“Riddle me this, riddle me that…”
Is this your catchphrase?
You don’t have to wear a wacky Spandex suit covered in question marks to be great at solving riddles and puzzles. Surprisingly, your wardrobe has nothing to do with it!
Instead, it takes a very special type of mind, one that works great and thinks differently.
You may feel like an expert at guessing answers, but the truth is you probably have a special set of skills and qualities that help you get to the root of the problem and figure out a solution.
The good news is that these skills go beyond fun riddles and actually help you to be a great problem-solver in real life.
So here are eight signs you have an uncanny knack for solving puzzles and riddles. They might not all be 100% sure things individually, but together, they add up to a very clear picture of your ability.
1) You’re very observant.
If you’re paying so little attention that you can’t see the forest for the trees, you’re not going to make a great puzzle-solver.
But if you have a keen eye for details, differences, and patterns, chances are you’re also going to be naturally good at solving riddles and puzzles.
We can think of a simple jigsaw puzzle as something anyone could solve… eventually. You can just grab a piece and smash it together through trial and error until you find the right match.
But if you have great powers of observation, you’re going to be way better at this.
You’ll look for colors and textures. You’ll look for edge shapes and distinct knobs that fit into particular sockets.
You’ll quickly match innies and outies and get the puzzle done in no time.
For math and word puzzles, you still notice things that stand out or are different, and this is a great aid in helping you solve them like clockwork!
Riddle: There’s a one-story house in which everything is white. It has white walls, white ceilings, white floors, white doors, and white furniture. What color are the stairs?
You’re certainly observant enough to answer that there aren’t any stairs because the house is only one story!
2) You’re good at thinking outside the box.
I don’t mean you’re good at remembering to flip the jigsaw puzzle box over to peek at the finished image on the back.
I mean that you have a mind that refuses to accept limits.
Riddles are particularly easy for you because you don’t get stuck in traditional thinking.
Here’s a simple riddle: What month has 28 days?
The answer is… all of them!
Most people go straight to February, but the question doesn’t say “only 28 days,” so they’ve been tricked into limiting their own thinking.
Like this example, riddles are usually designed through wordplay and trickery to lead people to think one way when they really need to focus on another.
But not you.
You’re able to step outside the boundaries and see a much wider range of possible solutions available.
3) You’re playful.
One sign that you have an uncanny knack for solving riddles and puzzles is that you love play.
You love the concept of play, and you love to do it.
One of my close friends is totally like this.
He’s a joke maven, a collector of action figures, and an avid riddle fan. He’s also over 40, married with kids, and gainfully employed. He just loves to play – for him, this is what makes life enjoyable.
So he’s always inviting people over to play games, do challenges, hear his latest jokes, and even feed him delicious riddles.
Since he does so many puzzles and riddles on a regular basis, he’s also quite good at them and usually gets a lot of the answers.
Needless to say, his kids really enjoy playing, too, and think their dad is the most fun guy in the world. Guess what? They take after their old man and are also great at puzzles.
4) When others go left, you go right.
One sign that you’re good at puzzles is that you don’t follow the crowd. You have your own way of thinking and actually enjoy standing out and being different.
How does this make you good at puzzles and riddles?
As I mentioned earlier, they usually try to lead you to think in a specific way. Riddle-makers look at how most people think and use that to lure them down the wrong path.
Because of this, someone like you who swims against the current has a natural advantage.
5) You’re highly detail-oriented.
To be great at solving puzzles and riddles, you have to be more than just observant.
You need to be able to focus on details to find tricks and differences that reveal the answers.
My grandfather was a real riddle-hound, and part of the reason was that he was an extremely detailed person.
When it came to puzzles and riddles, he’d do something interesting before even trying to solve them.
He usually played with puzzle books, so he’d grab a pencil and write notes about a puzzle before thinking through it step-by-step.
If it were a word puzzle, he’d analyze the sentences and then step back and look at the possible different meanings for phrases and individual words.
If it were a math puzzle, he’d look at the numbers and decide if they were prime or had divisors.
Essentially, he’d pull apart the question before he even thought about looking for an answer. But when he was ready, the answers often fell right into his lap.
6) You’re creative.
Creativity is a great sign of a wonderful mind and also one that’s good at puzzles and riddles.
Creative people do something that’s extraordinary. They take in some information, change it, flip it around, add to it, and turn it into something new.
Creative people are also good at lateral thinking. This means using indirect approaches to problems in order to find solutions that concrete, logical thinking doesn’t arrive at.
Here’s a great riddle to illustrate creative thinking:
A man walks into a bar and orders a glass of water. The bartender whips out a gun and points it at him. The man thanks the bartender and leaves. Why?
Most people are going to focus on the water and the gun but still miss the connection between them. Is it a water pistol? Are we talking about a soda gun here? But the creative people out there can think of a very different answer. The man had hiccups he needed curing.
7) You have great intuition.
One clear sign that you have an uncanny knack for solving puzzles is that you have great intuition.
You go with the first thing that comes to mind, and that normally leads you to a second step, then a third, and on down the line to the solution.
While this seems normal to you, trust me, the rest of us don’t have it so easy!
8) Even when you’re wrong, you’re right.
At first glance, this doesn’t sound like a very inspiring sign, does it?
But what I mean by this is that you’re able to come up with answers and solutions that actually work, even if they’re not the ones the riddle-makers set as the so-called “right answers.”
Is this some sort of superpower?
Well, it could be.
But it’s more likely just because most questions have multiple answers. When someone creates a riddle, they usually focus on just one trick, double meaning, or sneaky answer.
As soon as they come up with something appropriately clever, the puzzle or riddle is ready to go out into the wide world.
But they rarely stop to think about other possible solutions.
So, if you find that you can go through riddles and puzzle books and always find an alternative answer that still works, you’ve got a great knack for it.
Here’s an example:
Which of these words doesn’t belong with the others?
BIN LIMIT MILITIA SIEVE LINEN AVOID
LINEN. The others all list out Roman numerals using every second letter: BIN, LIMIT, MILITIA, SIEVE, AVOID.
But there’s an even simpler solution you may have noticed. AVOID is the only word starting with a vowel!
Signs you’re a riddle and puzzle genius
If you recognize these eight signs, you have an uncanny knack for solving puzzles and riddles.
They come a lot more easily to you than most other people, and trust me, they’re probably jealous.
This ability is more than just an asset in the puzzle world.
You can probably apply this superpower to problem-solving in all aspects of your life as well!