By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Conundrums, Riddles and Puzzles - Containing one thousand of the latest and best conundrums, - gathered from every conceivable source, and comprising - many that are entirely new and original
Author: Rivers, Dean
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Conundrums, Riddles and Puzzles - Containing one thousand of the latest and best conundrums, - gathered from every conceivable source, and comprising - many that are entirely new and original" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Illustration: titlepage]


                         Riddles _and_ Puzzles

               Containing one thousand of the late_s_t
               and be_s_t _Conundrums_, gathered from
               every conceivable source, and comprising
               many that are entirely new and original


                              DEAN RIVERS

                      The Penn Publishing Company




A taste for guessing puzzles and enigmas is coeval with the race. The
early Greeks were extremely fond of such intellectual exercises, and
they are found in the language of all civilized nations. One of the
brightest forms of these puzzles is that of the conundrum, the answer of
which is usually a play upon words similar to the pun. Each language has
its own particular form of this kind of wit, but the English language,
on account of its composite nature, is especially rich in such forms of
wit and humor.

The compiler of this little volume has made a choice selection of
conundrums from those in actual use among people belonging to refined
and cultured society. They are classified under four principal
heads—General Conundrums, Biblical Conundrums, Poetical Conundrums, and
French Conundrums. Some of the most ingenious and interesting forms of
wit will be found under each of these classes.

In addition to these conundrums, the book contains a rare collection of
arithmetical puzzles. These were especially prepared for the work by a
mathematician of wide reputation who has used many of them in one of his
own publications. They will be found of great interest to those who have
a taste for numbers and their curious combinations and results.

The collection as a whole will afford innocent recreation for the
fireside and social circle, and thus contribute to the happiness of
those who enjoy the higher forms of pleasure that flow from the exercise
of the mind upon those subjects that require quickness of thought and a
nimble wit.

                                                             THE AUTHOR.



                       GENERAL CONUNDRUMS,      9

                       BIBLICAL CONUNDRUMS,   117

                       POETICAL CONUNDRUMS,   125

                       FRENCH CONUNDRUMS,     133

                       ARITHMETICAL PUZZLES,  137

                           GENERAL CONUNDRUMS

Why is life the greatest of all conundrums? Because we must all give it

When may an army be said to be totally destroyed? When its soldiers are
all in quarters.

Which is swifter, heat or cold? Heat, because you can catch cold.

Why is a young lady like a letter? Because if she isn’t well stamped the
mails (males) won’t take her.

Why are dudes no longer imported into this country from England? Because
a Yankee dude ’ll do (Yankee doodle doo).

What flowers can be found between the nose and chin? Tulips (two lips).

Why is a dude’s hat like swearing? Because it is something to avoid.

How many wives is a man lawfully entitled to by the English prayer-book?
Sixteen: Four richer, four poorer, four better, four worse.

Why is a bright young lady like a spoon in a cup of tea? Because she is
interesting (in tea resting).

Why does a young man think his sweetheart is like a door-knob? Because
she is something to adore (a door).

Why is the emblem of the United States more enduring than that of
France, England, Ireland, or Scotland?

              The _Lily_ may fade and its leaves decay,
                The _Rose_ from its stem may sever,
              The _Shamrock_ and _Thistle_ may pass away,
                But the _Stars_ will shine forever.

Why is a kiss like a sermon? Because it needs two heads and an

What is the shape of a kiss? Elliptical.

Why is a kiss like gossip? Because it goes from mouth to mouth.

When two people kiss, what kind of a riddle does it make? A rebus.

What is it George Washington seldom saw, God never saw, and we see every
day? Our equals.

What is better than God, worse than the devil, the dead live on, and the
living would die if they lived on? Nothing.

Prove by logic that an oyster is better than heaven. Nothing is better
than heaven; an oyster is better than nothing; therefore an oyster is
better than heaven.

What is the difference between a honeymoon and a honeycomb? One is a big
sell, the other little cells.

Why is a man who makes pens a wicked man? Because he makes men steel
(steal) pens and then says they do write (right).

What is the difference between a lady and an apple? One you have to get
side her to squeeze, and the other you have to squeeze to get cider.

Who is the greatest chicken-killer spoken of in Shakespeare? Macbeth,
because he did murder most foul.

Why is music cheaper on Sunday than during the week? Because during the
week you get it by the piece, and on Sunday you get it by the choir.

Which death would you prefer to die, Joan of Arc’s or Mary Stuart’s?
Most people prefer Joan of Arc’s, because they like a hot steak better
than a cold chop.

What great writer’s name might you appropriately mention if you were
standing by the grave of Bob Ingersoll? Robert Burns.

What three great writers names might you think of if you were watching a
house burn down? Dickens, Howett, Burns.

If you were invited out to dinner and on sitting down to the table saw
nothing but a beet, what would you say? That beet’s all.

Give a definition of love. An inward inexpressibility and an outward
alloverishness; or, the classical definition of a collegiate is, “Love
is the so-ness, as it were, of the white heat fusion of the intellect,
sensibility, and will.”

When is charity like a top? When it begins to hum.

Why is a man sometimes like dough? Not because a woman needs (kneads)
him, but because he is hard to get off of her hands.

Why does a minister always say “dearly beloved brethren” and not refer
to the sisters? Because the brethren embrace the sisters.

What part of a ragged garment resembles the Pope’s title? Its Holiness.

Why are a dead duck and a dead doctor alike? Because they have both
stopped quacking.

When is the best time to read from the book of nature? When the spring
opens the leaves and the autumn turns them.

In what liquid does the Queen of England take her medicine? In cider
(side her).

Why is a restless man in bed like a lawyer? Because he lies on one side,
then turns around and lies on the other.

Why do tailors make very ardent lovers? Because they press their suits.

When is a man of greatest use at the dinner-table? When he is a spoon.

What is the difference between a rejected and an accepted lover? One
misses the kisses and the other kisses the misses.

What is the difference between a church deacon and a little
rag-a-muffin? One passes the sasser (saucer) and the other sasses the

Why is a lover like a knocker? Because he is bound to adore (a door).

In what colored ink should we write our secrets? In violet (inviolate).

Why is a young lady like an arrow? Because she can’t go off without a
bow (beau), and is in a quiver till she gets one.

If a young lady fell into a well why couldn’t her brother help her out?
Because, how could he be a brother and assist her (a sister) too?

If all the women went to China, where would the men go? To Pekin.

Why does a Russian soldier wear brass buttons on his coat, and an
Austrian soldier wear steel ones? To keep his coat buttoned.

What is the difference between an old penny and a new dime? Nine cents.

How is the best way to make a coat last? To make the trousers and vest

What word of four syllables would a man utter if he should eat his wife
and wanted to express his approbation of the deed? Gladiator (glad I ate

Why does a cat look on first one side and then another when she enters a
room? Because she can’t look on both sides at the same time.

Why is a widower like a young baby? Because he cries a great deal the
first six months, looks around the second six months, and has hard work
to get through his second summer.

Why is Philadelphia more subject to earthquakes than any other city?
Because she is a Quaker city.

Why is a policeman on his beat like an Irishman rolling down a hill?
Because he’s patroling (Pat rolling).

If the alphabet were all invited out to supper, in what order would they
come? They would all get there down to _S_, and the rest would come
after _T_.

What would contain all the snuff in the world? No one nose (knows).

Why is a hound like a man with a bald head? Because he makes a little
hare (hair) go a long ways.

What is the first thing a man sets in his garden? His foot.

Who were the first astronomers? The stars, because they have studded the
heavens ever since the creation.

When may you be said to imbibe a piano? When you have a piano for tea

When may bread be said to be alive? When it has a little Indian in it.

Why does a bachelor who has a counterfeit half dollar passed on him want
to get married? To get a better half.

Why does a sculptor die a most horrible death? Because he makes faces
and busts.

Why do we generally dub a city her or she? Because about a city there is
so much bustle and because she has outskirts.

Why does a hair-dresser die a sad death? Because he curls up and dies

Why are washwomen great flirts? Because they wring men’s bosoms.

If thirty-two degrees is freezing point, what is squeezing point? Two in
the shade.

Prove that the winds are blind. The wind is a zephyr, a zephyr is a
yarn, a yarn is a story, a story is a tale, a tail is an attachment, an
attachment is love, and love is blind; therefore, the winds are blind.

Why is a married man like a fire? Because he provokes his wife by going
out at night.

Why is a pig’s brain larger than any other animal’s? Because he has a
hog’s head full.

Where was the first Adams Express Company located? In the Garden of
Eden, when Eve was created.

What is the difference between a young lady and a mouse? One charms the
he’s, the other harms the cheese.

Why are men like facts? Because they are stubborn things.

What is the difference between a gardener and a Chinaman? One keeps the
lawn wet, the other keeps the lawn dry (laundry).

Why is a young lady’s age after she has reached twenty-five like a
floral wedding bell? Because it is never told.

When is a door not a door? When it’s an egress (a negress).

Why is Patti like a jeweler? Because she deals in precious tones
(precious stones).

When is a bee a great nuisance? When it is a humbug.

A New Yorker asks: What popular book could the two cities, New York and
Philadelphia, be compared to? The _Quick or the Dead_.

Why is a dog dressed warmer in summer than in winter? Because in winter
he wears a fur coat and in summer he wears a coat and pants.

Why is it more dangerous to go out in the spring than any other time of
the year? Because in the spring the grass has blades, the flowers have
pistils, the leaves shoot, and the bullrushes out.

What is the difference between a hill and a pill? One is hard to get up,
the other is hard to get down.

Why is a lazy dog like a hill? Because he is a slow pup (slope up).

A man and goose once went up in a balloon together, the balloon burst
and they landed on a church steeple, how did the man get down? Plucked
the goose.

Why is a man riding up a hill like a man taking a young dog to a lady?
Because he is taking a gallop up (gal a pup).

Why is a dentist a sad and a wicked man? Because he is always looking
down in the mouth and dams all his patients.

What is the difference between a king’s son, a monkey’s mother, a bald
head, and an orphan? A king’s son is the heir apparent, a monkey’s
mother is a hairy parent, a bald head has no hair apparent, and an
orphan has nary a parent.

If William Penn’s aunts kept a pastry shop, what would be the prices
current of their pies? The pie rates of Penn’s Aunts (Pirates of

What celebrated man in English history might you name if you wished to
tell your servant to replenish the fire in your grate? Philip the Great
(fill up the grate).

A man had twenty-six (twenty sick) sheep and one died, how many
remained? Nineteen.

What is the difference between an Irishman on a bleak mountain-top and a
Scotchman? One is kilt with the cowld and the other is cowled with the

If a pair of andirons cost five dollars, what would the wood come to
burned on them for one month? Come to ashes.

What is the difference between Niagara Falls and Queen Elizabeth? One is
a wonder, the other is a Tudor.

What is a soldier’s definition of a kiss? A report at headquarters.

Why is it easy to break into an old man’s house? Because his gait (gate)
is broken and his locks are few.

What word of only three syllables combines in it twenty-six letters?

Where can one always find happiness? In the dictionary.

When will there be but twenty-five letters in the alphabet? When U and I
are one.

Why is it impossible for a swell who lisps to believe in the existence
of young ladies? Because he calls every miss a mith.

What was Joan of Arc made of? Maid of Orleans.

Why are your eyes like friends separated by the ocean? Because they
correspond but never meet.

Why is a lady who faints in a public place like a good intention?
Because she needs carrying out.

What is the brightest idea in the world? Your eye, dear.

What animal drops from the clouds? The rain, dear (reindeer).

I went out walking one day and met three beggars; to the first I gave
ten cents, to the second I also gave ten cents, and to the third I gave
but five—what time of day was it? A quarter to three.

What is that which by losing an eye has nothing left but a nose? Noise.

Why is a hen immortal? Because her son never sets.

What is that which is full of holes and yet holds water? A sponge.

What will impress the ear more sharply than a falsetto voice? A false
set of teeth.

What is that which is put on the table and cut, but is never eaten. A
pack of cards.

What is the oldest table in the world? The multiplication table.

Which river is the coldest? The Isis (ice is).

Why are cats like unskillful surgeons? Because they mew till late and
destroy patience (patients).

Why is it almost certain that Shakespeare was a broker? Because no other
man has furnished so many stock quotations.

How can you distinguish a fashionable man from a tired dog? One wears an
entire costume, the other wears simply a coat and pants.

Why is a youth trying to raise a moustache like a cow’s tail? Because he
grows down.

Why is a professional thief very comfortable? Because he usually takes
things so easy.

When is a man obliged to keep his word? When no one will take it.

Why is an attractive woman like a successful gambler? Because she has
such winning ways.

Why is the food one eats on an ocean steamer like a difficult conundrum?
Because one is obliged to give it up.

Why are stout men usually sad? Because they are men of sighs (size).

Why are two young ladies kissing each other an emblem of Christianity?
Because they are doing unto each other as they would that men should do
unto them.

What is the difference between a woman and an umbrella? You can shut an
umbrella up.

Why would it be very appropriate for a man named Benjamin to marry a
girl named Annie? Because he would be Bennie-fitted and she Annie-mated.

Why is this continent like milk? Because it’s ours (it sours).

What is the color of the winds and waves in a severe storm? The winds
blew (blue), the waves rose.

Why is a baker a most improvident person? Because he is continually
selling that which he kneads himself.

What is it we all frequently say we will do and no one has ever yet
done? Stop a minute.

How can you by changing the pronunciation of a word only turn mirth into
crime? By making man’s laughter manslaughter.

Why is a room full of married people like an empty room? Because there
is not a single person in it.

Which one of the United States is the largest and most popular? The
state of matrimony.

Which nation produces the most marriages? Fascination.

When is a horse like a house? When he has blinds on.

Why is a bridegroom often more expensive than a bride? Because the bride
is given away, but the bridegroom is often sold.

Why is divinity the easiest of all professions? Because it is easier to
preach than to practice.

When is love deformed? When it is all on one side.

What is the difference between a butcher and a flirt? One kills to
dress, and the other dresses to kill.

When was B the first letter in the alphabet? In the days of No-a (Noah).

How can I remove A from the alphabet? B-head it.

Why is A like a honeysuckle? Because a B follows it.

Why is modesty the strongest characteristic of a watch? Because it
always keeps its hands before its face, and runs down its own works.

Why is it right for B to come before C? Because we must B before we can

Why are two t’s like hops? Because they make beer better.

What kind of sense does a girl long for in a disagreeable suitor?

Why is it dangerous to keep a clock at the head of a pair of stairs?
Because it sometimes runs down.

Who are the two largest ladies in the United States? Miss Ouri and Mrs.
Sippi (Missouri and Mississippi).

What key in music would make a good officer? A sharp major.

