How to Solve Conundrums / Containing All the Leading Conundrums of the Day, Amusing Riddles, Curious Catches, and Witty Sayings

How to Solve Conundrums / Containing All the Leading Conundrums of the Day, Amusing Riddles, Curious Catches, and Witty Sayings


Author: Anonymous
How to Solve Conundrums
Containing All the Leading Conundrums of the Day, Amusing Riddles, Curious Catches, and Witty Sayings




New York:
FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher,
24 Union Square.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1900, by
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at
Washington, D. C.

How to Solve Conundrums.

What games are most played by soldiers? Hazard and picket!
How do you spell “blind pig” in two letters? P G—pig without an I!
Why is Great Britain like Palestine? Because it’s the Holy Land (whole island).
What is the difference between the earth and the sea? One is dirty, the other tidy.
Why was Blackstone like an Irish vegetable? Because he was a common tatur.
What part of your ear would be the most essential for a martial band? The drum.
High-toned—a church bell.
When is a soldier like a carpenter? When he is going to drill.
When does a farmer have the best opportunity of overlooking his pigs? When he has a sty in his eye!
Why is the letter K like a pig’s tail? Because it’s at the end of pork!
Why is a sporting clergyman like a soldier who runs from battle? Because he departs from his sphere of action.
If a Colt’s pistol has six barrels, how many ought a horse pistol to have? Give it up.
If a bee could stand on its hind legs, what blessing would it invoke? A bee-attitude!
What prevents a running river running right away? Why, it’s tied up!
What was the color of the wind and waves in a storm? The wind blue—the waves rose.
A modern spinning-wheel—the bicycle.
How can you, by changing the pronunciation of a word only, turn mirth into crime? By making man’s laughter man-slaughter!
Why are convicts like old maids going to be married? Because they go off in transports!

State the difference between a grocer selling a pound of sugar, and an apothecary’s boy with a pestle and mortar? One weighs a pound, the other pounds away.
Why is a rumseller’s trade a profitable one to follow? Because, by conducting it with good spirits, he has more bargains than most others, and all his drafts (draughts) are paid.
Why are two young ladies kissing each other an emblem of Christianity? Because they are doing unto each other as they would men should do unto them!
What is the best day for making pan-cakes? Fri-day!
Why am I, when prudently laying by money, like myself when foolishly squandering it? Because in either case I am—ass!
What word is it which, by changing a single letter, becomes its own opposite? United; untied.
Why, if a man has a gallery of paintings, may you pick his pockets? Because he has picked-yours (pictures)!
Why is a pair of skates like an apple? Because they have both occasioned the fall of man.
Inform us concerning the difference which exists between a soldier fighting in battle and one who has had his legs shot off? One will discharge his musket, the other mus’ get his discharge.
Who was Jonah’s tutor? The whale that brought him up!
What evidence have we that Adam used sugar? Because he raised Cain.
What is that which is put on the table and cut, but never eaten? A pack of cards.
What is the difference between a horse who, being entered for a race, is withdrawn, and one who starts in a race and is beaten? One fails to start, and the other starts to fail.
What is that thing, and the name of a bird, which, if we had not, we should die? A swallow.
What other edifice does a man sometimes carry about with him besides a sty in his eye! A castle in the (h)air!
What word it is of only three syllables which combines in it twenty-six letters? Alphabet.
If I were to see you riding on a donkey, what fruit should I be reminded of? A pair!
What flowers are there between a lady’s nose and chin? Two-lips!
O and P run a race; we bet upon O, but P wins; why are we then like the fragrant Latakiah which is given us when we ask for the homely bird’s-eye? Because it was wrong tobacco (to back O).
Why is a woman’s beauty like a ten-dollar greenback? Because when once changed it soon goes!
What part of Spain does our cat, sleeping by herself on the hearth-rug, resemble? Cat-alone here! (Catalonia).

