puzzle and riddle

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bamboo--tw, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. bamboo--tw Senior Member

    ROC/Mandarin
    The puzzle really confuses me. I just don't know how to solve it.


    Hi,
    Is "puzzle" in the above interchangeable with "riddle?" Thanks.
     
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A riddle is a particular type of puzzle, usually involving a question or statement that requires you to work out, or guess, an answer or explanation.
     
  3. bamboo--tw Senior Member

    ROC/Mandarin
    Thanks, panjandrum.
    Then, they are interchangeable in the base sentence, right?
    By the way, what are the basic differences between riddle and puzzle?
     
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I don't know if they are interchangeable in the base sentence. I don't know what kind of puzzle it is referring to.
     
  5. Lexiphile Senior Member

    Germany
    England English
    Generally, a riddle is a question: "why did the chicken cross the road?" "What walks on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon and on three legs in the evening?"

    Puzzle is a more general term covering riddles, interlocked metal rings, wooden boxes with sliding sides, interlocking pieces of cardboard and, of course, women (if you happen to be a man).

    So in the sentence in your original post, you cannot substitute "riddle" unless the puzzle actually is only a riddle.
     

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