conundrum

The tricky word conundrum is used to describe a riddle or puzzle, sometimes including a play on words or pun.

One of the most famous conundrums is the riddle of the Sphinx, famously in the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles. Oedipus encounters the Sphinx, a mythical beast, who asks him, "What walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three in the evening?" The answer is "A person": crawling as a child, walking as an adult, and using a cane in old age. The scary thing is that if the Sphinx asked you the riddle and you didn't know, she'd eat you!

Definitions of conundrum
  1. noun
    a difficult problem
    synonyms: brain-teaser, enigma, riddle
    see moresee less
    type of:
    problem
    a question raised for consideration or solution
Word Family
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