Why is an egg like a colt? Because it isn’t fit for use till it’s broken.
Why is a fashionable woman like a successful gambler? Because she has such winning ways.
When does a lady think her husband a Hercules? When he can’t get on without his “club!”
A member of the Travelers’ wants to know what dish he must have ordered for dinner to be like one journeying to Tangier? We say he must be going to Africa see (’ave fricassee).
Why is a girl like an arrow? Because she is sure to be in a quiver till her beau comes, and can’t go off without one.
What letter in the Dutch alphabet will name an English lady of title? A Dutch—S.
When is a secret like a paint-brush? When it’s in violet (inviolate).
Why is green grass like a mouse? Because the cattle eat it (cat’ll eat it).
Why is tea more generally drunk now than a year or two back? Because, having got rid of the garroters, we are less accustomed to choke-o’-late (chocolate).
When is a superb woman like bread? When given as a toast.

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!


Why is it impossible for a swell who lisps to believe in the existence of young ladies? Because he calls every Miss a Myth.
Why is the isthmus of Suez like the first u in “cucumber?” Because it’s between two seas.
What Christian name, besides Anna, reads the same both ways? Hannah.
When is a cigar like a shoulder of pork? When it is smoked.
A Fiddle D.D.—A doctor of divinity who plays the violin.
Why is a whisper like a forged $5 note? Because it’s uttered—but not aloud (allowed).
What river is ever without a beginning and ending? S-ever-n.
Which is the coldest river? The Ice is (Isis).
When a boy falls into the water, what is the first thing he does? He gets wet!
When can an Irish servant answer two questions at the same time? When asked, “What o’clock, and where’s the cold chicken?” if she replies, “Sure it’s ate!”
Who was the first man condemned to hard labor for life? Adam.
What, oh! what is a kiss? A receipt given you by a lady on paying your addresses.
What herb is most injurious to a lady’s beauty? Thyme.

When does a man have to keep his word? When no one will take it.
When is a wall like a fish? When it is scaled.
Why are hogs more intelligent than humans? Because they nose (knows) everything.
Why is the French cook at the Union Club like a man sitting on the top of a shot-tower? Because they are both in a high cool an’ airy (culinary) situation!
Why does a puss purr? For an obvious pur-puss.
Talking about colts (pistols, revolvers, etc.), how is it that guns can kick when they have no legs? Why, they kick with their breeches, of course.
What plant is fatal to mice? Cat-nip!
Who were your grandfather’s first cousin’s sister’s son’s brother’s forefathers? Why, his aunt’s sisters, of course (ancestors).
What fashionable game do frogs play at—besides leap-frog? Croaky!
When are kisses sweetest? When sirup-titiously obtained.
Who was the first whistler, and what tune did he whistle? The wind—“Over the hills and far away!”
Why is a youth encouraging a mustache like a cow’s tail? Because he grows down.
What contains more feet in winter than in summer? A skating-rink.
When may you be said to literally “drink in” music? When you have a piano for tea.
If you were invited to an assembly, what single word would call the musicians to their posts, and at the same time tell you the hour to begin dancing? At ten dance (attendance).
What word is there of eight letters which has five of them the same? Oroonoko.
What is the difference between homicide and pig-sticking? One is assault with intent to kill, the other a kill with intent to salt.
Why do rusty iron spikes on a wall remind you of ice? Because they are so often called a “shiver de freeze.”
Why is a room full of married folks like a room empty? Because there is not a single person in it.
What is that which makes everything visible, but is itself unseen? Light.

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.


Why does the lightning turn milk sour? Because it doesn’t know how to conduct itself.

Why was Eve made? For Adam’s Express Company.
What are the most disagreeable articles for a man to keep on hand? Hand-cuffs.
Which one of the Seven Wonders of the World are locomotive engines like? The coal-horses of roads (Colossus of Rhodes).
Why is a judge’s nose like the middle of the earth? Because it’s the center of gravity.
Do you know what the oldest piece of furniture in the world is? The multiplication-table!
An old maid’s laugh—he! he! he!
Why is a pretty girl’s pleased-merry-bright-laughing eye no better than an eye destroyed? Because it’s an-eye-elated.
What is the first thing you do when you get into bed? You make an impression.
What’s the difference between a professional piano-forte player and one that hears him? One plays for his pay, the other pays for his play.
What makes a pet dog wag his tail when he sees his master? Because he’s got one to wag.
What stone should have been placed at the gate of Eden after the expulsion? Adam ain’t in! (adamantine.)