What is the key-note to good manners? B natural.

Why is a stupid fellow like G sharp? Because he is A flat.

What do ladies look for when they go to church? The Sams (psalms) and
hims (hymns).

Why are married men like steamboats? Because they are sometimes blown

What ship contains more people than the “Great Eastern”? Courtship.

Why is a ship like a woman? Because she is often tender to a man-of war;
often running after a smack; often attached to a buoy (boy); and
frequently making up to a peer (pier).

Why do women make good post-office clerks? Because they know how to
manage the mails (males).

Why is lip-salve like a chaperon? Because it is intended to keep the
chaps away.

If a pair of andirons cost $7.75, what would a ton of coal come to? To

What is worse than raining cats and dogs? Hailing omnibuses.

Why is an umbrella like a pancake? Because it is seldom seen after Lent.

On what day of the year do women talk the least? The shortest day.

What is that which every living person has seen, but will never see
again? Yesterday.

What is the difference between dead soldiers and repaired garments? The
former are dead men, and the latter are mended (dead).

Why, when you paint a man’s portrait, may you be described as stepping
into his shoes? Because you make his feet yours (features).

Why may a beggar wear a very short coat? Because it will be long enough
before he gets another.

Which is the most valuable, a five-dollar note or five gold dollars? The
note, because when you put it in your pocket you double it, and when you
take it out again you see it increases.

What is the difference between the Prince of Wales and the water in a
fountain? One is heir to the throne, the other thrown to the air.

Why is a pretty young lady like a wagon wheel? Because she is surrounded
by felloes (fellows).

When is it dangerous to enter a church? When there is a canon in the
reading-desk, a great gun in the pulpit, and a bishop charges the

What is the difference between form and ceremony? You sit upon one and
stand on the other.

What is the most awkward time for a train to start? 12.50, as it’s ten
to one if you catch it.

Why can negroes be safely trusted with secrets? Because they are sure to
keep dark.

Why is a camel a very pugnacious animal? Because he always has his back

Why are doctors bad characters? Because the worse people are the more
they are with them.

Why did Lady Wellesley do a very unladylike thing when she married the
late Lord Ragland Somerset? Because she turned a Somerset.

Why can the world be compared to music? Because it is so full of sharps
and flats.

Why does a goose go into the water? For diver’s reasons.

Why does a goose come out of the water? For sun-dry reasons.

Why is a stick of candy like a race-horse? Because the more you lick it
the faster it goes.

Why is a naughty school-boy like a postage-stamp? Because you lick him
with a stick and stand him in the corner.

Why is I the luckiest of all the vowels? Because it is in the centre of
bliss, while E is in hell and all the others are in purgatory.

What is the longest word in the English language? Smiles, because there
is a mile between the first and last letter.

Why have chickens no fear of a future state? Because they have their
next world (necks twirled) in this.

Why cannot a deaf man be legally convicted? Because it is unlawful to
condemn a man without a hearing.

Why is a man who beats his wife like a thorough-bred horse? Because he’s
a perfect brute.

What is that which you can keep after giving to some one else? Your

Why are teeth like verbs? Because they are regular, irregular, and

Why is Queen Victoria like a hat? Because they both have crowns.

Why is a plum-pudding like the ocean? Because it contains many currants.

Who may marry many a wife and still be single all his life? A clergyman.

Why is Athens like a worn-out shoe? Because it once had a Solon (sole

Why are washerwomen great travelers? Because they are continually
crossing the line and running from pole to pole.

What part of a fish is like the end of a book? The fin-is.

What is a common miracle in Ireland? Waking the dead.

Why are bachelors bad grammarians? Because when asked to conjugate they
invariably decline.

When could the British Empire be purchased for the lowest sum? When
Richard the Third offered his kingdom for a horse.

What is the largest room in the world? The room for improvement.

Why is a street-car like the heart of a coquette? Because there is
always room for one more to be taken in.

When may a man be said to breakfast before he gets up? When he takes a
roll in bed.

Why are dealers in glassware unlike all other dealers? Because it won’t
do for them to crack up their goods.

What is it that a gentleman has not, never can have, and yet can give to
a lady? A husband.

Why is a man just imprisoned like a boat full of water? Because he
requires bailing out.

When does a ship tell a falsehood? When she lies at the wharf.

When is a theatrical manager like an astronomer? When he discovers a new

What is the difference between a mother and a barber? The latter has
razors to shave and the former has shavers to raise.

Why are pianos noble characters? Because they are grand, upright, and

What are they which, though always drunk, are never intoxicated? Toasts.

When is a fowl’s neck like a bell? When it’s rung for dinner.

Why is a crow the bravest bird in the world? Because it never shows the
white feather.

Why is a vote in Congress like a bad cold? Because sometimes the ayes
(eyes) have it, and sometimes the noes (nose).

Why are some girls like old muskets? Because they use a good deal of
powder, but won’t go off.

What kind of medicine does a man take for a scolding wife? He takes an
elixir (an’ he licks her).

Why is a dirty man like flannel? Because he shrinks from washing.

What is the difference between a young maiden of sixteen and an old maid
of sixty? One is happy and careless, and the other is cappy and

Why is a pair of skates like an apple? Because they have both occasioned
the fall of man.

What is most like a hen stealing? A cock-robin.

If Old Nick were to lose his tail, where would he go to get another? To
a grog-shop, because bad spirits are retailed there.

Why is a young man engaged to a young lady like a man sailing for a port
in France? Because he is bound to Havre (have her).

Why is the opening of a new dry-goods store like a house on fire?
Because it starts all the bells (belles) in the city.

Why would it be impossible to starve in the desert of Sahara? Because of
the sand which is (sandwiches) there.

How did the sandwiches get there? When Ham was sent there with his
followers, who were bred (bread) and mustered (mustard).

If a tough beefsteak could speak, what English poet would it mention?
Chaucer (chaw, sir).

Why can you never expect a fisherman to be generous? Because his
business makes him sell fish.

When is a bonnet not a bonnet? When it becomes a pretty woman.

Why are young ladies bad grammarians? Because so few can decline

Why can a blind man always see his father? Because the father is always
apparent (a parent).

What does Washington, D. C., stand for? Washington, daddy of his

Why was a defeated candidate after the late election, like the earth?
Because he was flattened at the poles.

When was beef the highest? When the cow jumped over the moon.

What ailment is the oak most subject to? A corn (acorn).

Why does a horse eat in a very odd way? Because he eats best when he has
not a bit in his mouth.

What is the only organ without stops? A woman’s organ of speech.

Give an Irishman’s definition of a lake. A hole in the tay-kettle.

Why is man superior to woman? Because woman is only a side issue.

Why is a lady when sick at sea like some of our literary men? Because
she is a contributor to the _Atlantic_.

Why is a scolding wife like a thing of beauty? “Because she is a joy
(jaw) forever.”

What is the proper length for a young lady to wear her dress? A little
above two feet.

Why is a man who never bets as bad as a gambler? Because he is no bettor

When is a cigar like dried beef? When it is smoked.

What table has no legs to stand upon? The multiplication table.

How do young ladies sometimes show their dislike to mustaches? By
setting their faces against them.

Why are there three objections to taking a glass of brandy? Because
there are three scruples to a dram.

Why is the root of the tongue like a dejected man? Because it’s down in
the mouth.

What is that which we often return, but never borrow? Thanks.

What animals are always seen at funerals? Black kids.

What is the difference between a French pastry cook and a bill sticker?
One puffs up paste, the other pastes up puffs.

Why is it vulgar to sing and play by yourself? Because it’s so low

Why is a dog biting his tail like a good manager? Because he makes both
ends meet.

Why is a watch-dog larger by night than by day? Because at night he is
let out, and in the day he is taken in.

Why did the Highlanders do most execution at Waterloo? Because every man
had one kilt before the battle.

At what game do the waves of the sea play? At pitch and toss.

Why are fowls the most economical things a farmer can keep? Because for
every grain they give a peck.

What is the difference between a pitcher of water and a man throwing his
wife over a bridge? One is water in the pitcher, the other is pitch her
in the water.

When is a young lady not a young lady? When she’s a sweet tart

What confection did they have in the ark? Preserved pairs (pears).

Why should architects make excellent actors? Because they are good at
drawing houses.

What weapon does a young man use if he kisses a young lady by mistake? A

What is the difference between an auction and seasickness? One is a sale
of effects, the other the effects of a sail.

What should a clergyman preach about? About a half of an hour.

Why is an orange like a church steeple? Because we have a peel from it.

What kind of a cat do we usually find in a large library? A cat alogue.

What sea would a man like to be in on a wet day? Adriatic (a dry attic).

Why was the French Empress always in bad company? Because she was always
surrounded by Paris-ites.

When was Napoleon First most shabbily dressed? When out at Elba (elbow).

When was wit a father? When a pun became apparent (a parent).

What grows the less tired the more it works? A carriage wheel.

Why is the Louvre the cheapest palace ever erected? Because it was
partly built for one sovereign, and finished for another.

What is the difference between a cradle and the grave? The one is for
the first-born, the other for the last bourne.

How is an elephant’s head different from every other head? Because, if
you cut his head off from his body, you don’t take it from the trunk.

Why does a stingy German like mutton better than venison? Because he
prefers “zat vich is sheep to zat vich is deer.”

Which is the most wonderful animal in the farmyard? A pig, because he is
killed and then cured.

Why is a poor conundrum like a monkey? Because it was far-fetched and
full of nonsense.

If a tree were to break a window, what would the window say?

What trees has fire no effect upon? Ashes, as when burned, they’re ashes

What did Jack Frost say when he kissed the violet? Wilt thou, and it

When is a large river good for the eyes? When it’s eye (high) water.

What is the difference between a cloud and a whipped child? One pours
with rain, the other roars with pain.

What musical instrument invites you to fish? Cast-a net.

What river is that which runs between two seas? The Thames, which runs
between Chel-sea and Batter-sea.

What is the difference between a fisherman and a lazy schoolboy? One
baits his hook, the other hates his book.

What is that which you break by even naming it? Silence.

When has a man four hands? When he doubles his fists.

What is the most difficult river on which to get a boat? Arno, because
they’re Arno boats there.

What is the smallest bridge in the world? The bridge of your nose.

What is the difference between a spendthrift and a pillow? One is hard
up, the other is soft down.

What is the difference between a hen and an idle musician? One lays at
pleasure the other plays at leisure.

Why are deaf people like India shawls? Because you can’t make them here

Why are book-keepers like chickens? Because they have to scratch for a

What wind would a hungry sailor be apt to wish for? One that blows fowl
and chops about.

What tongue is it that frequently hurts and grieves you, and yet does
not speak a word? The tongue of your shoe.

Why is scraping out a turnip a noisy proceeding? Because it makes it

What is that from which you may take away the whole and still have some
left? The word wholesome.

When is a newspaper the sharpest? When it is filed.

Why is English grammar like gout? Because it’s torture (taught yer).

Give a good definition of a button. A small affair that is always coming

What is the greatest feat, in the eating way, ever known? That recorded
of a man who commenced by bolting a door, after which he threw up a
window, and then sat down and swallowed a whole story.

What is the difference between a choir master and a lady’s dress? The
one trains a choir, the other acquires a train.

Why has a great gymnast very wonderful digestion? Because he lives on
ropes and poles and thrives.

What is a singular and melancholy fact in the history of Milton? That he
could recite his poems but could not resight himself.

Why is Canada like courtship? Because it borders on the United States.

What is the difference between a farmer and a seamstress? One gathers
what he sows, the other sews what she gathers.

What is the difference between a cow and an old chair? One gives milk,
the other gives way (whey).

Why is a washerwoman like Saturday? Because she brings in the clothes
(close) of the week.

Why is an actress like an angel? Because we seldom see one that is not

At what time by the clock is a pun most effective? When it strikes one.

What is that which never asks any questions, but requires so many
answers? The door-bell.

What kind of a book do some men wish their wives might resemble? An
almanac, for then they could have a new one every year.

Why does the conductor cut a hole in your railroad ticket? To let you
pass through.

Why is an old coat like iron? Because it is a specimen of hardware

Why is a list of celebrated musical composers like a sauce-pan? Because
it is incomplete without a Handel.

In what key should a man propose to his sweetheart? Be mine, ah (B

When a church is burning, what is the only part that stands no chance at
all of being saved? The organ, because the engine can’t play upon it.

Why is the Fourth of July like an oyster? Because we cannot enjoy it
without crackers.

When is a newspaper like a delicate child? When it appears weekly.

If all the seas were dried up, what would old Neptune say? I really
haven’t an ocean (a notion).

Why is the letter A like twelve o’clock? Because it comes in the middle
of day.

Why is a false friend like the letter P? Because, although always first
in pity, he is always last in help.

What is that which occurs twice in a moment and not once in a thousand
years? The letter M.

Why are butchers thieves? Because they steal a knife and cut away with

Why should a man troubled with the gout make his will? Because he will
then have his leg at ease (legatees).

Why is a mirror like a very ungrateful friend? Because, although you may
load his back with silver, he will reflect on you.

What is the difference between some women and their looking-glasses? The
former talk without reflecting, the latter reflect without talking.

Which is the hardest of all soaps? Cast steel (Castile).

On what supposition could pocket handkerchiefs build a house? If they
became brick (be cambric).

Why is a true and faithful friend like garden seeds? Because you never
know the value of either until they are put under ground.

When does a man always have brown hands? When he’s tand’em driving.

What is that which is seen twice in “every day” and four times in “every
week,” yet only once in a year? The vowel e.

Which are the only two words in the English language where the five
vowels follow in successive order? Facetious and abstemious.

What word is there of eight letters which has five of them the same?

What words may be pronounced quicker and shorter by adding another
syllable to them? Quick and short.

What word composed of five letters can you take the first two letters
from and have one remain? Stone.

Which word in the English language contains the greatest number of
letters? Disproportionableness.

What relation is a child to its own father when it is not its own
father’s son? A daughter.

What is the difference between the milky way and a room full of
great-grandfathers? One is a lot of pale stars, the other a lot of stale

What was it a blind man took at breakfast which restored his sight? He
took a cup and saw, sir (saucer).

Why are pipes all humbug? Because the best of them are all meer-shams.

Why is a meerschaum like a water-color artist? Because it draws and
colors beautifully.

If you saw a dude riding on a donkey, what fruit would you be reminded
of? A pair.

What is that which a cat has, but no other animal? Kittens.

What are the features of a canon? Cannon-mouth, cannon-ize, and

Show that twice ten is equal to twice eleven. Twice ten is twenty, and
twice eleven is twenty-two (twenty, too).

What word of six letters contains six words besides itself, without
transposing a letter? Herein—he, her, here, ere, rein, in.

