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Illustration: Axios Visuals

I asked Axios Pro Rata newsletter readers on Wednesday to submit riddles from their kids, as so many of us try to balance working from home with childcare/makeshift school amid the coronavirus outbreak.

My 9 year-old kicked it off: A cowboy rode to town on Friday. He stayed for three days. He rode back home on Friday. How did he do it?

  • Answer: The horse's name was Friday.
Riddles

1. What is the size of an elephant, but weighs nothing?

2. You’re trapped in a room with no doors and no windows. Inside, there are two pumas, a jaguar, and a lion. You have a pistol with one bullet. How do you get out?

3. You’re in a room with two doors. One has roaring flames, and the other has a glass tube that magnifies the sun with so much intensity it could fry you. There is a small hole 12 inches wide in the ceiling. How do you get out?

4. Whether I add or subtract, I always shrink. What am I? 

5. Imagine you’re in a room with no exits. How do you get out?

6. You walk into a room. There's a bunny eating a carrot, a pig eating slop, and a cow munching on grass. What's the smartest animal?

7. How do you spell mousetrap with three letters?

8. What is something that you throw away when you need it and bring back when you don't?

9. The more you take, the more you leave behind.  What am I?

10. There was an old man who had three sons. Each wanted to prove they should be king after their father died. The father gave each son a coin to buy something to fill up the whole room. The first son bought hay, but that only filled one corner of the room. The next son bought sticks, but that only filled up half of the room. What did the last son buy to fill up the whole room?

11. What stays in place but travels around the world?

12. What is tall when it's young and short when it's old?

13. What has a head and a tail but no body?

14. What's orange and sounds like a parrot?

15. (for older kids) Name something that the buyer doesn’t want it, the maker doesn’t use it, and the user doesn’t see it.

Answer Key

1. An elephant’s shadow

2. You put on the Pumas (the shoes, get it?) jump in the Jaguar (the car), shoot the lion with your pistol, and smash the wall with the car.

3. Wait till it’s night (you can tell through the hole in the ceiling) and go through the glass tube.

4. A pencil.

5. You stop imagining

6. You

7. C-A-T! 

8. An anchor.

9. Footsteps

10. A candle, which filled the room with light.

11. A stamp.

12. A candle.

13. A quarter.

14. A carrot.

15. A coffin.

Related: Pro Rata's got kid jokes

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”