13 Sherlock Holmes Riddles That Will Test How Bright You Are

Only 1/3 of murders that happen in the U.S. are solved and recent data shows that crimes are less likely to be cleared in the U.K. It looks like the world needs a master of observation, logical reasoning, and intuition: a Sherlock Holmes 2.0. Care to give it a try?

We have put together 13 short riddles to put your brain to the test so that you can try to prove that you could become Sherlock Holmes 2.0. And to avoid cheating: You’ll find all the answers at the end of the article!

1. Bad Intentions

 A woman invited her friend home for dinner. She made a meal of mashed potatoes and roast beef. For dessert, she cut an apple in halves and offered her friend one half along with some whipped cream on the side, and put the rest of the cream in a separate bowl. She then ate her piece of the same apple.

The friend died of poisoning, but the host survived despite eating from the same apple. How is that possible?

2. Who’s lying?
 A man named Tom went hiking with his friend Chris on a Sunday after notifying his brother Dan. The next Saturday the police finds Tom dead in the woods. Dan said that he had been working all week. Chris was found wandering around the highway. He said that he got lost in the woods right after they arrived and just found his way home. Look at the picture and guess who’s lying.

3. Guess the name of the murderer
 A rich man that lived in a beautiful house on Baker Street, Mr. Ronald Green, has just been kidnapped and Sherlock Holmes has been appointed to the case. He finds a note at the crime scene written by Mr. Green. It read:

“First of January, Fourth of October, Fifth of March, Third of June.”

Sherlock knew that somehow, the killer’s name was hidden in the note. The suspects were as follows:

Jack Green, the son and the heir of the property
John Jacobson, an employee of Mr. Green
June Green, Green’s wife

Sherlock deduced the killer’s name in an instant. Can you?

4. Guess the victim and the murderer’s name
 There are 5 men. These are the clues you’ve got:

1. One of them shot and killed one of the other 5.
2. Dan ran in the New York City Marathon yesterday with one of the innocent men.
3. Mike considered being a farmer before he moved to the city.
4. Jeff is a top-notch computer consultant and wants to install Ben’s new computer next week.
5. The murderer had his leg amputated last month.
6. Ben met Jack for the first time 6 months ago.
7. Jack has been in seclusion since the crime.
8. Dan used to drink heavily.
9. Ben and Jeff built their last computers together.
10. The murderer is Jack’s brother. They grew up together in Seattle.

5. The name is written on the note
 One snowy night, Sherlock Holmes was in his house sitting by the fire. All of a sudden a snowball came crashing through his window and broke it. Holmes got up and looked out the window just in time to see 3 neighborhood kids who were brothers run around a corner. Their names were John Crimson, Mark Crimson, and Paul Crimson. The next day Holmes got a note that read: “? Crimson. He broke your window.”

Which of the 3 Crimson brothers should Sherlock Holmes question about the incident?

6. Think outside the box with this one
 A man was found dead in a field of snow. The only evidence that was left was a set of footprints between 2 parallel lines.

Who should the police be looking for?

7. There is no such thing as a perfect crime.
 A wealthy man lives alone in a small cottage. Because he was handicapped he had everything delivered to his cottage. The mailman was delivering a letter on Thursday when he noticed that the front door was ajar. Through the opening, he could see the man’s body lying in a pool of dried blood. On the porch were 2 bottles of milk, Monday’s newspaper, a catalog, flyers, and unopened mail. When Sherlock Holmes got to the cottage he told the police the killer was the mailman.

How did he know?

8. Tricky trip
 2 friends left for a climbing trip. But only one returned from the vacation and said that his friend slipped while climbing and died. Upon investigating, the police arrested him saying, “We received a call from your travel agent. We know you murdered your friend.”

The man did not inform anyone about the trip. Then how did they know it was a murder?

9. Everything will eventually come to light.
 A man named Evan called the police saying he had found his friend Liam murdered by the seashore. He said he had lent Liam his beach house for a week during the California summer and that he had just arrived from a month of work in chilly Argentina to join him, only to find him dead. When the police arrived they instantly realized he was lying. Look at the picture and guess why.

10. Not as obvious as it seems
 Let’s test your skills. You’re shown the picture of these 2 women. One of them had been living in poverty for the last 10 years and just killed a man to pay her big debt. Can you figure out which one of them did?

11. You may kiss the... bride?
 A man wakes up from a 2-day coma after a car accident with a case of amnesia. Suddenly, 2 women arrive at the hospital. One of them says she’s his wife and the other one says they have kids. Who’s lying?

12. How sharp are you?
 Sherlock Holmes 2.0 needs for his judgement to be sharp. Just by looking at the picture, and only using your sharp intuitive and intellectual skills, tell us: Which of these 2 families is poor?

13. Only for keen observers
 Sherlock Holmes would have noticed in less than a minute who the thief is in this picture. Sherlock Holmes 2.0 would need to be as observant as his master to be able to solve this riddle in the same amount of time. Can you?


1. The poison was in the whipped cream.
 2. Chris is lying, how can he be so well-shaven after being alone in the woods for a week?
 3. The kidnapper was John Jacobson.

Take these details into account:

  1. First of January means the first letter of the word January: J.
  2. Fourth of October means the fourth letter of the word October: O.
  3. The fifth of March means the fifth letter of the word March: H.
  4. Third of June means the third letter of the word June: N.

The name spelled out is John.

 4. Jeff killed Mike. How do we know?

  1. Jack is not the murderer, he is the brother of the murderer.
  2. Dan is not the murderer since he ran a marathon, and the murderer recently had his leg amputated.
  3. Ben is not the murderer. He just met Jack. Jack and the murderer grew up together.
  4. We know that Jeff is still alive because he wants to install Ben’s new computer next week.
  5. Mike didn’t grow up with Jack.

If Jack, Dan, Ben, and Jeff are still alive, then Mike is dead.

We can only deduce that Jeff must be the murderer.
 5. It was Mark. The note said “? Crimson,” which can be read as “Question Mark Crimson.”
 6. Someone in a wheelchair.
 7. The absence of Tuesday´s and Wednesday´s newspapers indicated that the mailman knew that the man was dead and therefore that no one would read them.
 8. The man had booked a roundtrip ticket for himself but only a one-way ticket for his friend.
 9. If it’s summer in California, it’s winter in Argentina. The man was sunburned, he wasn’t in Argentina, he was in California.
 10. A. People who have less disposable income tend to spend more on items that make them appear wealthier like high heels, eye-catching clothes (it’s a plus if the brand’s name can be read), and heavy makeup. They usually spend more than they earn, so a full fridge for just one girl should reveal the truth
 11. The woman in the red dress is lying. She’s not wearing a wedding ring.
 12. The family on the left is poor. A low-income family tends to gravitate toward food that is cheaper but more energy-dense, like pizza, ice cream, and cake. A wealthier family tends to choose more nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, protein, and fruit, though that doesn’t mean they can’t go for that occasional red velvet cake.
3. The woman in the yellow dress is the thief.

The hint reveals that the thief is not the boy. The toy shop does not sell small teddy bears like the small bear the mother has inside her purse, or the little bunny the man is carrying in a bag.

The store sells balls and the woman in the yellow dress has one of them inside her dress, making it look like she’s pregnant.

We didn’t expect the answer for riddle #2 How many did you solve? Tell us in the comments!

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