When is a teapot like a kitten? When you’re teasin’ it (tea’s in it).

Why is a portrait like a member of Congress? Because it is a

Why is a madman like two men? Because he is a man beside himself.

Who was the first whistler, and what tune did he whistle? The wind—“Over
the Hills and Far Away.”

Why is an unbound book like a person in bed? Because it is in sheets.

Why is a drawn tooth like a thing that is forgotten? Because it is out
of the head.

What is the difference between a glass of water and a glass of whiskey?
Ten cents.

Why is a paper like a beggar? Because it is composed of rags.

Why is a good cabbage the most amiable of vegetables? Because it is all

Why is an intoxicated man like a noun adjective? Because he seldom
stands alone.

Why is a clergyman’s horse like a king? Because he is guided by a

Why is a man in a garret committing murder like a good man? Because he
is above committing a bad action.

Why was the Parliament of the Commonwealth like Samson? Because it
overthrew a house of lords.

Why is an avaricious man like one with a short memory? He is always for

What is that which lives in winter, dies in summer, and grows with its
root upward? An icicle.

Why is a blacksmith’s apron like a convent? Because it keeps off the

Why is a lady when embraced like a pocket-book? Because she is clasped.

Why is a wick of a candle like Athens? Because it is in Greece (grease).

Why is a fender like Westminister Abbey? Because it contains the ashes
of the grate (great).

Why is a handsome woman like bread? Because she is often toasted.

What is that which a coach cannot move without, and yet is not of the
least use to it? Noise.

What does a stone become when in the water? A whetstone (wet stone).

When is a very angry man like a clock fifty-nine minutes past twelve?
When he is just going to strike one.

If you were obliged to swallow a man, what kind of a one would you
prefer to swallow? A little Dublin porter.

What question is that to which you must always answer “yes”? What does
y-e-s spell?

What four letters of the alphabet would frighten a thief? O I C U (oh! I
see you).

Why must a magistrate be cold and chilly? Because he is just ice

What is the difference between a new five-cent piece and an old
fashioned quarter? Twenty cents.

Why does a man go into the law, remain in the law, and go out of the
law? He goes into the law to get on, he remains in the law to get oner,
he retires from the law to get onest.

What is the cheapest way to buy a fiddle? Buy a little medicine and get
a vial in.

Speak only two letters and thus name the destiny of all earthly things?
D. K.

Why was Robinson Crusoe not alone on the desert island? Because there
was a heavy swell on the beach and a sandy cove running up the shore.

Why is a buckwheat-cake like a caterpillar? Because it makes the

What is that which has neither flesh nor bone, yet has four fingers and
a thumb? A glove.

Barnum drove a ten-in-hand through New York city, and his horses had
only twenty-four feet among them; how was that? They had twenty fore

What trade does the sun follow in the month of May? Mason (May sun).

Of what trade are all the Presidents of the United States?

Of what trade is a minister at a wedding? A joiner.

Of what occupation is a manager of a theatre? A stage-driver.

What miss is that whose company no one ever wants? Mis-fortune.

What misses are those whose days are always unlucky? Mis-chance and

What miss is always making blunders? Mis-take.

What misses are of a very jealous temper? Mis-give and mis-trust.

When is it no misfortune for a young lady to lose her good name? When a
young man gives her a better one.

When does a dentist do the most work? When he extracts several acres

Why is an umbrella a paradox? Because it is best when used up.

What happens when a light falls into the water at an angle of forty-five
degrees? It goes out.

What great surgical operation does the manufacturing of maple-sugar
remind you of? Tree panning.

In what way do women ruin their husbands? In buy-ways.

Why has the shoemaker wonderful powers of endurance? Because he holds on
to the last.

What part of the face resembles a schoolmaster? The eyelid, because it
always has a pupil under the lash.

Why is it that you and I must never dine together? Because U can never
come until after I.

What profession is a postman? He is a man of letters.

At what time of life may a man be said to belong to the vegetable
kingdom? When long experience has made him sage.

Which is the gayest letter in the alphabet? U, because it is always in

Which are the lightest men, Scotch, Irish, or Englishmen? Englishmen. In
Scotland there are men of Ayr; in Ireland men of Cork, but in England
are lightermen.

When is a boat like a heap of snow? When it is adrift.

What ’bus has found room for the greatest number of people? Columbus.

Which is heavier, a half or a full moon? The half, because the full moon
is as light again.

What tree is of the greatest importance in history? The date.

When is a man like a frozen rain? When he is hail (hale).

When is a lady’s arm not a lady’s arm? When it is a little bare (bear).

Why is a short negro like a white man? Because he is not a tall black.

Why is a very discontented man easily satisfied? Because nothing
satisfies him.

Why are ripe potatoes in the ground like thieves? Because they ought to
be taken up.

Why is the north pole like an illicit whisky manufactory? Because it is
a secret still.

Why are bells the most obedient of inanimate things? Because they make a
noise whenever they are told.

Why is it unjust to blame coachmen for cheating us? Because we call them
to take us in.

What is the difference between a cat and a comma? A cat has its claws at
the end of its paws, a comma its pause at the end of a clause.

Why are the makers of the Armstrong guns the greatest thieves in her
Majesty’s service? Because they rifle all the guns, forge the materials,
and steel all the gun breeches.

How may book-keeping be taught in a lesson of three words? Never lend

Why is a blush an anomaly? Because a woman who blushes is admitted for
her cheek.

Why are Whigs and wigs alike? Because they both profess an attachment to
the crown.

What trade is like the sun? A tanner’s.

What is an extra dry subject? A mummy.

What is a counter-irritant? A fashionable woman shopping.

Why are hogs like trees? Because they root for a living.

Why is the moon like a marriage contract? Because it governs the tide.

Why do girls kiss each other and men not? Because girls have nothing
better to kiss, and men have.

What did the muffin say to the toasting-fork? You’re too pointed.

What composer is most noted of modern times? Chloroform.

What is better than to give credit to whom it is due? Give the cash.

Which musical instrument is the most moral? An upright piano.

What is the difference between a dog’s tail and a rich man? One keeps a
wagging and the other keeps a carriage.

How did Henry the Eighth differ as a suiter from other men? He married
his wives and axed them afterward.

Why does a man’s hair generally turn gray sooner than his mustache?
Because it is about twenty-one years older.

When did George Washington first take a carriage? When he took a hack at
the cherry-tree.

What is the political character of a water-wheel? Revolutionary.

Why is a solar eclipse like a mother beating her boy? Because it is a
hiding of the son.

How can a man make his money go a long way? By contributing to foreign

Why is a person reading these conundrums like a man condemned to undergo
a military execution? Because he is pretty sure to be riddled to death.

Where can one always find pleasure and happiness? In the dictionary.

During the month of heavy showers, how has the umbrella been
persistently bluffing the game? It has been “put up or shut up” with it
all the while.

When does a man impose on himself? When he taxes his memory.

Why is a young man visiting his sweetheart like the growth of a
successful newspaper? His visits commenced on a weekly, grew to be
tri-weekly, and then become daily, with a Sunday supplement.

When is money damp? When it is due in the morning and missed at night.

What killed Julius Cæsar? Roman punches.

How does the postage-stamp have the advantage of the small boy? It can
never be licked but once.

Why were the brokers in the panic of 1873 like Pharaoh’s daughter? They
saved a little prophet from the rushes on the banks.

Why is an alligator the most deceitful of animals? Because he takes you
in with an open countenance.

Why are chemists and alchemists both of the feminine gender? Because one
is an analyzer (Ann Eliza), the other a charlatan (Charlotte Ann).

How do we know that Noah had a pig in the Ark? Because he had Ham.

My first is used in driving, my second is needy, my third is a nickname,
and my whole is a bird. Whip-poor-will.

Why is sympathy like blind man’s buff? Because it is a fellow feeling
for a fellow mortal.

Why does the air seem fresher in winter than it does in summer? Because
it’s kept on ice most of the time.

Why are fish well educated? They have a taste for going in schools.

What is the difference between one yard and two yards? A fence.

Why is the letter S like thunder? It makes our cream sour cream.

Which is the easier way to commit suicide, by taking laudanum or
drowning? Ether (either) is good.

Why is Buckingham Palace the cheapest piece of property in England?
Because it was bought for a crown and kept up by a sovereign.

What is the difference between a light in a cave and a dance in an inn?
One is a taper in a cavern, the other a caper in a tavern.

Why are records brittle things? Because they cannot be lowered without

What is the difference between forms and ceremonies? You sit upon one
and stand on the other.

Why is a door in the potential mood? It’s would (wood) or should be.

What is the difference between a man going up stairs and one looking up?
One is stepping up the stairs, the other staring up the steps.

Why are birds melancholy in the morning? Because their little bills are
all over due.

What is there remarkable about a yard-stick? Though it has no head or
tail, it has a foot at each end and one in the middle.

If a man shot at two frogs and killed one, what would the other one do?

What makes the waves so wild? It is having the wind blow them up.

Why are apples like printer’s types? Because they are often in pi(e).

My first denotes equality, my second, inferiority, and my whole
superiority. Matchless.

Why are fatigued persons like a wagon wheel? Because they are always

Why is a tin can tied to a dog’s tail like death? Because it’s bound to
a cur (occur).

Why is a widow like a gardener? Because she tries to get rid of her

Why are young ladies bad grammarians? Because so few can decline

Why are potatoes and corn like certain sinners of old? Because, having
eyes, they see not, and having ears they hear not.

Why are blind persons compassionate? Because they feel for other

Why are cowardly soldiers like tallow candles? Because when exposed to
the fire they run.

Why is Satan always a gentleman? Because, being the imp of darkness he
can never be imp-o’-light.

How much earth is in a hole 3¼ × 6½ ft.? None.

Why is a pretty girl like a locomotive? Because she sends off the
sparks, transports the mails, and has a train following her.

What is the cheapest feature of the face? Nostrils, two for a scent

Why are stout gentlemen prone to melancholy? Because they are men of
size (sighs).

When does the rain become too familiar to a lady? When it begins to
pat-her (patter) on the back.

What relation is a door mat to a door step? A step farther.

Why is a baker like some very disreputable people? Because he’s a loafer
and a white-cap.

How many of your relatives live on your property? Ten-aunts (tenants).

What is the difference between a dime dated 1899 and a new dollar?
Ninety cents.

Why is a beehive like a spectator? Because it is a beeholder (beholder).

What are the most unsociable things in the world? Mile-stones, for you
never see two of them together.

When does a regiment undergo an operation? When deprived of its arms.

What is the greatest eyesore in a farm yard? A pig-sty.

What is the difference between the manner of the death of a barber and a
sculptor? One curls up and dies and the other makes faces and busts.

Why may carpenters reasonably believe there is no such thing as stone?
Because they never saw it.

What is majesty deprived of its externals? (M) a jest (Y).

Why is a good speller of a spelling match like a glass of champagne?
Because they both go to the head.

When does a lady think her husband a Hercules? When fond of his club.

Why is it that a fisherman cannot tell his gross profits? Because they
are always net.

What will make pies inquisitive? S will make spies of them.

Why is an empty purse expressive of constancy? Because you find no
change in it.

When can donkey be spelt with one letter? When it’s “U.”

Why is a tennis player like a society youth of limited means? He is
obliged to miss the ball when it comes high.

Why is an Irishman trying to kiss a pretty girl like a man going up Mt.
Vesuvius? Because he is trying to get at the mouth of the crater.

Why should a housekeeper never put the letter M into her refrigerator?
Because it will change ice into mice.

What’s the difference between Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth? He was a
wonder, and she was a Tudor.

Why is the letter R indispensable to friendship? Because without it your
friends would be fiends.

Which are the two most disagreeable letters if you get too much of them?
K N (cayenne).

What is the difference between a funny fellow and a butcher? One deals
out wit, the other wit-tles.

Why should cocks be the smoothest birds known? Because they always have
a comb about them.

What insect does a blacksmith manufacture? He makes the fire-fly.

When is a nose not a nose? When it is a little radish (reddish).

When are soldiers best able to draw blisters? When they are mustered in
the service.

Why is love like a potato? Because it shoots from the eyes and gets less
by pairing.

Why are young men like telescopes? Because you can draw them out, see
through them and shut them up again.

Why are cats like unskillful surgeons? Because they mew-till-late, and
destroy patients (patience).

What is the difference between a woman and a parasol? You can shut a
parasol up.

Why is Sunday the strongest day in the week? Because the rest are week

Why is a needle one of the most persistent of forces? It always has an
eye open for business, and invariably carries its point.

When is coffee like the soil? When it is ground.

Why are soldier’s guns always safe? Because every one of them has a

When is a man not a man? When he’s a shaving.

Why is a man who is fond of his cigars like a tallow candle? Because he
will smoke when he is going out.

When is a schoolmaster like a man with one eye? When he has a vacancy
for a pupil.

Why is it dangerous to take a nap in a train? Because the cars
invariably run over sleepers.

What instrument of war does an angry lover resemble? A cross bow.

My first is a vehicle, my second is a preposition, and my whole is part
of a ship. Cab-in.

What grows bigger the more you contract it? Debt.

What tricks are most common among New York policemen? Patricks.

Why is Asia like a market in Thanksgiving or Christmas week? There is
always a Turkey in it.

Why will an insolent fishmonger get more business than a civil one?
Because when he sells fish, he gives sauce with it.

Why does a fat man, when squeezed, compliment the ladies? Because the
pressure makes him flatter.

Why is an old man like a window? He is full of pains (panes).

What’s the difference between photographing and the whooping cough? One
makes fac similes, the other makes sick families.

What is smaller than a mite’s mouth? That which goes into a mite’s

What is it that is a cat and not a cat, and yet is a cat? A kitten.

Why was the dumb waiter returned? Because it didn’t answer.

Born at the same time as the world, destined to live as long as the
world, and yet never five weeks old. The moon.

Why are clouds like coachmen? Because they hold the rains (reins).

My first is a game, my second is what we use our eyes for, my whole is a
State of America. Tennes see.

Why should a favorite hen be called Macduff? Because we wish her to lay

Why is the letter G like the sun? It is the centre of light.

Why are pretty girls like fire-works? Because they soon go off.

Why is coal the most contradictory article known to commerce? Because
when purchased, instead of going to the buyer it goes to the cel-lar.

Why would it be hard on ministers to preach without notes? Because their
families would suffer without the greenbacks.

In what sort of syllables should a parrot be taught to speak? In polly

My first is a pronoun, my second is used at weddings, and my whole is an
inhabitant of the deep. Her ring.

What is the difference between a bee-hive and a bad potato? None. One is
a bee-holder; a bee-holder is a speck’d ’tatur, and a speck’d ’tatur is
a bad potato.

