Three Friends Are Locked in Cages: Can You Solve This Nail-Biting Survival Riddle?

May 14, 2020 Updated: May 18, 2020

Are you ready for a riddle? We have a humdinger for you, and it’s already going viral for its widespread appeal.

Take a break from whatever you’re doing to challenge your brain and replenish your creative impulses. Three imprisoned friends are counting on your help!

The Riddle

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

Three friends are locked in separate cages on a tiny island in the middle of a lake. From left to right, we’ll call them Paul, Richard, and Harriet.

Paul’s cage has an impenetrable ice block resting on top of it. Richard’s cage is topped with boiling water, and Harriet’s is secured shut with a heavy metal lock. The key to Harriet’s lock is inside Paul’s cage. There’s a rowboat on the lake surrounding the three cages but the water is deep and choppy; only Harriet is a proficient swimmer. It’s a sticky situation and survival is at stake. How will the three friends escape?

Are you up for the challenge? Put 60 seconds on the clock and ponder your answer. Whether you manage to save the imprisoned friends or not, we’ve posted the answer further down the page (but no peeking!).

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

To aid you in your fervent search for a solution, here are four tips. To get really, really good at solving riddles, remember these four top points:

1. Don’t make assumptions (double-check all the minor details)
2. Be aware of misdirection (if it seems too obvious, it probably is)
3. Think outside the box
4. If in doubt, take a break and come back to the riddle with fresh eyes!

By now, either you’ve succeeded in your hunt for the answer to this riddle or you remain unsure. It’s tricky! Regardless, the wait is over. Let’s reveal the most workable solution for freeing Paul, Richard, and Harriet from their watery prisons on the surface of the lake.

The Solution

Did you apply some basic science stuff here? Firstly, if you observe the pictures you’ll notice that the three friends are imprisoned in broad daylight, and owing to their clothing, it’s not a cold day. Therefore, it stands to reason that the ice over Paul’s cage will soon melt.

When the ice melts, Paul can escape through the hatch on top of his cage, taking the key with him.

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

Next, did you observe the steam billowing from the boiling water above Richard’s cage? Much like the disappearance of Paul’s block of ice, Richard’s boiling water will evaporate in no time. Richard can then escape through the hatch on top of his cage, joining Paul.

Only Harriet remains imprisoned. Remember, however, that Paul holds the key to Harriet’s heavy metal lock! The two men can unlock their friend’s cage, and the three emancipated prisoners can now observe their route to freedom.

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

But how will they reach the boat?

That’s where Harriet’s swimming skills come in. Harriet can dive expertly into the lake, navigating the currents with confidence, and reach the rowboat before rowing back to the island to retrieve her friends.

Epoch Times Photo
(The Epoch Times)

Paul, Richard, and Harriet can now row themselves to freedom.

Such tricky-looking riddles are often based on simple common sense knowledge. The plot is smartly crafted in a way to maintain the confusion and elongate the attention-grabbing span. The best way out to solve such smartly devised riddles is to take a step back, pause, go back to the basics … and observe. Mystery solved!

Well, how did you fare? Did you solve the riddle yourself? Be sure to share the riddle with your loved ones. See who has the wildest imagination!