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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

Biden gets mixed grades on revolving door

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden is getting mixed marks for his reliance on industry insiders to staff his administration during its first 100 days.

Why it matters: Progressives have leaned on the new president to limit the revolving door between industry and government. A new report from the Revolving Door Project praises him on that front but highlights key hires it deems ethically questionable.

Exclusive: Sen. Coons sees new era of bipartisanship on China

Sen. Chris Coons. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 insurrection was a "shock to the system," propelling members of Congress toward the goal of shoring up America's ability to compete with China, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told Axios during an interview Thursday.

Why it matters: Competition between China's authoritarian model and the West's liberal democratic one is likely to define the 21st century. A bipartisan response would help the U.S. present a united front.

By the numbers: States weighing voting changes

Data: Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law; Cartogram: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Georgia is not alone in passing a law adding voting restrictions, but other states are seeing a surge in provisions and proposals that would expand access to the polls, according to data from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Driving the news: Just Wednesday, the New York State Assembly passed a bill to restore voting rights to convicted felons who have been released from prison.