What cannot be called a disinterested act of hospitality? Entertaining a

Why is a school-boy being flogged, like your eye? Because he’s a pupil
under the lash.

When may an ocean liner be said to be foolishly in love? When attached
to a boy (buoy.)

My first is formal, my second is a flower, and my whole is a flower.

Why is a woman’s beauty like a bank note? Because when once changed it
soon goes.

What is the difference between a tube and a foolish Dutchman? One is a
hollow cylinder and the other a silly Hollander.

What fruit is the most visionary? The apple of the eye.

What is that which goes from Boston to Providence without once moving?
The railroad.

What notes compose the most favorite tunes, and how many tunes do they
compose? Bank notes, they make (four) for-tunes.

Why are ladies’ eyes like persons remote from one another? Because,
although they may correspond, they never meet.

Why don’t Sweden have to send abroad for cattle? Because she keeps her

Without my first my second could never have existed, and my whole is as
old as creation. Sun-day.

When is a gun like a dismissed servant? When it is discharged and goes

What is everything doing at the same time? Growing older.

What should you do if you split your sides with laughter? Run till I got
a stitch in them.

What is the difference between a young girl and an old hat? Merely a
difference of time—one has feeling and the other has felt.

What herb is most injurious to a lady’s beauty? Thyme.

Why is an aristocratic seminary for young ladies like a flower garden?
Because it is a place of haughty culture (horticulture).

What is the difference between a clock and a partnership? When a clock
is wound up it goes; when a firm is wound up it stops.

How do you know when night is nigh? When the t (tea) is taken away.

Why are some women like facts? Because they are stubborn things.

If a dog should lose his tail where would he get another? At
Wanamaker’s, where everything is retailed.

Why is a person with his eyes closed like a defective schoolmaster? He
keeps his pupils in darkness.

Why is early grass like a penknife? Because the springs bring out the

Why is an old man’s farm in Texas like the focus of a sun glass? It’s a
place where the sons raise meat (sun’s rays meet).

Why is a real estate man not a man of words? Because he is a man of

Why is the isthmus of Suez like the first u in cucumber? Because it’s
between two seas.

What did Ruth do to offend Boaz? She pulled his ears and trod on his

Why are some singers like cheese curds? Because they require to be

Why ought meat to be only half cooked? Because what’s done cannot be

Why is a woman like the telegraph? Because she is always in advance of
the mail intelligence.

What article that we wear is most affectionate? A porous plaster,
because it becomes very much attached to us.

Why is a pawnbroker like a drunkard? Because he takes the pledge but
cannot always keep it.

Who does the Bible say may carry on a flirtation? It says widow’s mite

Why are respectable hotels like the elysium of the gods? Because no bad
spirits are permitted to enter them.

Why is grass like a mouse? Because the cat’ll eat it (cattle eat it).

Why are convicts like old maids going to be married? Because they go off
in transports.

How do we know the fair queen of day has a lover? She is always followed
by a night (knight).

Why are the Irish poor like a carpet? Because they are kept down by tax

Why is the world like a slate? Because the children of men do multiply

Why is a defeated army like wool? Because its worsted.

What is the centre of gravity? The letter V.

What three letters turn a girl into a woman? A-g-e.

Although great wealth is said to harden the heart, what is every
millionaire sure to be? A capital fellow.

What belongs to yourself, and is used by your friends more than by
yourself? Your name.

When is a soldier like an old toper? When he re-treats.

Why is a policeman like a rainbow? Because he rarely appears until the
storm is over.

What is the difference between a milkmaid and a swallow? The milkmaid
skims the milk, the swallow skims the water.

Why is a man’s face shaved in January like a celebrated fur? Because
it’s a chin-chilly.

What is that which was born without a soul, lived and got a soul, but
died without a soul? The whale that swallowed Jonah.

What is the difference between a Roman Catholic priest and a Baptist?
One uses wax candles—the other dips.

When is a doctor most annoyed? When he is out of patients.

Why is a poor acquaintance better than a rich one? A friend in need is a
friend indeed.

What is there remarkable about a bee? Why, ordinarily it has but little
to say, yet generally carries its point.

Why is the first chicken of a brood like the mainmast of a ship? Because
it’s a little ahead of the main hatch.

How many persons can a deaf and dumb man tickle? He can ges-tickle-eight

What is the easiest way to keep water out of the house? Omit to pay your
water tax.

What is it that is queer about flowers? They shoot before they have

What is the best form for a soldier? Uniform.

What is the best uniform for a soldier? Right dress.

When does a dog become larger and smaller? When let out at night, and
taken in in the morning.

What prescription is best for a poet? A composing draught.

Why does a bay horse never pay toll? Because his master pays it for him.

Why is the letter S like a pert repartee? Because it begins and ends in

What is the best way to keep a man’s love? Not to return it.

When is a soldier a wagon maker? When he makes a wheel.

Why is beef suitable for a Christmas dinner? Meet for rejoicing.

How was Admiral Dewey’s naval rank reduced when he got married? He
became Mrs. Dewey’s second mate.

Why is a little dog’s tail like the heart of a tree? Because it’s
farthest from the bark.

Why are actresses like pipes? They are mere-shams.

What workman never turns to the left? A wheelwright.

Why does a freight car need no locomotive? The freight makes the car-go.

When are weeds not weeds? When they become widows.

What is better than presence of mind in a railroad accident? Absence of

Why is a balloonist greatly to be envied? Because he rises rapidly in
the world and has excellent prospects.

What letter in the alphabet is most useful to a deaf old woman? The
letter A, because it makes her hear.

What is the color of a grass plot covered with snow? Invisible green.

How does water get into the watermelon? The seed is planted in the

Why is a man in front of a crowd well supported? Because he has the
press at his back.

What subject can be made light of? Gas.

If Dick’s father be John’s son, what relation is Dick to John? His

When is a silver cup most likely to run? When it’s chased.

When may a man’s pocket be empty and yet have something in it? When it
has a hole in it.

Why is an engraver fearless of drowning? Because he is accustomed to die

Why are quinine and gentian like the Germans? Because they are two
tonics (teutonics).

Why should the proof-reader of a printing establishment be considered
the best read man going? Because there’s proof that he reads every hour
of the day.

When is butter like Irish children? When it is made into little pats.

If all the money in the world was divided equally among the people what
would each one get? An equal share.

What are the most difficult ships to conquer? Hard-ships.

Why don’t foreign noblemen marry poor American girls as well as rich
ones? A poor girl has no principal, hence no interest, and without
either she cannot bank account (a count).

Why does a dressmaker never lose her hooks? Because she has an eye to
each of them.

Why is a wedding ring like eternity? Because it has neither beginning
nor end.

What did the blind man say to the policeman when he told him he would
arrest him if he did not move on? I’d just like to see you.

What is the difference between a drinker and a smoker? One is a
Bacchanalian and the other a tobacconalian.

When Homer called the sea barren, why did it illustrate the age in which
he lived? Because it was before Cecrops (sea crops).

What is the difference between a cow and an old chair? One gives milk,
the other gives way (whey).

Why should Pope Leo XIII be a very unlucky man? Because he is always the
thirteenth at table.

What is the difference between a life of leisure and a life of idleness?
They are the same thing, only different titles.

What word of one syllable, if you take two letters from it, becomes a
word of two syllables? Plague; ague.

A crown which was the pride of ancient Rome: whichever way it is read,
it is the same. Civic.

What lesson of life can the small boy learn from the fire engine? It
must work or it can’t play.

Why is a young lady like a sheaf of wheat? First she is cradled, then
thrashed, and finally she becomes the flour of the family.

Who is it that always has a number of movements on foot for making
money? A dancing master.

In what respect does a piano lamp resemble a society-club man? It has a
good deal of brass about it, requires much attention, is not remarkably
brilliant, is sometimes unsteady upon its legs, liable to explode when
only half full, flares up occasionally, it is always out at bed-time,
and is bound to smoke.

How can hunters find their game in the woods? By listening to the bark
of the trees.

Why does a man think of his mother’s slippers when he handles the lines
behind a fine, well-matched pair of horses? Because they are such a
spanking pair.

What is that which is sometimes with a head, without a head, with a
tail, and without a tail? A wig.

Why is a committee of inquiry like a cannon? It makes a report.

What is more wonderful than a horse that can count? A spelling bee.

Why are tallest people the laziest? Because they are always longer in
bed than others.

Who was the most successful financier mentioned in the Bible? Noah,
because he floated a limited company when all the rest of the world was
in liquidation.

What is the difference between the Prince of Wales and the water in a
fountain? One is heir to the throne, the other thrown to the air.

Why is a college student like a thermometer? Because he is graduated and
marked by degrees.

What bird is low-spirited? The blue-bird.

Why don’t they take fare from policemen on the trolley cars? Because
they can’t get a nickel out of a copper.

Why is a tournament like sleep? It is a (k)nightly occupation.

Why is a schoolmaster like the letter C? He forms lasses into classes.

Why don’t the Boers wash themselves? Because they are waiting to get a
good licking from the English.

Why is bread like the sun? Because it rises from the yeast.

When is a chair like a lady’s dress? When its sat-in.

When is a soldier like a watch? When he is on guard.

When is a soldier like a king? When he appears with his pomp-on.

What object is walking over the water and under the water, yet does not
touch the water? A woman crossing a bridge over a river with a pail of
water on her head.

Why is love like a canal boat? Because it is an internal transport.

When does a chair dislike you? When it can’t bear you.

Why is a duel quickly managed? Because it takes only two seconds to
arrange it.

What burns to keep a secret? Sealing-wax.

Why is a nobleman like a book? Because he has a title.

What class of women are most apt to give tone to society? The belles.

What is that which has a mouth but never speaks, and a bed but never
lies in it? A river.

Why is a defeated army like wool? Because it is worsted.

What is the difference between the wreck of a bank and the wreck of a
ship? One is caused by the presence of rocks, the other by the scarcity
of rocks.

What is that which we all can eat, and often drink, though it sometimes
is a woman and often a man? We eat toast and drink a toast.

Why would a compliment from a chicken be an insult? Because it would be
foul language.

Why is a cherry like a book? Because it is red (read).

Why are heavy showers like heavy drinkers? Because they usually begin
with little drops.

What is that by losing an eye has nothing left but a nose? A noise.

Why is a four-quart jar like a lady’s side-saddle? Because it holds a
gal-on (gallon).

Why is fashionable society like a warming-pan? Because it is highly
polished but very hollow.

Why are balloons in the air like vagrants? Because they have no visible
means of support.

What islands would form a dainty and cheerful luncheon for a party?
Sandwich and Madeira.

What must a good surgeon have to be successful? He must have an eagle’s
eye, a lion’s heart, and a lady’s hand.

Why is rheumatism like a great eater? Because it attacks the joints.

If I were in the sun and you were out of it what would the sun become!

Why would an owl be offended at your calling him a pheasant? Because you
would be making game of him.

Why is anthracite coal like true love? Because it burns with a steady

Why is a very amusing man like a bad shot? Because he keeps the game

When people are quarreling out of doors, what should they do? Co-in-side
(go inside).

Why is Berlin the most dissipated city in Europe? Because it is always
on the Spree.

Which is the favorite word with women? The last one.

Why is Father Time like a fashionable young man? Because he travels by
cycles (bicycles).

Luke had it first, Paul had it last; boys never have it; girls have it
but once; Miss Sullivan had it twice in the same place, but when she
married Pat Murphy she never had it again? The letter L.

Why are ladies the biggest thieves in existence? Because they steel
their petticoats, bone their stays, crib their babies, and hook their

Why is a man who makes additions to a false rumor like one who has
confidence in all that is told to him? Because he re-lies on all he

When does a farmer double up a sheep without hurting it? When he folds

What did the managing editor say when the horticultural editor said he
had cultivated hothouse lilac bushes that attained a height of over
fifty feet? I wish I could lilac (lie like) that.

Why is an apothecary like a wood-cock? Because he has a long bill.

What is the most engaging work of art? A fashionable young lady.

Who is the oldest lunatic on record? Time out of mind.

Why do the recriminations of a married couple resemble the sound of the
waves on the seashore? Because they are the murmurs of the tide (tied).

What bird is rude? The mocking bird.

Why is a lawn mower like the keeper of a bucket shop? Because it shaves
the green.

When may a loaf of bread be said to be inhabited? When it has a little
Indian in it.

Why are ships like fortunes? Because they are built on stocks.

How does a soldier know when it is time to fight? When he sees a

At what age should a man marry? At the parsonage.

What kind of essence does a young man like when he pops the question?

When is a soldier like a horse? When he draws a load.

Why is it nonsense to pretend that love is blind? Because you never knew
a man in love that did not see ten times more in his sweetheart than
others did.

Why are fixed stars like wicked old men? Because they scintillate (sin

Why is an egg underdone like an egg overdone? They are both hardly done.

Why is a man happier with two wives than with one? He may be happy with
one, but with two he is nearly sure to be transported.

Why is Gibraltar one of the most wonderful places in the world? Because
it’s always on the rock, but never moves.

Why is it difficult to flirt on mail steamers? Because all the mails
(males) are tied up in bags.

Why is a comprehensive action an affectionate one? It embraces

What best describes and most impedes a Christian Pilgrim’s Progress? A
Bunyan (bunion).

When is a lady’s hair like the latest news? When it’s in the papers.

Why is a very old umbrella, that has been lost, as good as new when
found? Because it’s re-covered.

Why is a coachman like the clouds? Because he holds the reins.

Why does the Salvation Army walk down Broadway on their heels? To save
their soles (souls).

Who was the most successful surveyor on record? Alexander Selkirk, for
he was monarch of all he surveyed.

Who is a man of grit? A sugar refiner.

Why is the letter W like scandal? Because it makes ill will.

What is one of the rules of war? That it is death to stop a cannon ball.

Why are photographers the most uncivil of all tradespeople? Because when
we make application for a copy of our portrait, they always reply with a

What cord is that which is full of knots, which no one can untie, and
which no one can tie? A cord of wood.

Which is the oddest fellow, the one who asks a question or the one who
answers? The one who asks, because he is the querist.

When does the wind most resemble a bookseller? When it keeps stationary

What benefit can be derived from a paper of pins? It will give you many
good points.

Why are authors who treat of physiognomy like soldiers? Because they
write about face.

I went into the woods and caught it, I sat down to look for it, and then
I went home with it because I could not find it. A sliver.

Why is a clock the most persevering thing in creation? Because it is
never more inclined to go on with its business than when it is
completely wound up.

Why is a blind man apt to be an idiot? The old adage says, out of sight
out of mind.

How did the whale that swallowed Jonah obey the divine law? Jonah was a
stranger and he took him in.

When is a piece of wood like a queen? When it is made into a ruler.

Why is chicken pie like a gunsmith’s shop? Because it contains fowl-in

Why is asparagus like most sermons? Because it is the end of it that
people enjoy most.

What is the fruit of finance? Current coin.

How did Jonah feel when swallowed by a whale? He was down in the mouth,
and went to blubber.

Why is the polka like bitter beer? There are so many hops in it.

Why is your nose in the middle of your face? Because it is the scenter.

Why is a steam engine at a fire an anomaly? Because it works and plays
at the same time.

Whose best works are most trampled on? The shoemaker, because good shoes
last longer than bad ones.

When is a boy in a pantry like a poacher? When he walks into the

Why are clergymen like brakemen? Because they do a great deal of

When may two people be said to be half witted? When they have an
understanding between them.

Why is a jailer like a musician? Because he fingers the keys.

Why is a field of grass like a person older than yourself? Because it’s
past-your-age (pasturage).

Why is it absurd to call a dentist room the dental parlor? Because it is
the drawing room.

Why should a man never tell his secrets in a corn field? Because so many
ears are there, and they would be shocked.

What part of a fish weighs most? The scales.

When is a soldier like a vehicle? When he makes a cart-ridge on the

Why are printers liable to bad colds? Because they always use damp

What fruit does a newly married couple resemble? A green pear (pair).

Can you tell the best way to make the hours go fast? Use the spur of the

Why is wit like a Chinese lady’s foot? Because brevity’s the sole of it.

Why are parliamentary reports called “Blue Books?” Because they are
never re(a)d.

Why is it absurd to ask a pretty girl to be candid? Because she cannot
be plain.

Why is a sheep like a professional gambler? Because he is brought up on
the turf, gambols in his youth, herds with blacklegs, and is fleeced at

Why is a well-trained horse like a benevolent man? Because he stops at
the sound of wo.

What city is drawn more frequently than any other? Cork.

Why is a bookbinder like charity? Because he often covers a multitude of

Why should an artist never be short of cash? If he knows his business he
can always draw money.

What do we often catch yet never see? Passing remarks.

Why are confectioners mercenary lovers? Because they always sell their

What is there about a house that seldom falls, but never hurts the
occupant when it does? The rent.

What three acts comprise the chief business of a woman’s life? Attract,
contract, and detract.

Why is a prudent man like a pin? Because his head prevents him from
going too far.

Why are some of our officers like a dancing master’s toes? Because they
must be turned out.

What are the most patient objects in the shape of humanity? Statues.

Why is necessity like an angry solicitor? It knows no law.

If all the letters in the alphabet were on a mountain, what letter would
leave first? D would begin the descent.

When you listen to a drum why are you a good judge? Because you hear
both sides.

Why is the vowel O the only one sounded? Because all the others are in

Why is a coward like a leaky barrel? Because they both run.

If a short man married a widow what will his friends call him? A widow’s

Who dares sit before the Queen with his hat on? Her coachman.

Why was “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” not written by a woman’s hand? Because it
was written by Mrs. Beecher Stowe (Beecher’s toe).

What animal is that from which, if you take off the tip of its tail you
may make a first-rate Jew? Rabbit (Rabbi).

Why is a lame dog like a school boy adding six and seven together?
Because the dog puts down three and carries one.

When is a house like a bird? When it has wings.

What moral lesson does the weather cock teach? It is vane to a-spire.

When is a lawyer like a beast of burden? When drawing a conveyance.

When is a soldier like a watch? When he is on guard.

What are the embers of the expiring year? Nov-ember and Dec-ember.

How is a poultry dealer compelled to earn his living? By foul means.

When was beef tea first introduced into England? When Henry VIII
dissolved the Pope’s bull.

Why is a butcher’s cart like his top boots? Because he carries his
calves there.

Why does a maltese cat rest better in summer than in winter? Because
summer brings a caterpillar (cat-a-pillow).

Is there anything a man with a kodak cannot take? Yes, a hint.

Why do American soldiers never run away? They belong to a standing army.

Why does tying a slow horse to a post improve his pace? It makes him

What is it that a man, no matter how smart he is, overlooks? His own

What goes most against a farmer’s grain? His reaper.

Why may we suppose that Noah had beer in the ark? Because the kangaroo
went in with hops, and the bear was always bruin.

Why should potatoes grow better than other vegetables? Because they have
eyes to see what they are doing.

A duck before two ducks, a duck behind two ducks, and a duck between two
ducks; how many ducks were there in all? Three.

What word of ten letters can be spelled with five? X-p-d-n-c

Why should the highest apple on a tree be the best one? Because it is a
tip-top apple.

How many fathers has a man? Nine: his father, his godfather, his
father-in law, his two grandfathers, and his fore- (four) fathers.

Why would a spider appear to have wings? Because it often takes a fly.

Why is a railroad exceedingly patriotic? It is bound to the country with
the strongest ties.

What is the most wonderful acrobatic feat? For a man to revolve in his
own mind.

Why is chloroform like Mendelssohn? Because it is the greatest of modern

Do women like to see themselves in print? No; they prefer silk or satin.

Why are bookkeepers like chickens? Because they have to scratch for a

Who is the man who invariably finds things dull? The scissors grinder.

Why is the first chicken of a brood like the mainmast of a ship? Because
it’s a little ahead of the main hatch.

Why is a book your best friend and companion? Because when it bores you,
you can shut it up without giving offense.

Why is a man in front of a crowd well supported? Because he has the
press at his back.

What sort of men are most above board in their movements? Chessmen.

Why is playing chess a better occupation than playing cards? Because you
play chess with two bishops and cards with four knaves.

When may ladies who are enjoying themselves be said to look wretched?
When at the opera, as then they are in tiers.

Why should a minister be believed? Because he is nearly always accurate
(a curate).

Why is a mad bull like a man of convivial disposition? Because he offers
a horn to everybody he meets.

What should be looked into? A mirror.

Why is the map of Turkey in Europe like a frying pan? Because it has
Greece on the bottom.

I partake alike in your joys, and your sorrows, and your home would not
be home without me. Letter O.

How many young ladies does it take to reach from New York to
Philadelphia? About one hundred, because a miss is as good as a mile.

Why should colts avoid exposure? Because they might take cold and become
a little horse (hoarse).

In what respect is matrimony a game of cards? Why, a woman has a heart,
a man takes it with a diamond, and after that her hand is his.

When is a new dress older than an old one? When it’s more (moire)

What is the name of the plant most fatal to mice? Cat-nip.

Why is a poor singer like a counterfeiter? Because he is an utterer of
bad notes.

              I am the first, and one of seven,
              I live betwixt the seas and heaven;
              Look not below, for I am not there,
              My home is in the ancient air.
              Come to my second, behold how fair
              I am, how bright and how debonair;
              A pleasant vision and a beauty,
              A thing of life and joy and duty;
              My youth is changed—I live alone,
              My views are crossed—my hopes are gone;
              My whole is sorrow, grief and woe,
              My singing now is all heigh-ho.
                                            A lass (alas).

What affection do landlords most appreciate? Parental (pay-rental).

When day breaks, what becomes of the pieces? They go into mourning

Why are washerwomen the silliest of women? Because they put out their
tubs to catch soft water when it rains hard.

Why is a book like a king? Because it has many pages.

When are two apples alike? When pared.

When a colored waiter drops a platter of roast turkey, why does it
create a great continental disaster? Because it is the fall of Turkey,
the overthrow of Greece, the ruin of Africa, and the breaking up of

What time should an inn keeper visit a foundry? When he wants a

Why was Blackstone like an Irish vegetable? Because he was a common
’tatur (commentator).

Why is an author the most wonderful man in the world? Because he is the
owner of many tales and they all come out of his head.

What do you call a boy who eats all the melons he can get, whether they
are green or old? He is what we call a pains-taking youngster.

What is an eaves-dropper? The icicle.

What trade is certainly one in which a man will never make a cent except
by sticking at it? Bill-posting.

Why is a neglected damsel like a fire that has gone out? Because she has
not a spark left.

In what place are two heads better than one? In a barrel.

Why are bells used to call people to church? Because they have an
inspire-ring influence.

What is that which goes up the hill and down the hill and yet stands
still? The road.

What becomes of the chocolate cake when your only son eats it? It
vanishes into the empty heir (air).

When is coffee like the soil? When it is ground.

When is a bill like a gun? When it is presented and discharged.

Why is a windy orator like a whale? Because he often rises to spout.

Why is a railroad track a particularly sentimental object? Because it is
bound by close ties.

What is society composed of? A mixture of mister-ies and miss-eries.

What is that which increases the more it is shared by others? Happiness.

What is taken from you before you get it? Your portrait.

When is a man, like friendship, most easily tried? When he stands a

What melancholy fact is there about a calendar? There is no time when
its days are not numbered.

What is the best food for dyspeptic people? Oysters; because they
die-just (digest) before they are eaten.

Who are the men who have made their mark? Those who can’t write.

Why is a distanced horse like a man in a shady place? Because he is out
of the heat.

Why are park railings like a lady’s corset? Because they confine a deer

Do you know what is the oldest piece of furniture in the world? The
multiplication table.

What is the debt for which you cannot be sued? The debt of nature.

When are soldiers best able to draw blisters? When they are mustered in
the service.

Why is the woodsman’s ax an inconsistent weapon? Because it first cuts a
tree down and then cuts it up.

Why is an inn-keeper like a multitude of people? Because he is a host

Why is the blush of modesty like a little girl? Because it becomes a

Why is a bad epigram like a useless pencil? Because it has no point.

If you see a counterfeit coin on the street why should you always pick
it up? Because you may be arrested for passing it.

Why is Queen Victoria like a hat? Because they both have crowns.

Why is love always represented as a child? Because it never reaches the
age of discretion.

What key opens the penitentiary for a dissipated man? Whis-key.

Why is a pig with a curly continuation like the ghost of Hamlet’s
father? Because he could a tail unfold.

Why is a plowed field like feathered game? Because it’s part-ridges.

When is a dog most like a human being? When he is between a man and a

How does a boy look if you hurt him? It makes him yell Oh! (yellow).

Why didn’t the last dove return to the ark? Because she had sufficient
ground for remaining.

Why is there some reason to doubt the existence of the Giant’s Causeway?
There are so many shamrocks (sham rocks) in Ireland that this may be one
of the reasons.

Why are good husbands like dough? Because women need them.

Why is a specimen of extra fine handwriting like a dead pig? Because it
is done with the pen.

When does a man feel girlish? When he makes his maiden speech.

What is the difference between an honest and a dishonest laundress? One
irons your linen; the other steals it.

What does a husband do who misses a train by which he promised his wife
to return? Catches it when he gets home.

What coat is finished without buttons and put on wet? A coat of paint.

What is the greatest surgical operation on record? Lansing, Michigan.

How can you make a tall man short? Borrow money of him.

Why are fixed stars like pens, ink and paper? Because they are
stationary (stationery).

Why should a person not like to gaze on the Niagara forever? Because he
would always have a cataract in the eye.

What bridge is warranted to support any strain? The bridge of a fiddle.

What is that, which though black itself, enlightens the world? Ink.

Why is it dangerous to go in the woods in spring? Because the bullrush
is out, the cowslips around, the grasses have blades, the flowers have
pistils, and the little twigs are shooting.

Why are laws like the ocean? The most trouble is caused by the breakers.

Why is the Mississippi the most eloquent of rivers? Because it has a
dozen mouths.

Why is the fly the best one among the grocers’ customers? Because, when
he comes for sugar, he settles on the spot.

Why does an aeronaut dislike to speak about his trips? It is generally a
soar point with him.

Why is a Chinaman never perplexed? Because no matter where he finds
himself he always has his cue.

What is the most popular paper at the summer resorts? Fly-paper.

In law courts what relation are the judges, sergeants and counsellors to
each other? They are brothers—brothers-in-law.

Why is St. Paul like a white horse? Because they both like Timothy.

Why do men go out of the theatre? Because some plays are so solemn that
the men have to go out to smile.

Why is a nail fast in the wall like an old man? Because it is infirm.

What is the difference between love and war? One breaks heads and the
other breaks hearts.

What is the difference between man and butter? The older a man gets the
weaker he gets, but the older the butter is the stronger it is.

When did Cæsar first visit the Irish? When he crossed the Rhine and went
back to bridge it (Bridget).

What light could not possibly be seen in a dark room? An Israe-lite.

How is it that the Queen is a poor gentlewoman? She possesses only one

Why is the letter B like a hot fire? Because it makes oil boil.

Why is an invalid cured by sea-bathing like a confined criminal? Because
he is sea-cured (secured).

When does a public speaker steal lumber? When he takes the floor.

Why is the letter A like a honeysuckle? Because a B follows it.

What history is that which repeats itself? The history of nations. Your
private history is repeated by your neighbors.

When are two tramps like common time in music? When they are two beats
to a bar.

If a two-wheeled wagon is a bicycle, and a three-wheeled wagon is a
tricycle, what would you call a five-wheeled one? A V-hicle of course.

Why is a ferry boat like a good rule? Because it works both ways.

What part of London is like a lame man? Cripplegate (cripple-gait).

What robe is that which you cannot weave, you cannot buy, no one can
sell, needs no washing, and lasts forever? Robe of Righteousness.

How do we know the nightingales are sports? Because they have a high
time after dark.

When is water most likely to escape? When it is only half-tide.

What is always behind time? The back of a clock.

What medicine is a cross dog fond of? Bark and wine (whine).

What is the difference between perseverance and obstinancy? One is a
strong will and the other is a strong won’t.

Unable to think, unable to speak, yet tells the truth to all the world?
A true balance, or pair of scales.

What country does a crying baby sigh for? More-rock-oh, or Lapland.

Why is a coat worn by a weather-beaten tramp like a man with insomnia?
Because it has not had a nap in ten years.

Why are spiders good correspondents? Because they drop a line by every
post and at every house.

What does a young lady become when she ceases to be pensive? Ex-pensive.

What is the sure sign of an early spring? A cat watching a hole in the
wall with her back up.

A lady asked a gentleman how old he was? He answered, My age is what you
do in everything—excel (XL).

Pray find a word that will produce a chair and table? Char-i-table.

Why is it that whenever you are looking for anything you always find it
in the last place you look? Because you always stop looking when you
find it.

Why is the world like a cat’s tail? Because it is fur to the end of it.

What is the most difficult lock to pick? One from a bald head.

If Rider Haggard had been Lew Wallace, who would “She” have been?

What would a pig do who wished to build himself a habitation? Tie a knot
in his tail and call it a pig’s tie.

Why is snow like a maple tree? Because it leaves in the early spring.

