify, solve, sift, perplex, sieve, intercommunicate, baffle, nonplus, beat, work out, puzzle, puzzle out, amaze, spiritise, perforate, stick, communicate, pierce, spiritize, pose, work, strain, problem, dumbfound, lick, gravel



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