Taffy’s Teasers
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By Taffy Thomas, MBEstoryteller

Riddles have been part of the oral tradition for centuries. Here, Taffy Thomas explains their enduring appeal and launches a new series of brain-teasing online riddles for you to solve


Riddles have long been a vibrant part of the surviving oral tradition of the British Isles. This is probably because of the sheer challenge of tackling a puzzle presented to you by a loved one. Ideally, three friends are necessary for a riddle to function. Firstly there is the riddler, who has the knowledge; secondly there is the wise listener, who can either solve the riddle or wishes to know the answer. However, for maximum comedy impact (and the oral tradition is a social art) a third person, who fails to solve the riddle, is required.

A touch of teasing

Riddles include a rich element of teasing (thankfully non-malicious): even as a boy growing up in the 1950s in a semi with no television, I recall my father teasing me that if I was to make my way in the world, I had to know how many beans make five. The answer of course is:

A bean and a half
And a half bean
A Bean and a quarter
and a quarter bean
A half a bean
And a whole bean
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  1. Malaika
    on 1 March 2013

    Riddle of the week!

    I enjoyed Taffy coming to St Silas Primary School blackburn and here is the riddle of the week from Taffy Thomas. What has lived for a million years but hasn't even been a month?

    answer: The moon because as taffy said every month someone eats the cheese from the moon and we get all cresent's!

    5out of 5
  2. Jeanette Heskett
    on 16 February 2010


    Lots of starting points for lesson planning and proposed storytelling club.

    5out of 5