As can be seen, most of the puzzles on this site can be read or written and still make the same sense. I have occasionally seen a question (for example, this one) where it was necessary for it to be written down, and which would not have made sense read aloud.

However, as all of these puzzles are to be typed here, this seems to rule out the possibility of the puzzles/riddles which need to be said aloud (and rely on some pun with the words).

Are we allowed to post puzzles which need to be read aloud? (And then it would be necessary to tag this/make it explicitly clear that the question needs to be read aloud, and some of the spellings, etc in the question might not be quite correct).

Or is there a better way around this problem?

A simple example of a question like this would be:

There are forty cups on the table. I knock one off. How many cups are left?

The answer is not necessarily thirty nine as this riddle can also sound like:

There are four tea cups on the table. I knock one off. How many cups are left?

  • $\begingroup$ Related. $\endgroup$
    – f''
    Mar 27, 2016 at 4:30

1 Answer 1


You can ask them. You just have to be a little creative. In your example you could say: "My friend asked me a riddle. He said if there were forty cups on the table and he knocked one off then how many cups are left? Thirty-nine isn't the right answer. How is that possible?"

This way, you are being fair. You are reporting what you "heard" and are thus justified in using the misleading spelling. I would consider it unfair to simply write "forty cups" and expect the reader to assume that you didn't mean what you wrote, just something that sounds like what you wrote.


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