My number, definite and known,
Is ten times ten, told ten times o’er;
Though half of me is one alone,
And half exceeds all count and score.


At what time was Adam married? Upon his wedding Eve.
Why are cats like unskillful surgeons? Because they mew-till-late and destroy patients.
What is the proper length for ladies’ crinoline? A little above two feet.
What makes more noise than a pig in a sty? Two pigs!
Why is a hog in a parlor like a house on fire? Because they both want puttin’ out.
Why is our meerschaum like a water-color artist? Because it draws and colors beautifully!
What three figures, multiplied by 4, will make precisely 5? 1 1-4, or 1.25.
Why is a dirty man like flannel? Because he shrinks from washing!
Why is a magnificent house like a book of anecdotes? It has generally some good stories in it.
Do you know the soldier’s definition of a kiss? A report at head-quarters!
Why is flirting like plate-powder? Because it brightens the spoons!

The downward path—The one with a banana-skin on it.
Always happy to meat friends—Butchers.
A sweet thing in bric-a-brac—An Egyptian molasses-jug.
A sky-light—the sun.
Companions in arms—Twins.
A thing that no family should be without—A marriage certificate.
A faux pas—Her father.
A Jersey waste—Newark flats.
Called bonds—Marriage ties.
Invisible blew—The wind.
Bachelors haul—An heiress.

Faithful to beauty’s charms and grace,
The form of loveliness I trace;
But ev’ry blemish I detect,
And point out every defect.
Though long a fav’rite with the fair,
I sometimes fill them with despair.
But still I’m consulted ev’ry day
By the old and young—the sad, the gay;
All fly to me, so fam’d for truth,
Uninfluenced by age or youth;
For I neither flatter nor defame;
So now, I think, you’ll guess my name.

A looking-glass.

Why is a man for whom nothing is good enough like a hyena galloping? Because he’s a fast-hideous (fastidious) beast.
Why is riding fast up a steep ascent like a little dog’s female puppy suffering from the rheumatism? Because it is a gal-pup-ill (gall(o)p up (h)ill.
What is a dogma—not a dog ma—a dogma? An opinion laid down with a snarl.
Why is a turnpike like a dead dog’s tail? Because it stops a waggin.
Ah! but how did the sandwiches get there? Because Ham was sent there, and his followers mustard (mustered) and bre(a)d.
Why is the Hebrew persuasion the best of all persuasions? Because it is one that admits of no gammon.
What is the most ancient mention made of a banking transaction? When Pharaoh got a check on the Red Sea Bank, which was crossed by Moses.
Why are greenbacks like the Jews? Because they are the produce of Abraham.
What parts of what animals are like the spring and autumn gales? The equine hocks (equinox).

Two gamblers were sitting
Striving to cheat each other,
And, by a cunning trick, my last
Had raised a fearful bother.
The one who lost he looked my first,
But he who won assumed my whole,
Which little did the luckless one
Amid his bitter grief console.
Since both were rogues, we will not screen them—
There was not my second to choose between them.


Who was hung for not wearing a wig? Absalom.
Which eat most grass, black sheep or white? White, because there are more of them.
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.
What is the difference between a mother with a large family and a barber? One shaves with his razors, and the other raises her shavers.

My love for you will never know
My first, nor get my second:
’Tis like your wit and beauty, so
My whole ’twill aye be reckoned.


When does a gourmand find it impossible to bridle—we ought, perhaps, to say curb—his appetite? When he wants a bit in his mouth out of a saddle of mutton.

May my first never be lost in my second,
To prevent me enjoying my whole.


Why do sailors working in brigs make bad servants? Because it is impossible for a man to serve two mast-ers well!
Why is a note of hand like a rosebud? Because it is matured by falling due (dew).
Why are plagiarists like Long Branch hotel-keepers with newly-married couples? Because they are accustomed to seaside dears (seize ideas), and to make the most out of them that is possible!