Who is the first nobleman mentioned in the Bible? Baron (barren)

If a man bumped his head against the top of the room, what article of
stationery would he get? Ceiling whacks (sealing wax.)

What is a good thing to part with? A comb.

If your uncle’s sister is not your aunt what relation is she to you?
Your mother.

Why is a pig the most provident of all animals? Because he always
carries a spare-rib about him.

Why is the church of St. Paul, London, like a bird’s nest? Because it
was built by a wren (Sir Christopher Wren).

For what profession are the members of a college boat crew best fitted?
For dentistry, because they have a good pull.

Why has a chambermaid more lives than a cat? Because each morning she
returns to dust.

Why ought the man who handles the reins on a horse car be successful?
Because he does a driving business.

What paradox may often be found in a flower garden? A white pink.

Why do carpenters have great faith in soothsayers? They cannot work
without an auger (augur).

What does a yawning policeman resemble? An open-faced watch.

Why is a crow like a lawyer? He likes to have his caws (cause) heard.

What is the political character of a water-wheel? Revolutionary.

Why are umbrellas like good churchmen? They keep Lent so well.

Why is a cat going up three pair of stairs like a high hill? Because
she’s a-mountin’.

What three letters give the name of a famous Roman general? C-P-O

Why should England be a very dry country? Because there has been but one
reign there in over fifty years.

Why is a nice, but uncultured girl like brown sugar? Because she is
sweet but unrefined.

Why are some women very much like tea-kettles? Because they sing away
pleasantly and then all at once boil over.

What is the best way to keep fish from smelling? Cut off their noses.

Why should you never confide a secret to your relatives? Because blood
will tell.

Which is the easier profession, a doctor’s or a clergyman’s? A
clergyman’s: he preaches, the doctor practices.

How can it be proven that a horse has six legs? Because he has fore legs
in front and two behind.

How does light get through a prism? It hews (hues) its way through.

When is a pie like a poet? When it is Browning.

What can pass before the sun without making a shadow? The wind.

Why should watermelon be a good name for a newspaper? Because its
insides would really be read.

Why should the number 288 never be mentioned in company? Because it is
two gross.

When is a tourist in Ireland like a donkey? When he is going to Bray.

Why are people of short memories necessarily covetous? Because they’re
always for-getting something.

What is the beginning of every end, and the end of every place? The
letter E.

Why is the tolling of a bell like the prayers of a hypocrite? Because it
is a solemn sound by a thoughtless tongue.

What letters of the alphabet are most like a Roman emperor? The C’s are.

Why is a sneeze like Niagara? Because it’s a catarrh-act.

When does water resemble a gymnast? When it makes a spring.

What bird is in season all the year? The weather-cock.

What would you expect to find on a literary man’s breakfast table?
Bacon’s Remains, Final memories of Lamb, if in season, and Shelley

When is a sick man a contradiction? When he is an impatient patient.

What is the dog-star announced to be? A sky-terrier.

What is the difference between a tunnel and a speaking trumpet? One is
hollowed in, the other is halloaed out.

When may a man be said to be literally immersed in business? When he’s
giving a swimming lesson.

What trade should one follow in order to cut a figure in the world? A

What wind do we naturally look for after Lent? An Easter-ly one.

How do little fish have a proper idea of business? Not being able to do
better, they start on a small scale.

When do cards most resemble wolves? When they belong to a pack.

What vine does beef grow on? The bo-vine.

What is the difference between the Mormons’ religion and their wives?
Their religion is singular, but their wives are plural.

When is a man duplicated? When he’s beside himself.

                If a well known animal you behead,
                Another one you will have instead.
                                            Fox (f-ox).

Why is a drunken Irishman like a sentinel going his rounds? He is

Why is a Zulu belle like a prophet of old? She has not much on’er in her
own country.

Why is a blacksmith like a safe steed? Because one is a horse-shoer, and
the other is a sure horse.

When giving invitations to a dancing party what single word will tell
the hour to begin dancing? At ten-dance (attendance).

What is the greatest physical feat ever performed? Wheeling, West
Virginia, on the Ohio.

What does an envelope say when it is licked? Just shuts up and says
nothing about it.

Why is a pretty girl like an excellent mirror? She’s a good looking

When is an army totally destroyed? When the soldiers are all in

Why is too much whisky and champagne like the flowers that bloom in the
spring? Because they make the nose gay (nosegay).

Why is a postman in danger of losing his way? Because he is guided by
the directions of strangers.

What killed Joan of Arc? Too much hot stake.

What is the difference between a watchmaker and a jailer? One sells
watches and the other watches cells.

Why are lawyers the most intemperate people? Because they are
continually practicing at the bar.

What word of four syllables represents Sin riding on a little animal?
Sin-on-a-mouse (Synonymous.)

What motive had the inventor of railways in view! A loco-motive.

With what do the mermaids tie up their hair? With a marine band.

What tree bears the most fruit to market? The axle tree.

What is the sharpest instrument mentioned in the Bible? The Acts (axe)
of the Apostles.

Why is a banker’s clerk necessarily well informed? Because he is
continually taking notes.

Use me well and I am everybody; scratch my back and I am nobody. A

What great Scotchman would you name if a footman knocked at the door?
John Knox.

Why is a billiard maker like a stage prompter? Because he gives the
players a cue.

Why is the sculptor Powers a great swindler? Because he chiseled the
Greek slave out of her clothes.

Why is the bank of England like a thrush? It often changes its notes.

What is it, which the man that made it does not need, the man who buys
it does not use for himself, and the person that uses it does not know
it? A coffin.

Why are convicts like a pack of cards? Because there is a knave in every

When is a fact like a universal patent? When it is patent to “all.”

What kind of a swell luncheon would hardly be considered a grand affair?
A luncheon of dried apples and warm water, which is really a swell

Why is a young lady like a promissory note? Because she ought to be
settled when she arrives at maturity.

What is that which always goes with its head downward? A nail in your

Why is a man just put in prison like a boat full of water? Because he
wants bailing out.

What sort of a face does an auctioneer like best? One that is for

Why should a poor salesman be put in the hands of a potter? Because he
is very poor clay and should be fired.

Why is an account book like a statuary shop? It is full of figures.

When a young man calls upon his sweetheart what should he carry with
him? Affection in his heart, perfection in his manners, and confections
in his pockets.

What is that which Adam never saw, never possessed, yet left two to each
of his children? Parents.

When may a base-ball nine say its “cake is all dough”? When it does not
have a good batter.

Why is it better to lose an arm than a leg? Because when you lose a leg
you lose something to boot.

What key in music will make a good officer? A sharp major.

Why were the Jews of old like bad debts? Because they killed the
prophets (profits).

What is political economy? Splitting your vote.

What makes everybody sick but those that swallow it? Flattery.

What jury of twelve tries us for a year? The twelve months; they all try

What is that which never flies except when its wings are broken? An

What is the difference between a very fascinating young lady and her
watch? The watch makes one remember the hours, and the young lady makes
one forget them.

Why is an egg like a colt? Because it is not fit for use until it is

Why is a threadbare garment like a man who was up late at the ball?
Because both look worn out when they lose their nap.

What bridge creates the most anxiety? A suspension bridge.

When does a cook break the game law? When she poaches eggs.

Why is a cigar-loving man like a tallow candle? Because he smokes when
he is going out.

What way of showing wrath has a tea kettle? It sings sweetest when it is

Why do you always make a mistake when you put on your slipper? Because
you put your foot in it.

Why is a lucky gambler an agreeable fellow? Because he has such winning

Why is the leading horse in a wagon team like the acceptor of a bill?
Because he’s the end horse, sir (endorser).

What money brings the most substantial interest? Matri-mony.

What is a remarkable fact when the Chinese actor loses his head? He is
pretty sure to lose his cue at the same time.

Why, when you paint a man’s portrait, may you be described as stepping
into his shoes? Because you make his feet-yours (features).

Why is the inside of everything mysterious? Because we cannot make it

Why is the Prince of Wales musing on his mother’s government like a
rainbow? Because it’s the son’s reflection on a steady reign.

                          BIBLICAL CONUNDRUMS

Who was the first man spoken of in the Bible? Chap. I (chap first).

Who was the first woman spoken of in the Bible? Genesis (Jennis Sis).

At what time of day was Adam created? A little before Eve.

Spell “Adam’s Express Company” with three letters. E-v-e.

What one word in the Bible represents the father calling his son and the
son’s answering? Ben Hadad (Ben, ha-dad).

Who was a very short man spoken of in the Bible? Nehemiah (knee-high

Who was the strongest man spoken of in the Bible? Jonah, because the
whale couldn’t keep him down.

Who was the greatest orator spoken of in the Bible? Samson, because he
brought the house down filled with his enemies.

Who was the shortest man spoken of in the Bible? Beldad the Shuhite
(shoe height).

Where was paper currency spoken of first in the Bible? Where the dove
left the ark and brought a green back.

Why was Noah obliged to stoop on entering the ark? Because, although the
ark was high, Noah was a higher ark (hierarch).

Who took the first newspaper? Cain took A Bell’s (Abel’s) Life, and
Joshua countermanded the Sun.

What proof have we that Moses was the most wicked man who ever lived?
Because he broke the Ten Commandments all at once.

How long did Cain hate his brother? As long as he was Abel (able).

Where was æstheticism first spoken of in the Bible? Where the Lord made
Balaam’s ass to utter.

When were walking-sticks first mentioned in the Bible? When Eve
presented Adam with a little Cain (cane).

What fur did Adam and Eve wear? Bear (bare) skin.

Who was the fastest runner in the world? Adam, because he was first in
the race.

When did Moses sleep five in a bed? When he slept with his fore fathers.

The following is a good sell if properly led up to: Who was the first
man? Adam? Who was the first woman? Eve. Who killed Cain? The answer
will very likely be Abel.

What did Job’s wardrobe consist of? Three wretched comforters.

What three words did Adam use when he introduced himself to Eve which
read backward and forward the same? Madam, I’m Adam.

Why was the first day of Adam’s life the longest? Because it had no Eve.

How were Adam and Eve prevented from gambling? Their pair o’ dice was
taken away from them.

What stone should have been placed at the gate of Eden after the
expulsion? Adam aint in (adamantine).

What did Adam and Eve do when they were expelled from Eden? They raised

Why did Adam bite the apple Eve gave him? Because he had no knife.

Why was Eve made? For Adam’s express company.

Who was the straightest man mentioned in the Bible? Moses, because
Pharaoh made a ruler of him.

What evidence have we that Adam used sugar? Because he raised Cain.

Who was the first man condemned to hard labor for life? Adam.

Why was the giant Goliath very much astonished when David hit him with a
stone? Because such a thing had never entered his head before.

Which are the two smallest things mentioned in the Bible? The widow’s
mite and the wicked flee.

How is it that Methusalah was the oldest man when he died before his
father? His father was translated.

How many soft boiled eggs could the giant Goliath eat on an empty
stomach? One, after which his stomach was not empty.

What was the difference between Joan of Arc and Noah’s ark? One was Maid
of Orleans, the other was made of wood.

Where did Noah strike the first nail in the ark? On the head.

Why was Eve not afraid of the measles? Because she’d Adam (had ’em).

What church did Eve belong to? Adam thought her Eve-angelical.

What two animals carried the least into the ark? The fox and cock,
because they carried only a brush and comb between them.

Who had the first entrance into a theatre? Joseph, when he was taken
from the family circle and put into the pit.

In what place did the cock crow so loud that all the world heard him? In
the ark.

What became of Lot when his wife was turned into a pillar of salt? He
took a fresh one.

Who first introduced salt meat into the navy? Noah, when he took Ham
into the ark.

What animal took most baggage into the ark? The elephant, who took his

What confection did they have in the ark? Preserved pairs (pears).

What man mentioned in the Bible had no father? Joshua, the son of Nun.

What reason have we to think that Moses wore a wig? Because he was
sometimes seen with Aaron and sometimes without ’Air on (hair on).

Why was Noah like a hungry cat? Because he went forty days and forty
nights without finding Ararat.

If Solomon was the son of David and Joab was the son of Zeruiah what
relation was Zeruiah to Joab? His mother.

NOTE.—Most persons will answer “his father,” not remembering that
Zeruiah was a woman.

If “Moses was the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,” then he must have been the
daughter of Pharaoh’s son.

NOTE.—Most persons will say that it was impossible for Moses to have
been a daughter, etc. It will aid in understanding it to connect the
words thus: “daughter-of-Pharoah’s son.”

                          POETICAL CONUNDRUMS

                    Legs I have, but seldom walk;
                    I backbite all, yet never talk.

                                                                 A flea.

            I came to a field and couldn’t get through it;
            So I went to a school and learned how to do it.


                        My first I hope you are,
                        My second I see you are,
                        My whole I know you are,


                   My first’s a dirty little brute,
                   My second’s at the end on’t;
                   My third like many an honest man,
                   Is on a fool dependent.


             By equal division—I know I am right—
             The half of thirteen you’ll find to be eight.

                            XIII ———— VIII.

                My number, definite and known,
                  Is ten times ten told ten times o’er;
                One-half of me is one alone,
                  The other exceeds all count and score.


            There’s a word composed of three letters alone,
              Which reads backwards and forwards the same;
            It expresses the sentiments warm from the heart,
              And to beauty lays principal claim.


             The cat did my first with a curl of her tail,
               When the game she had made quite secure
             By means of my second and not of my whole,
               As she ought to have done, I am sure.


                 Pray tell me, ladies, if you can,
                 Who is that highly favored man,
                 Who though he has married many a wife,
                 May still live single all his life?

                                                            A clergyman.

            Can you tell me why a hypocrite’s eye
            Can better descry than you or I,
            On how many toes a pussy cat goes?
                A man of deceit can best count-er-feit;
                And so, I suppose, can best count her toes.

            Without my first you’d look very strange,
            My second you much want to be;
            My whole is what many a lady has worn,
            At a ball, an assembly, or play.


                  Two letters often tempt mankind,
                  And those who yield will surely find
                  Two others ready to enforce
                  The punishment that comes of course.

                                         X-S and D-K (excess and decay).

                My first doth affliction denote,
                  Which my second is destined to feel.
                My whole is a sweet antidote
                  That affliction to soothe and to heal.


                     My first of anything is half,
                       My second is complete;
                     And so remains until once more
                       My first and second meet.


                      My first makes company,
                      My second shuns company,
                      My third assembles company,
                      My whole puzzles company.


             Safe on a fair one’s arm my first may rest,
             And raise no tumult in a husband’s breast;
             To those who neither creep, nor run, nor fly,
             The want of legs my second will supply.
             My whole’s a rival of the fairest toast,
             And when I’m liked the best I suffer most.


