Albacore Riddle


Albacore Riddle

Personal Background:

Lillian Tran is a 19 year old student at the University of California, Irvine studying journalism. She has grown up in a one hundred percent Vietnamese family, and is very proud of many traditions her family has.


There is one riddle she loves to tell since it is very difficult.

“A man who took a bite of an albacore sandwich, and then he started to cry. Why did he do that?”

The way this type of riddle works that the people who are answering it can only ask yes or no questions to the person who asked it. Through a series of questions, it turns out that the man is blind, and at one time, he was on a desert island with his friend and his wife. His friend had told him his wife had died and that they should eat the albacore they had. The man is crying because the albacore sandwich he is eating does not taste like the albacore he ate on island, meaning that he was not eating the albacore, but he was eating his wife, and he could not tell since he was blind.

Lillian first heard this riddle on Thanksgiving with her family. She had to sit at the kid’s table since she was younger. To pass the time, her cousins started telling her riddles. It scared her more than anything. She was afraid something like this could actually happen to her. It has made her afraid of albacore sandwiches ever since.


Riddles tend to not be very popular in the United States, and tend to be seen more for children. They really play on the power of words, and can have different meaning for different people. This is known as a “true riddle” since there are enough clues asked throughout that the person should be able to answer.

To me, this riddle is a way to stay connected with her family and to have a good time with her friends. It is a fun party trick to be able to come up with this riddle, and it can bring a conversation to the room. It is a way to get people in a room to converse when things get tense because everyone has to agree on questions to ask. Riddles are a fun way to play brain games and come up with games for everyone.