The Batman takes Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight down psychological pathways rarely explored, all in pursuit of his most cerebrally oriented foe. Fortunately for us, after nearly 75 years of cryptic riddles and deadly brainteasers, Batman has a pretty good line on how the Riddler’s mind works. He rarely gets tripped up by one of his riddles.
But what about you? In honor of The Batman, we challenge you to take on some of Edward Nygma’s most notorious riddles. But for the answers, you’ll have to pursue the Riddler himself through comic book history. How many can you solve on your own? Let loose your inner detective, and then check our digital archives for your results. Check the key at the bottom to discover your rank. Then, perhaps join us in our community where you can confer with your fellow sleuths with tales of your mental exploits.
1. Why is an orange like a bell?
?. Batman #171 (1965), “Remarkable Ruse of The Riddler”
2. When does ten added to ten equal ten?
?. Batman #173 (1966), “The Riddle-Less Robberies of The Riddler”
3. What has four legs, smokes a pipe – but cannot walk, see, or talk?
?. Detective Comics #362 (1967), “The Night Batman Destroyed Gotham City”
4. Why is a diamond like a stew?
?. Detective Comics #377 (1968), “The Riddler’s Prison-Puzzle Problem”
5. Once again, take new aim,
Meaning different, word the same:
The object of the hunter’s game
Is what gives this place its name!
?. Batman #292 (1977), “The Testimony of The Riddler”
6. When is a horse most like a stamp collection?
?. Detective Comics #493 (1980), “Riddles in the Dark”
7. What’s green, sits in the bathtub, and whistles?
? Secret Origins Special #1 (1989), “When is a Door”
8. It rises only where it’s low, side poison chaining bottom to top it will go.
? Batman #490 (1993), “Who Riddled The Riddler?”
9. How do you keep an idiot waiting?
?. Detective Comics Annual #8 (1995), “Questions Multiply the Mystery”
10. If T’s were D’s then I’d be an opposite in one word! Where am I?
?. Batman: Gotham Adventures #1 (1998), “With a Price On His Head”
11. If two’s company, and three’s a crowd, what’s four and five?
?. Robin #63 (1999), “The Blink of an Eye”
12. The more you take, the more you leave behind.
?. Batman: Gotham Knights #47 (2003), “Riddle Me This”
13. Up front, from the bet that’s not gamma or beta. It’s just the first one in line. Behind, it sounds like Mom, but clears a room. It’s Bobby’s little boy.
?. Green Arrow #35 (2004), “What’s Green and Yellow and Red All Over?”
14. What is everyone in the world doing at the same time?
?. Green Arrow #50 (2005), “All Together Now”
15. When the world is against you, where’s the safest place to hide?
?. Joker (2008)
16. What dresses in green, has a big black question mark on his chest, and is going to kill Batman right now?
?. Batman #686 (2009), “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”
17. This is an unusual paragraph. I’m curious how quickly you can find out what’s so unusual about it? It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it! In fact, nothing is wrong with it! What am I missing?
?. Batman: Arkham City #3 (2011), “Riddle Me This”
18. What’s an eleven-letter word for self-disgrace?
?. Batman #15 (2012), “Red Light, Green Light”
19. Advancing every other moment, in between reverse. Leave me to my own device, I get direct and worse.
?. Batman #23.2: Riddler (2013), “Solitaire”
20. My greatest of my strengths is that I know my worth. I hug myself so tightly at every birth.
?. Batman #33 (2014), “Savage City”
So, how did you do? Consult the key below for your evaluation.
Oh, come now. You aren’t even trying! Not even the riddle about the orange? That was an easy one! Try again, and remember that not taking the Riddler seriously is usually a big mistake…
1-5: Gotham’s “Finest”
This is the sort of basic literacy we expect to see among GCPD detectives. Sure, you can get the softballs on your own. But once the head scratchers come in, it’s time to light up the signal.
A nearly respectable showing. One worthy of a lesser riddling pretender, perhaps, such as that poseur Arthur Brown. Here’s a riddle for you: how do you keep showing your face after getting embarrassed time and again by your own daughter? Either sharpen up, or find your own gimmick.
11-15: Junior Detective
Hm. Not bad. The sort of work I’d expect from one of the various Robins and Batgirls riding on the Batman’s cape. Maybe not one of the smarter ones.
16-19: Super Sleuth
Ah, a worthy adversary! An effort to rival those of the World’s Greatest Detectives. I applaud you, O Men Elongated and Detectives Chimp. So, so close…and yet, not quite perfect. Alas, it’s lonely at the top of the ivory tower.
Impossible! There's no WAY you could have gotten them all! Unless...?
Oh, Dark Knight… you're as good as ever. How I’ve missed you. But let's see how clever you are the next time we lock wits. We'll meet again soon, Batman.
The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz and Paul Dano as the Riddler, is now in theaters. Visit our official movie page for all the latest trailers, articles and news on the film!
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Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly "Ask the Question" column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DCComics.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion.