There’s nothing better to get your brain into gear than a good riddle but what’s the answer to the ‘My son was playing with a book’ riddle?

Thanks to the world being on lockdown, we’ve all had to spend more time at home than we’re used to.

As a result, many of us are having to find new ways of keeping ourselves entertained to stave off the boredom of staying indoors all day.

For many, Netflix and Disney+ have provided the answer but if you’re searching for something a little more engaging, riddles have proven to be a popular distraction and have flooded social media in recent days.

One of the most popular has been the ‘My son was playing with a book riddle’ but what’s the answer to this beguiling brain-teaser? 

My son was playing with a book riddle

The ‘My son was playing with a book’ riddle is as follows: 

My son was playing with a book and tore out the pages 7, 8, 100, 101, 222 and 223.

How many sheets did he tear out?

Answer: My son was playing with a book

At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the boy ripped out six sheets of paper, right?

  • Wrong! There are actually two possible answers (four and five) and neither of them is six.

The answer lies in the page numbers.

When you rip out a sheet from a book, you’re tearing out a numbered page on each side of the piece of paper. 

Given that there are six numbers, you might also think that three pages were ripped out.

However, the actual numbers of the pages don’t quite add up. As the first sheet torn has the numbers 7-8, it’s not possible that the next two sheets are 100-101 and 222-223 as the numbers go from odd-to-even to even-to-odd.

Essentially, with the numbers we have, we’re missing the key info needed to get the exact right answer.

We can either get four as an answer with the pages 6-7, 8-9, 100-101 and 222-223.

Or we can get five as the answer with the pages 7-8, 99-100, 101-102, 221-222 and 223-224.

Try out another riddle

If you’re looking for more tricky teasers like this one, we’ve got guides on several wanting just for you.

See if any of these take your fancy:

In other news, Italy's Måneskin becomes Eurovision 2021 winner: Here are the members behind the band!