Can You Solve This Riddle That’s Stumping Facebook?
You'll laugh when you figure it out!
It’s not enough for a restaurant to simply list its daily specials and soup of the day anymore.
The chalk signs outside bars and cafes are now blank canvases for creative, witty and artistically inclined employees to stake their claim to internet fame. Oh, and maybe entice people to go inside the business and order something!
Well, one business may have achieved internet fame, but we wouldn’t be surprised if all of its potential customers are still outside on the sidewalk scratching their heads in confusion.
Facebook user Lacey Fernandez posted a picture on July 11 of this riddle:
Fernandez said it “screwed” with her head, and judging by the Facebook comments, quite a few others were stumped by this riddle as well.
The picture has already been shared more than 200,000 times and most of the commenters said it took them a while to get the answer. Apparently, some of them even tried to friend request Fernandez because they were so desperate for the correct answer.
So now the question is: Can you solve the riddle? The chalkboard reads, “What has 4 letters, sometimes 9 letters, but never has 5 letters.”
We’ll give you some time to ponder.
OK, we’ll give you a hint. Read it again, but pay careful attention to the punctuation.
Specifically, notice how there is no question mark at the end of the sentence.
That’s because the answer to the question is that there was never a question in the first place.
Here, let’s add some quotation marks to make it clearer:
“What” has four letters, “sometimes” nine letters, but “never” has five letters. Count the letters in “w-h-a-t,” “s-o-m-e-t-i-m-e-s” and then “n-e-v-e-r.” There are five letters in “what,” nine letters in the word “sometimes” and five letters in the word “never.”
In other words, what we’re reading is a statement and not a question at all!
Now Try: The Prisoner Hat Puzzle
In this puzzle, you and nine other people have been abducted by aliens. The aliens are going to eat you, but if you can prove you are intelligent, then they will spare your lives.
To figure out if you are intelligent, the aliens came up with a challenge for you to figure out.
- The ten people are asked to line-up in a single file line in order of tallest to shortest so that each person can see all the shorter people in front of them.
- Black or white hats are randomly placed on each person and you can only see the hats of the people in front of you.
- You cannot see your hat or the hat of the person behind you.
- Starting with the tallest person (and moving to the shortest person), each person can only say “black” or “white” to guess the color of his or her hat.
- You cannot say anything else. You are allowed one wrong guess, meaning one of the 10 people can be wrong.
The good news is that you can talk as a group to come up with a plan before you start.
Good luck. The answer to the puzzle starts at 1:40 in the video.