                      What is that which is
                      The beginning of eternity,
                      The end of time and space,
                      The beginning of every end,
                      The end of every race?

                                                               Letter E.

                Your initials begin with an A,
                  You’ve an A at the end of your name,
                The whole of your name is an A,
                  And its backward and forward the same.


                We are airy little creatures,
                Each have different forms and features;
                One of us in glass is set,
                Another you will find in jet;
                A third, less bright, is set in tin,
                A fourth a shining box within;
                And the fifth, if you pursue,
                It will never fly from you.


         My first a baby does when you pinch it;
         My second a lady says when she doesn’t mean it;
         My third exists and no one e’er has seen it;
         And my whole contains the world’s best half within it.


                Formed long ago, yet made to-day,
                  I’m most employed while others sleep;
                What none would like to give away,
                  Yet no one likes to keep.


              What’s that? What’s that? Oh! I shall faint,
                Call, call the priest to lay it!
              Transpose it, and to king and saint,
                And great and good you pay it.

                                                       Spectre; respect.

How shall the following be read?

                           Yy  u r yy u b
                           I c u r yy 4 me.

                                Too wise you are,
                                  Too wise you be;
                                I see you are
                                  Too wise for me.

How shall the following be read?

             U o a o, but I o thee;
               O o no o, but O o me;
             Then let my o thy o be
               And give o o I o thee.

             You sigh for a cipher, but I sigh for thee;
               Oh! sigh for no cipher, but oh! sigh for me;
             They let my cipher thy cipher be;
               And give sigh for sigh, for I sigh for thee.

How shall the following stanza be read that it may be true?

                    There is a lady in the land
                    With twenty nails on each hand,
                    Five-and-twenty on hands and feet,
                    This is true without deceit.

                    There is a lady in the land
                    With twenty nails; on each hand
                    Five, and twenty on hands and feet,
                    This is true without deceit.

                           FRENCH CONUNDRUMS

Je suis le capitaine de vingt-quatre Soldats, et sans moi Paris serait

                                                 The letter A.

Pourquoi les amateurs du beau sexe vont-ils souvent à l’hippodrome?

                                  Afin d’être en cirque assis.

Quelle différence y-a-t-il entre le souverain de la Perse et le Viceroi

C’est que l’un est chat (Shah) et l’autre pas chat (Pacha).

Quel est le peuple le moins gai de l’univers?

Le peuple Persan, parce qu’il est gouverné par un Schah (chat), et que
le schah fait fuir les souris.

A French friend wishes to know: Vai ze Keeng ov Eatalee ees laike von
seengair at ze opera oo ees loozeng ess voice?

Parce qu’il a perdu sa voix (Savoie).

Pourquoi les Carthaginois portaient-ils toujours des gants?

Parce qu’ils n’aimaient pas l’air aux mains (les Romains)!

Quand un gant ressemble-t-il au numéro vingt-cinq.

Quand il est neuf et très étroit (et treize et trois)!

Un félon peut-il prendre pour devise,—“Honneur à Dieu”?

Non, car il faut qu’il dise,—“Adieu, honneur!”

Je ne suis pas ce que je suis; car si j’étais ce que suis, je ne serais
pas ce que je suis, cependant je suis ce que je suis; devinez ce que je

Un domestique qui suit sa maîtresse.

                          ARITHMETICAL PUZZLES

Write eleven thousand eleven hundred and eleven.

                                  METHOD.— 11,000 + 1,100 + 11 = 12,111.

What four United States coins will amount to fifty-one cents?

ANSWER.—Two twenty five cent pieces and two half cents.

Place three 6’s together so as to amount to 7.

                                                     METHOD.— 6-6/6 = 7.

Place three 2’s together so as to make 24.

                                                   METHOD.— 22 + 2 = 24.

Place three 3’s together so as to make 24.

                                                 METHOD.— 3^3 - 3 = 24.

Take one from nine and make it ten.

METHOD.—Write nine thus, IX; take away the I we have X.

Add one to nine and make it twenty.

METHOD.—Nine is IX; cross the I we have XX.

Prove that one taken from nineteen leaves twenty.

METHOD.—Take the I from XIX, and we have XX.

Make four straight lines and then add five straight lines and make ten.

                                      METHOD.—    |  |  |  |  ; TEN.

Prove that the half of eleven is six.

METHOD.—In XI draw a line thus,


the upper half is VI.

Prove that one added to twenty is nineteen.

                                        METHOD.—Add I to XX we have XIX.

What number of three figures multiplied by 8 will make exactly 10?

                                                    ANSWER.— 1¼ or 1.25.

Does the top of a carriage-wheel move faster than the bottom? If so,
explain the reason.

ANSWER.—The top always moves faster than the bottom.

Which is greater, and how much, six dozen dozen or a half a dozen dozen;
or is there no difference between them?

                                                             The former.

Which is heavier, a pound of gold or a pound of feathers?

ANSWER.—The pound of feathers, because it is weighed by Avoirdupois
weight, while gold is weighed by Troy weight.

Take fifty, add a cipher, add five, add the fifth of eight, and the
total is the sum of human happiness.


Six ears of corn are in a hollow stump; how long will it take a squirrel
to carry them all out if he takes out three ears a day?

REMARK.—The “catch” is on the word ears. He takes out two ears on his
head and one ear of corn each day; hence, it takes six days.

How to prove, by mathematical principles, that two unequal numbers are
equal, as 4 = 2.

METHOD.—All will admit that 8 - 8 = 4 - 4. Divide both of these by 2 -
2, and the quotient will be equal. Thus,

                       (8 - 8)     (4 - 4)
                       ——————   =  ——————,  or 4 = 2
                       (2 - 2)     (2 - 2)

Supposing there are more persons in the world than any one has hairs on
his head; then there must be at least two persons who have the same
number of hairs on their head to a hair. Show how this is.

Place 17 little sticks—matches for instance—making 6 equal squares, as
in the margin. Then remove 5 sticks, and leave three perfect squares of
the same size.

                              |   |   |   |
                              |   |   |   |

ANSWER.—The method of doing this is indicated below this answer.

                              |   |
                              |   |   |   |
                              +---+   +---+

A and B have an 8 gallon cask full of wine, which they wish to divide
into two equal parts, and the only measures they have are a 5-gallon
cask and a 3-gallon cask. How shall they make the division with these
two vessels?

METHOD.—First fill the 3-gallon cask from the 8-gallon cask; then pour
these 3 gallons into the 5-gallon cask; then fill the 3-gallon cask
again, and fill the 5-gallon cask from the 3-gallon cask; this will
leave 1 gallon in the 3-gallon cask; then empty the 5-gallon cask into
the 8-gallon cask, pour the 1 gallon from the 3-gallon cask into the
5-gallon cask, and fill the 3-gallon cask from the 8-gallon cask. There
will then be 4 gallons in the 8-gallon cask.

Two men in an oyster saloon laid a wager as to which could eat the most
oysters. One ate ninety-nine and the other ate a hundred, and won. How
many did both eat?

REMARK.—The catch is on a hundred and _won_. When spoken it sounds as if
it meant “one ate ninety-nine and the other ate a hundred and one;”
hence, the result usually given is two hundred. The correct result is
one hundred and ninety-nine.

If a room with 8 corners had a cat in each corner, seven cats before
each cat, and a cat on each cat’s tail, what would be the whole number
of cats?

ANSWER.—Eight cats.

Tell a person to think of a number, multiply by 3, multiply the product
by 2, divide the result by 6, add 20, subtract the number thought of,
divide by 4, and then tell him what his result is.

METHOD.—The result will be five. The reason is clear. By multiplying by
3 and 2 and dividing by 6 he has obtained the number thought of. Add 20,
he has the number thought of, plus 20; then subtract the number thought
of, and he has twenty. Now I know he has twenty; hence, I can tell him
what he has if he divides by 4.

A farmer having an ox-chain consisting of 15 links, broke it into five
equal parts, and took it to a blacksmith to be welded together. The
blacksmith agreed to repair it for 50 cents for each welding; but when
he presented his bill he charged for four weldings, making the bill
$2.00. The farmer objected to the bill, saying that it should have been
repaired with only three weldings. How was it to be done?

METHOD.—Each piece consisted of three links; cut open the three links of
one piece and use these to connect the other four pieces of the chain.

Think of a number, multiply by six, divide by three, add forty, divide
by two; name the result, and I will name the number thought of.

METHOD.—Multiplying by six and dividing by three gives twice the number;
add forty we have twice the number, plus forty, divide by two we have
once the number, plus twenty; hence, if I subtract twenty from the
result he gives me I have the number thought of.

Let a person select a number greater than 1 and not exceeding 10. I will
add to it a number not exceeding 10, alternately with himself; and,
although he has the advantage in selecting the number to start with, I
will reach the even hundred first.

METHOD.—I make my additions so that the sums are 12, 23, 34, 45, etc.,
to 89, when it is evident I can reach the hundred first. With one who
does not know the method, I need not run through the entire series, but
merely aim for 89, and when the secret of this is seen aim at 78, then
67, etc.

Think of a number of 3 or more figures, divide by nine, and name the
remainder; erase one figure of the number, divide by 9, and tell me the
remainder and I will tell you what figure you erased.

METHOD.—If the second remainder is less than the first, the figure
erased is the difference between the remainders; but if the second
remainder is greater than the first, the figure erased equals 9, minus
the difference of the remainders.

Let a person think of any number on the dial face of a watch. I will
then point to various numbers, and at each he will silently add one to
the number selected, until he arrives at twenty, which he will announce
aloud; and my pointer will then be on the number he selected.

METHOD.—I point promiscuously about the face of the watch until the
eighth point, which should be on the “12.” I then pass regularly around
toward the “1” pointing at “11,” “10,” “9,” etc., until “twenty” is
called, when my pointer will be over the number selected.

Take _nine_ from _six_ and _ten_ from _nine_ and _fifty_ from _forty_,
and _six_ will remain.

                             SIX     IX     XL
                              IX      X      L
                              ——     ——     ——
                             S       I      X

Two-thirds of six is nine, one-half of twelve is seven, the half of five
is four, and six is half of eleven.

METHOD.—Two-thirds of SIX is IX, the upper half of XII is VII, the half
of FIVE is IV, and the upper half of XI is VI.

Two men have 24 ounces of fluid which they wish to divide between them
equally. How shall they effect the division, provided they have only
three vessels; one containing 5 oz., the other 11 oz., and the third 13

METHOD.—The method is similar to the division of 8 gallons in the
question on page 78.

Three persons own 51 quarts of rice, and have only two measures; one a
4-quart, the other a 7-quart measure. How shall they divide it into
three equal parts?

METHOD.—One-third of 51 is 17; so each must have 17 quarts. To measure
17 quarts fill the 7-quart measure twice and pour into some large
vessel, making 14 quarts; then fill the 7-quart measure, draw off 4
quarts in the 4-quart measure, and then pour the remaining 3 quarts in
the vessel containing the 14 quarts.

Think of a number composed of two unequal digits, invert the digits,
take the difference between this and the original number, name one of
the digits and I will name the other.

METHOD.—The sum of the digits in the difference is always nine; hence,
when one is named the other equals 9, minus the one named.

Take any number, consisting of three consecutive digits and permutate
them, making 6 numbers, and take the sum of these numbers, divide by 6,
and tell me the result and I will tell you the digits of the number

METHOD.—The quotient consists of three equal digits; the digits of the
number taken are: 1st. one of these equal digits; 2d. this digit
increased by a unit; 3d. this digit diminished by a unit. The same
principle holds when the digits of the number taken differ by 2, 3, or
4. It is a very pretty problem to prove that the sum is always divisible
by 9 and 18.

Take any number, divide it by 9, and name the remainder. Multiply the
number by some number which I name, and divide the product by 9, and I
will name the remainder.

METHOD.—To tell the remainder, I multiply the first remainder by the
number by which I told them to multiply the given number, and divide
this product by 9. The remainder is the second number obtained.

Think of a number greater than 3, multiply it by 3; if even, divide it
by 2; if odd, add 1, and then divide by 2. Multiply the quotient by 3;
if even, divide by 2; if odd, add 1, and then divide by 2. Now divide by
9 and tell the quotient without the remainder, and I will tell you the
number thought of.

METHOD.—If _even_ both times, multiply the quotient by 4; if even 2d and
odd 1st, multiply by 4 and add 1; if even 1st and odd 2d, multiply by 4
and add 2; if odd both times, multiply by 4 and add 3.

Suppose it were possible for a man in Cincinnati to start on Sunday
noon, when the sun is in the meridian, and travel westward with the sun
so that it might be in his meridian all the time. Now it was Sunday noon
when he started, it has been noon with him all the way round, and is
Monday noon when he returns. The question is, at what point did it
change from Sunday noon to Monday noon?

Take any number, subtract the sum of the digits, strike out any digit
from the remainder, tell me the sum of the remaining digits, and I will
tell you the digit struck out.

METHOD.—Subtract the “sum of the remaining digits” from the smallest
multiple of nine greater than “the sum.” The remainder will be the digit
struck out.

In the bottom of a well, 45 feet deep, there was a frog which commenced
traveling toward the top. In his journey he ascended 3 feet every day,
but fell back 2 feet every night. In how many days did he get out?

METHOD.—He gains 1 foot a day, and in 42 days he is 3 feet from the top;
and on the 43d day he reaches the top.

Think of any three numbers less than 10. Multiply the first by 2 and add
5 to the product. Multiply this sum by 5 and add the second number to
the product. Multiply the last result by 10 and add the third number to
the product; then subtract 250. Name the remainder and I will name the
numbers thought of and in the order in which they were thought of.

METHOD.—The three digits composing this remainder will be the numbers
thought of: and the order in which they were thought of will be the
order of hundreds, tens, and units.

If a man had a triangular lot of land, the largest side being 136 rods,
and each of the other sides 68 rods; what would be the value of the
grass on it at the rate of $10 an acre?

REMARK.—The “catch” in this is that the sides given will form no

Says A to B: “Give me four weights and I can weigh any number of pounds
not exceeding 40.” Required the weights and the method of weighing.

ANSWER.—The weights are 1, 3, 9, and 27 pounds. In weighing we must put
one or more in both scales, or some in one scale and some in another:
thus, 7 lbs. = 9 lbs. + 1 lb. - 3 lbs.

Three men traveling with their wives came to a river which they wished
to cross. There was but one boat and but two could cross at one time;
and since the husbands were jealous no woman could be with a man unless
her own husband was present. In what manner did they get across the

METHOD.—Let the persons be denoted A, B, and C, and Mrs. A, Mrs. B, and
Mrs. C. First Mr. A and Mrs. A go over; then A comes back and Mrs. B and
Mrs. C go over; then Mrs. A comes back and Mr. B and Mr. C go over; then
Mr. B and Mrs. B return and Mr. A and Mr. B go over; then Mrs. C returns
and Mrs. A and Mrs. B go over; then Mr. C returns and takes his wife,
Mrs. C, over.

