Riddles ask that you solve a seemingly impossible situation created through semantics, the willful manipulation of your preconceptions or both. You can best solve riddles by asking as many simple questions as possible and thinking in lateral, unusual ways.
Many riddles are based off of love and romance. A number of these explicitly end with the word "love," while others require more advanced word play.
One of the most difficult riddles is "What has four fingers and a thumb, but is not living?" This riddle is difficult because answerers usually focus on the living part and do not see the relatively simple answer.
Riddles are essentially word puzzles that use metaphors to describe something very specific. Riddles can also be jokes that are plays on words. These usually take the form of question and answer, for example, "Why was the picture sent to jail?" The answer is that it was framed.
One well-known riddle in Western literature is that of the sphinx: "What moves forward on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three legs at night?" The answer is man, who crawls in infancy, walks as an adult and uses a cane in old age.
"Who am I" riddles are guessing games in which the person guessing must identify the person or animal described. When the subject is a person, sometimes it is a famous person in history, someone from pop culture or just a person known to everyone who plays.
Some riddles about love include: "What makes grown men cry, but humanity would go extinct without it?" and "What causes a sudden increase in heart rate, a loss of memory and overall brain function, but is not a drug?" The answer to both is "love".
What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?" is an example of a tricky riddle that plays on contradiction. The answer is "a towel."
While the answer to a riddle can simply be called an answer, the term "solution" is also applicable. Either term is usually acceptable, although the type of riddle helps delineate which word is best for the riddle in question.
Riddles for children should challenge their thinking without being too frustrating, such as the following: "What has a face and hands but no arms or legs?" The answer is a clock, which has a "face" with numbers and "hands" that indicate time.