One of my favorite riddles dates back to the 18th century... but it is very much a "turtle riddle", designed to have an obvious wrong answer which, being slightly rude, distracts strongly from the correct answer.

The question is, will folks take offense ("think of the children!") or will they consider it "harmless at worst"?

I'll post the riddle in question here in spoiler markup; if you might be offended by something that appears to reference anatomy, please feel free to skip it and just say "don't."

"A strange thing hangs under a man's clothes. It is long and firm, pierced in front, and has a good fixed place. When a man lifts his garment, it is because he wishes to visit with the head of this dangling instrument the familiar hole which it has, when of equal length, has often filled before."

  • $\begingroup$ meta.stackexchange.com/questions/258126 $\endgroup$
    – manshu
    May 22, 2016 at 8:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's a zipper, right? $\endgroup$
    – user88
    May 23, 2016 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ Nope, but let's wait until I have it open for the public $\endgroup$
    – keshlam
    May 23, 2016 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ Quick websearch says zippers are 19th century, for what that's worth. $\endgroup$
    – keshlam
    May 24, 2016 at 5:19
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ I would just like to note my appreciation for keshlam's getting the words "until I have it open for the public" into a reply to a comment about zippers in the context of naughty-sounding riddles. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    May 24, 2016 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


It wouldn't be the first one on this site, e.g. Every man has one. I would recommend adding a disclaimer like the question in the link has ("please keep your mind out of the gutter"). You could also use the [trick] tag to show that the suggested answer is not the right one.

  • 11
    $\begingroup$ I agree with this. I don't think our goal should be to censor particular topics - on a site about poetry, it would be weird to render lewd poetry off-topic. On a site about puzzles, it would be weird to render lewd puzzles off-topic. So long as it's not literal pornography, and is well-marked, I doubt there'll be an issue. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    May 22, 2016 at 8:41

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