A man having a fox, a goose, and some corn came to a river which it was
necessary to cross. He could, however, take only one across at a time,
and if he left the goose and corn while he took the fox over, the goose
would eat the corn; but if he left the fox and goose, the fox would kill
the goose. How shall he get them all safely over?

METHOD.—First he takes the goose over, then returns and takes the fox
over, then brings the goose back and takes the corn over, and then
returns and takes the goose over again.

How may the 9 digits be arranged in a rectangular form so that the sum
of any row, whether horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, shall equal 15?

ANSWER.—As below.

                             | 4 | 9 | 2 |
                             | 3 | 5 | 7 |
                             | 8 | 1 | 6 |

How may the first 16 digits be arranged so that the sum of the vertical,
the horizontal, and the two oblique rows may equal 34?

ANSWER.—As below.

                         |  1 | 16 | 11 |  6 |
                         | 13 |  4 |  7 | 10 |
                         |  8 |  9 | 14 |  3 |
                         | 12 |  5 |  2 | 15 |

In what manner may the first 25 digits be arranged so that the sum of
each row of five figures may equal 65?

ANSWER.—As below.

                       |  1 | 10 | 12 | 18 | 24 |
                       |  9 | 11 | 20 | 22 |  3 |
                       | 13 | 19 | 21 |  5 |  7 |
                       | 17 | 23 |  4 |  6 | 15 |
                       | 25 |  2 |  8 | 14 | 16 |

An old Jew took a diamond cross to a jeweler to have the diamonds reset,
and fearing the jeweler might be dishonest, he counted the diamonds and
found that they numbered 7 in three different ways. Now the jeweler
stole two diamonds, but arranged the remainder so that they counted 7
each way as before. How was it done?

                            Fig. 1.  Fig. 2.
                               7        7
                               6      7 6 7
                           7 6 5 6 7    5
                               4        4
                               3        3
                               2        2
                               1        1

METHOD.—The form of the cross when left is represented by Fig. 1, and
when returned by Fig. 2. It will be seen by the figures how the diamonds
were counted by the old Jew, and how they were arranged by the jeweler,
who “jewed” the Jew.

Take 10 pieces of money, lay them in a row, and require some one to put
them together into heaps of two in each heap by passing each piece over
two others.

METHOD.—Let the pieces be denoted by the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
9, 10. Then place 7 on 10, 5 on 2, 3 on 8, 1 on 4, and 9 on 6.

A man goes to a store and purchases a pair of boots worth $5 and hands
out a $50 bill to pay for them. The merchant, not being able to make the
change, goes over the street to a broker and gets the bill changed and
then returns and gives the man who bought the boots his change. After
the purchaser of the boots had been gone a few hours the broker, finding
the bill to be a counterfeit, comes and demands $50 of good money from
the merchant. How much does the merchant lose?

REMARK.—At first glance some say $45 and the boots, some $50 and the
boots, some $95 and the boots, and others $100 and the boots. Which is

A vessel with a crew of 30 men, half of whom were black, became short of
provisions and fearing that unless half the crew were thrown overboard
all would perish, the captain proposed to the sailors to stand upon deck
in a row and every ninth man be thrown overboard until half the crew
were destroyed. It so happened that the whites were saved. Required, the
order of arrangement.

This can easily be proved by trial, using letters or figures to
represent men.

Suppose a hare is 10 rods before a hound, and that the hound runs 10
rods while the hare runs 1 rod. Now, when the hound has run 10 rods the
hare has run 1 rod; hence they are now 1 rod apart, and when the hound
has run that one rod the hare has run 1/10 of a rod; hence they are now
1/10 of a rod apart, and when the hound has run the 1/10 of a rod they
are 1/100 of a rod apart; and in the same way it may be shown the hare
is always 1/10 of the previous distance ahead of the hound; hence the
hound can never catch the hare. How is the contrary shown
mathematically? How far will the hound run to catch the hare.

ANSWER.—The distance the hound runs will be represented by the series

                                  1     1      1
                        10 + 1 + ——— + ———  + ————,
                                 10    100    1000

to infinity. The sum of this series can be found by the algebraic

                             S =   ———————,
                                  (1 - _r_)

in which _a_ = 10 and _r_ = 1/10. Substituting the value of _a_ and _r_
we have

                            10         10
                          ———————     —————    100
                    S =       1    =    9    = ———  = 11-1/9.
                         1 - ———       ———      9
                              10        10

This may be solved more simply as follows: The hound runs 10 times as
fast as the fox, hence 10 times the distance the fox runs equals the
distance the hound runs. Then 10 times the distance the fox runs, minus
once the distance the fox runs, which is 9 times the distance the fox
runs, is 10 rods; and once the distance the fox runs is 1/9 of 10 rods,
or 10/9 rods; and 10 times the distance the fox runs, or the distance
the hound runs, is 10 times 10/9 or 100/9, or 11-1/9 rods.

If through passenger trains, running to and from Philadelphia and San
Francisco daily, start at the same hour from each place (difference of
longitude not being considered) and take the same time—seven days—for
the trip, how many through trains will the Pacific Express, that leaves
the San Francisco depot at 9 P. M. Sunday, have met when it reaches the
Philadelphia depot?

ANSWER.—As the Pacific Express starts from San Francisco, a train which
left Philadelphia the previous Sunday reaches San Francisco, which is
not to be counted as a meeting of trains. There are, however, six other
trains on the way which it will meet. Also, a train starts from
Philadelphia on the same Sunday as the train starts from San Francisco,
another on Monday, another on Tuesday, etc., up to Saturday—that is,
seven trains, all of which it meets, making, with the six trains
previously started, thirteen trains in all which it meets. A train
leaves Philadelphia on Sunday at the same time the Pacific Express
reaches there, but this is not counted as a meeting.

A switch siding to a single-track railroad is just long enough to clear
a train of eight cars and a locomotive. How can two trains of sixteen
cars and a locomotive, each going in opposite directions, pass each
other at this siding and each locomotive remain with, and have the same
relative position to its own train after as before passing?

[Illustration: line drawing]

ANSWER.—Let one train and its locomotive be denoted by A, and the other
train and locomotive by B, and let the track be denoted by _a b_ and the
siding by _c d_, and suppose train A to be going in the direction of _a
b_, and train B in the direction of _b a_. Then let locomotive B, with
eight cars, run out toward _a_, past _c_, and back up on the siding with
its eight cars; then let train A run out toward _b_, past _c_; then let
B draw its eight cars on to the main track and run out toward _a_; then
let train A back over toward _a_, past _c_, and locomotive A be detached
from train A and run over toward _b_ and connect with the eight cars of
train B and draw them over past _c_, and back them up on the siding, and
then run off the siding and connect again with its own cars and run on
toward _b_, past _c_; then let locomotive B back its eight cars and,
turning on the siding, connect the two halves of its train and move off
past _a_, the train A moving on at the same time past _b_.

A and B went to market with 30 pigs each. A sold his pigs at 2 for $1,
and B sold his pigs at the rate of 3 for $1, and they, together,
received $25. The next day A went to market alone with 60 pigs, and,
wishing to sell at the same rate, sold them 5 for $2, and received only
$24. Why should he not receive as much as when B owned half of the pigs?

ANSWER.—The rate of 2 pigs for $1 is 1 pig for $½, and the rate of 3
pigs for $1 is 1 pig for $⅓; the average rate is 2 pigs for $½ + $⅓, or
$⅚, or 1 pig for $5/12. The rate of 5 pigs for $2 is 1 pig for $⅖. So it
is seen that the reason A did not receive as much is that he sold his
pigs at a less rate than when they both went to market.

Two hunters killed a deer and sold it by the pound in the woods. They
had no proper means of weighing it, but knew their own weights—one 130
pounds and the other 190 pounds. They placed a rail across a fence so
that it balanced with one of them on each end. They then exchanged
places, the lighter man taking the deer in his lap, and the rail again
balanced; what was the weight of the deer?

ANSWER.—Let the weight of the deer be denoted by D; then, by the
principles of the lever, we have the proportion:

                               130 : 190 = 190 : 130 + D:
                      Or,  130 (130 + D) = 190 × 190;
              Whence,      16900 + 130 D = 36100:
                      Or,          130 D = 19200;
                      And,             D = 147-9/13.

Who can solve the following problem?

         A hundred and one by fifty divide,
         And next let a cipher be duly applied,
         And if the result you should rightly divine,
         You’ll find that the whole makes but one out of nine.

EXPLANATION.—CI, CLI, CLIO (Clio, the muse of history, one of the _nine_

Suppose the figure to represent railroad tracks, C D and E F being each
the length of a car or locomotive, and _a_ and _b_ each representing a
car on the track and _c_ representing a locomotive on E F. Now how can
the locomotive change the relative position of _a_ and _b_ so that _b_
will be on the track where _a_ is and _a_ will be on the track where _b_

[Illustration: line drawing]

ANSWER.—The locomotive _c_ backs _a_ down and out toward A, then runs
over toward B and backs _b_ up on E F, then runs back toward B and goes
over toward A, then runs up C E and draws _b_ down on C E, then runs
over toward A and gets car _a_, draws it over toward B and backs it up
on D E. It can also be readily done by first backing _a_ down on A C and
drawing to and leaving it on C D.


                           BY GEORGE THATCHER

                        The Celebrated Minstrel

            140 Pages         Paper Binding         25 Cents

This unique volume supplies in a most satisfactory way the want that has
heretofore been but indifferently met by the so-called Stump-Speech
books. Mr. Thatcher is without doubt the most popular man in minstrelsy,
his name being known among mirth-loving people everywhere, not only in
America, but beyond the seas. It is most fortunate that the services of
a person so distinguished have been secured for the preparation of this
book, especially since he has put in it his own original matter exactly
as he uses it nightly to convulse his audiences with laughter. The book
contains all his Monologues, Parodies, Songs, Sketches, Poems, Speeches,
Jokes, etc., etc. It will be found invaluable to every humorous reader,
to amateur and professional minstrels, and in addition will prove
interesting reading to any person who is fond of the lighter vein of


                              GATHERED BY

                            HENRY FIRTH WOOD

                          The Popular Humorist


            150 Pages         Paper Binding         25 Cents

This attractive little volume is a collection of the brightest,
funniest, and most catchy Jokes of the day. They are all short, some of
them occupying only six or eight lines, but they are as pointed as
short, and all are fairly bristling with wit and humor of the keenest
kind. There are no old ones among them, the collection being the very
latest crop.

They are classified, according to their character, under such headings
as “Womankind,” “Youth,” “Bald and Tough,” etc., ten sections in all,
and each headed with a peculiarly appropriate illustration.

The author is widely and favorably known through his humorous lectures
and readings, and both publicly and privately is recognized as one of
the genuinely funny men of the day.

It is a book that can be picked up and enjoyed at any time, and if read
aloud to a company will afford an infinite fund of mirth and merriment.

                              FULL OF FUN

            250 PAGES         PAPER BINDING         50 CENTS

The suggestive and peculiarly fitting title of this attractive volume
faithfully describes the character of its contents, as it is packed full
of fun from the beginning to the end. It is composed of three popular
titles, TALKS, by the celebrated minstrel, George Thatcher, containing
all his monologues, songs, witty sayings, etc.; JOKES, by the popular
humorist, Henry Firth Wood, comprising a multitude of bright and
bristling comicalities; and CONUNDRUMS, by Dean Rivers, embracing the
latest and best in the line of Conundrums, Riddles, and Puzzles, and
including also a number of most complex Arithmetical Puzzles. The
different authors and compilers are deservedly popular and prominent as
representing the keenest and freshest in everything that is bright and
witty, and are a sure guaranty that the volume possesses all the merit
that is claimed for it.

The collection as a whole will afford excellent amusement for the
fireside, will prove a splendid store-house from which to draw material
for anecdote or illustration, is valuable for public reading or
entertainment, and will be found enjoyable reading for private perusal,
while as a cure for an attack of the blues it is unfailing.

Sold by all Booksellers, or sent, prepaid, upon receipt of price


                          By Marguerite Wilson

A complete instructor, beginning with the first positions and steps and
leading up to the square and round dances. It contains also a full list
of calls for all of the square dances, and the necessary music for each
figure, the etiquette of the dances, and 100 figures for the german. It
is unusually well illustrated by a large number of original drawings.
Without doubt the best book on the subject.

                          PRACTICAL PALMISTRY

                             By Henry Frith

There is to-day probably no more popular character study than that of
Palmistry. Many more people would be interested in it if there were a
convenient book that came within their comprehension and that was
reliable. This volume furnishes full and trustworthy information on the
subject, and with a little practice any person will be able to read
character, recall past events, and forecast future occurrences, upon
examination of the hand. Fully illustrated.

                      THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY
                     923 Arch Street, Philadelphia


                           TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE

WARNING: Some of the puns may contain elements that we would today deem
stereotyping by race, ethnicity or gender.

Punctuation has been normalized. Variations in hyphenation have been
retained as they were in the original publication. The following changes
have been made:

        draws and colors beatifully —> beautifully {43}
        vingt quatre —> vingt-quatre {133}
        cerque —> cirque {133}
        difference —> différence {133}
        parse qu’el —> parce qu’il {133}
        Carthagenois —> Carthaginois {133}
        Romans —> Romains {133}

        Quand un gant resemble-t-il an numero vingt cinq. —>
        Quand un gant ressemble-t-il au numéro vingt-cinq. {134}

        treeze —> treize {134}
        Un felon peut-il prendu —> Un félon peut-il prendre {134}
        j’etais —> j’étais {134}
        que je suis  —> ce que je suis {134}
        maitresse —> maîtresse {134}
        Je ne suis par —> Je ne suis pas {134}
        in the margin of —> below {140, ind}
        in the margin —> below {148, 149 - 3 instances}
        divide the result by 6, add 25 —> add 20 {141}

The following arithmetic problem in the original publication did not
contain a solution:

  “Suppose it were possible for a man in Cincinnati to start on Sunday
  noon,” {page 145}

Repeated chapter headings have been reduced.

Italicized phrases are presented by surrounding the text with

Decorative use of letterspacing has not been represented in this version
of the book.

Words and phrases presented using mixed small capital in the original
are presented in this version using all capital letters.

Superscripted characters are indicated by preceding them with a caret
(^), as here: 3^3 - 3 = 24.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Conundrums, Riddles and Puzzles - Containing one thousand of the latest and best conundrums, - gathered from every conceivable source, and comprising - many that are entirely new and original" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.