An Annotated Compendium of Stumpers

23 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2020

Date Written: July 27, 2020

Abstract

A stumper is a riddle the solution to which is typically so elusive that it does not come to mind, at least initially - leaving the responder stumped. I consider two kinds of stumpers. Regular ones, which work by eliciting a (typically visual) representation of the situation described in the narrative, which then blocks the solution; and linguistic ones, which work by eliciting a linguistic interpretation of the words in the narrative, which then blocks the solution. I have collected all the riddles I know of at this time that qualify, in my opinion, as stumpers. I have invented a few, and tested many. Whenever rates of correct solutions were available, they are included, giving a rough proxy for difficulty.

Suggested Citation

Bar-Hillel, Maya, An Annotated Compendium of Stumpers (July 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3661310 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3661310

Maya Bar-Hillel (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Safra Campus
Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904
Israel

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