A box without hinges, key or lid—yet golden treasure inside is hid.
What’s the answer?
Unlike this riddle, they’re all in (you guessed it) Spanish.
Riddles are challenging enough in English. Take a riddle and put it into Spanish and it’s even harder. You’re now battling a brainteaser in a language that isn’t your native language.
But trust me—you can do it!
Problem solving in Spanish will boost your overall critical thinking when it comes to language. It’ll teach your brain to be flexible and draw creative connections between Spanish words. All of this hard brainwork will make Spanish words stick in your mind’s long-term storage like bubblegum.
Soon you’ll be able to impress all of your friends with these fun brain teasers.
So that I don’t spoil the riddles, all of the answers are at the bottom of the page. How many can you solve without looking?
10 Delicious Spanish Riddles to Tease and Train Your Brain
Riddles can make for tricky brain teasers in any language.
You have to think outside the box, read between the lines and go past the literal meaning of the riddle.
Let’s take the egg example from above. Obviously an egg isn’t a box, but when it’s cracked it kind of looks like a box with the lid open. Like a box, it holds something within it.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to throw you to the wolves with a bunch of terrifying Spanish riddles that’ll run around your brain as you lay awake in your bed at night. I’ll translate each riddle into English (which may or may not really help) and I’ll give you a helpful hint on how to solve each riddle as well.
Ready? Let’s do this!
Negra por dentro, (black on the inside,)
negra por fuera, (black on the outside,)
es mi corazón (my heart is)
negra madera. (black wood.)
This is a great starter riddle because it translates pretty seamlessly into English. Remember, we’re talking about food here.
Dissect this riddle line by line. All of the answers are at the bottom, but don’t you dare peek yet! You can solve this one. Write down your guess and check with my answers once you’ve finished all of the riddles.
Ave me llaman a veces (Sometimes they call me bird)
y es llana mi condición. (and it’s obvious why.)
In this case, English didn’t help us much at all. Take a look at this riddle really closely. Do you see how the ll is repeated multiple times? That’s a clue that your answer has an ll in it.
Now, since this riddle is about food, not birds, you can also assume that ave is a clue too. I won’t help you anymore or I’ll ruin the fun on this one.
Tengo algo en mi mano. (I have something in my hand.)
Oro no es. (It isn’t gold.)
Plata no es. (It isn’t silver.)
¿Qué es? (What is it?)
Spoiler alert, it isn’t bronze. The answer is in the riddle.
In Spanish, there are a lot of words that look alike and sound alike but have completely different meanings. The answer is literally written in the riddle. Start combining and pulling apart words to see if it makes another word in Spanish.
Una cajita chiquita, (A little box,)
blanca como la cal: (as white as plaster:)
todos la saben abrir, (everyone knows how to open it,)
nadie la sabe cerrar. (no one knows how to close it.)
I’m not going to give you any clues on this one. I mean, I’ve actually already give you a clue about it if you were paying close attention. Unlike some of the others, the answer isn’t written in the riddle. Think outside the box, pun definitely intended.
Fríos, muy fríos estamos (Cold, we’re very cold)
y con nuestros sabores (and with our flavors)
a los niños animamos. (we excite the children.)
Like riddle #4, there’s no real key to cracking this one. Just take a look at the hints and read it over in English. This is a great example of a riddle that works in multiple languages because it doesn’t depend on specific grammatical or vernacular clue.
Cuanto más caliente, (The hotter it is,)
más fresco y crujiente. (the fresher and crunchier it is.)
This is a great example of a word with double meaning. Fresco in Spanish can mean “fresh” or “crisp.” In this case, crisp usually refers to the weather (the crisp air).
Fresco is usually used to describe if the air is a little brisk or cooler. So, in Spanish, this riddle is playing on the juxtaposition between caliente (hot) and fresco (crisp). But that’s where the hint lies.
Blanca por dentro, (White on the inside,)
verde por fuera. (green on the outside.)
Si quieres que te lo diga, (If you want, I’ll tell you what it is,)
This riddle may seem like it’s missing something since it tells you to wait at the end, but it isn’t. Everything you need is right in front of you.
Like riddle #3, try playing around with the different words. Really dig deep, this one is sneaky. Once you find it, if you’re like me, you’ll feel very victorious and clever. This is a great one to tell native speakers, it’s just that sneaky!
La mujer del quesero, (The wife of the cheesemaker,)
¿qué será? (Who is she?)
This may be my favorite riddle because there are a few ways to solve it. The first hint is this: remember that genders are different in Spanish.
The second hint is the one I keep repeating: put words together and pull words apart. I also really happen to like the subject of this particular riddle (cheesemakers), so maybe that’s why it’s my favorite.
No toma té, ni toma café, (It doesn’t drink tea, nor coffee,)
y está colorado, (and it’s colored,)
dime: ¿quién es? (tell me: who is it?)
This riddle almost doubles as a tongue twister with all of the T noises in that first line. As a matter of fact, why don’t you read it aloud like a tongue twister? Read it as fast as you can. Faster. Faster. Do you hear the answer now?
Tengo cabeza redonda, (I have a round head,)
sin nariz, ojos ni frente, (without a nose, eyes or forehead,)
y mi cuerpo se compone (and my body is made)
tan sólo de blancos dientes. (only of white teeth.)
This is another riddle that works well in English and Spanish. You can make your friends scratch their heads in two languages with this one. What’s a fruit made completely of white teeth? That sounds dangerous to me.
It helps to know that diente in Spanish typically refers to one small unit of the mysterious “fruit” in question.
Your Spanish Riddle Answers
- Aceituna (Olive)
- Avellana (Hazelnut)
- Plátano (Plantain/Banana)
- Huevo (Egg)
- Helado (Ice Cream)
- Pan (Bread)
- Pera (Pear)
- Quesera (Cheese dish or cheesemaker)
- Tomate (Tomato)
- Ajo (Garlic)
The Long and the Short of Learning with Spanish Riddles
I’m not very good at riddles, but I think they’re so much fun. They’re extra amazing because they’ll help you improve your Spanish while you enjoy yourself and exercise your brain.
Now that you’ve looked at the answers, let’s talk about how we got to some of the answers.
2. Avellana — The riddle uses the words “ave” and “llana” which are the two words found embedded within avellana.
3. Plátano — Plantains have nothing to do with gold or silver. But when you combine the words “plata” and “no” you get to plantain. Who would’ve thought?
7. Pera — Espera, as I mentioned above, means “wait.” But es pera means “it is a pear.” Told you this one was sneaky.
8. Quesera — The wife of the quesero naturally would be a quesera. The other way to solve this riddle is like the pear riddle. Qué será means “what is it?” (or in this context, “who is she?”) but it’s also your answer when smashed together as quesera.
9. Tomate — Like the others, you reach this answer by throwing two words together. Toma té, when smushed into one word, leads you to tomate.
10. Ajo — In Spanish, dientes de ajo (literally, “garlic teeth”) is the way to say “cloves of garlic.”
Now you have a better understanding of how Spanish riddles are often put together. Go out searching for other riddles and their answers.
Keep your brain hard at work (and play), and your Spanish will improve faster than ever before!
And One More Thing…
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FluentU has a wide variety of videos—topics like soccer, TV shows, business, movies and even magical realism, as you can see here:
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