Cut off my head, and singular I am;
Cut off my tail, and plural I appear;
Cut off both head and tail, and, wondrous fact,
Although my middle’s left, there’s nothing there.
What is my head?—a sounding sea;
What is my tail?—a flowing river;
In ocean’s greatest depths I fearless play,
Parent of sweetest sounds though mute forever.


Why is a dog’s tail a great novelty? Because no one ever saw it before.
Why does a nobleman’s title sometimes become extinct? Because, though the Queen can make a man appear (a peer), she can’t make him apparent (a parent).
Why is the Prince of Wales, musing on his mother’s government, like a rainbow? Because it’s the son’s (sun’s) reflection on a steady reign (rain)!
Why was Louis Phillippe like a very wet day? Because he rained (reigned) as long as he could, and then—mizzled!
When Louis Phillippe was deposed, why did he lose less than any of his subjects? Because, whilst he only lost a crown, they lost a sovereign.
Why is the final letter in Europe like a Parisian riot? Because it’s an E-mute.
What was once the most fashionable cap in Paris? The mob—without a crown.

Without my first no man nor beast could live.
It was my second who my first did give;
And now vain man assumes my second’s name,
And to my first makes his resistless claim.
Oh, luckless they who feel the harsh control,
When cold and heartless proves my grasping whole.


Why are ballet-women so wicked? Because they are never content until they execute their pas.
Give a good definition for cant? Spirits of whine!
In what respect do modern customs differ materially from ancient ones? Formerly they were hewers of wood and drawers of water; now we have drawers of wood and ewers of water!
Why does a man who has been all his life a hewer of wood, that is, a wood-cutter, never come home to dinner? Because he’s not only bre(a)d there, but he’s always a chop(p)in’ the wood!
Why should the poet have expected the woodman to “spare that tree?” Because he thought he was a good feller!
What did Jack Frost say when he kissed the violet? Wilt thou? And it wilted.
What trees has fire no effect upon? Ashes, as, when burned, they’re ashes still.
If a tree were to break a window, what would the window say? Tre-mend-us!
And when is a charade like a fir-tree? When you get a deal bored (board) from its length!
What did the rose say to the sun? Blow me!
Ah! but what did the sun say to the rose? You be blowed!

What musical instrument invites you to fish? Cast-a-nets!
Why is the Ohio river like a drunken man? Because it takes in too much Monongahela at Pittsburgh, runs past Wheeling, gets a Licking opposite Cincinnati, and falls below Louisville.
When is the Hudson river good for the eyes? When it’s eye (high) water.

My first she was a serving-maid—
She went to fetch some tea;
How much she brought my second tells,
As plainly as can be.

Now when you have the answer found,
Name it to others too;
My whole is just the very thing,
In telling them, you’ll do.


Which are the lightest men—Scotchmen, Irishmen, or Englishmen? In Ireland there are men of Cork; in Scotland men of Ayr; but in England, on the Thames, they have lighter-men.
What Islands would form a cheerful luncheon party? Friendly Society, a Sandwich, and Madeira.
Tell us the best way to make the hours go fast? Use the spur of the moment!
And, per contra, when does a man sit down to a melancholy—we had nearly said melon-cholic—dessert? When he sits down to whine and to pine.
Where is it that all women are equally beautiful? A sly friend promptly replies, “Why, in the dark, of course.”
Why do girls like looking at the moon? Because there’s a man in it.
Why are stars the best astronomers? Because they have studded (studied) the heavens since the creation.
Why are stars like an old barn? Because there are r, a, t, s, in both.
What is that which, supposing its greatest breadth to be four inches, length nine inches, and depth three inches, contains a solid foot? A shoe.
What pomatum do you imagine a woman with very pretty feet uses for her hair? Neet-foot-oil.
Why is wit like a Chinese lady’s foot? Because brevity is the soul (sole) of it.
Why is the letter S like a pert repartee? Because it begins and ends in sauciness.
If a gentleman asked his lady-love to take one kind of wine, while he drank another, what two countries would he name? Port

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How to Solve Conundrums / Containing All the Leading Conundrums of the Day, Amusing Riddles, Curious Catches, and Witty Sayings
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