Riddle – California


“There was a man in a solid cement cell with no windows or doors and a cement ceiling.  He only had himself and a loaf of bread.  How does he get out of the cell?”


“He begins by ripping the loaf of bread in half. Two halves make a HOLE.  He climbed through the hole, and yelled ‘till his voice got HORSE. And then rode on the horse away to safety.”

Jen said that she heard this story in third grade from a good friend, who had heard it from her father.  Jen’s friend shared it to her on a hike to the beach with her family.  She is not aware of the origins of the riddle.  She learned the riddle in Greenbrae, CA.  This riddle is a play on words; specifically “whole” and “hole,” and “hoarse” and “horse.”

As a child, I recall hearing multiple versions of the same riddle, and although I do not remember the exact wording that I was told, I assume that there are many versions, as anything that you can split in half could be used in place of the “loaf of bread.”  I think that this play on words is a fairly common type of joking riddle, and appeals especially to kids, as it can be employed to stump an adult by using a play on words, and bending the distinction between homophones (words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings and spelling).  I have also heard similar riddles that state that you have a mirror instead of a loaf of bread.  You look into the mirror, you see what you saw, you saw something in half, and two halves make a whole, you crawl out the hole and reach safety.  While this type of riddle is fairy common, there was not much information about it on the Internet.