Last week, we published a transcript of one of Walter Benjamin’s radio broadcasts for children from 1932. It had thirty brainteasers in it. Here are the answers:

- His equal.
- If the barber were serious about his offer, he wouldn’t have made a permanent sign out of enamel, because “tomorrow,” when shaves are free, will never come.
- The two rings are of equal width.
- The pendulum passes through the middle twenty times.
- The man was born on February 29.
- Calculate: 999+1=1,000; 998+2=1,000; 997+3=1,000; there are 500 such pairs. Then all that’s left is 1,000 at the high end, and 0 at the low end; so adding 1,000 to 500,000 gives a total of 501,000. Using the same method, the numbers from 1 to 10 add up to 60. [
*Benjamin has made a mistake here. There are only 499 number pairs adding up to 1,000, giving a subtotal of 499,000. Adding the two remaining numbers, 1,000 and 500, gives a correct total of 500,500. Correspondingly, the sum of the numbers between 1 and 10 is 55. Benjamin’s mistake was corrected in a later broadcast.*] - Three colors are needed: one for the country in the middle, one for the two countries above and below the one in the middle, and a third color for the two countries to the left and the right of the one in the middle.
- Hay.
- 99 9/9.
- B.
- The flower that was not there overnight is the one with no dew on it.
- The bookworm needs only a moment to get from the first page of the first book to the last page of the second, because in a properly arranged library, the first page of the first book is right up against the last page of the second.
- Inserting the letters “du” into the middle of the German word for “money” [Geld] spells the German word for “patience” [Geduld]. 14. The first piece of cake, which he did not pay for, does not belong to him, so he should neither eat it nor exchange it for the second piece.
- His equal.

And here’s the list of fifteen mistakes:

- Heinz realizes that summer daylight saving has just begun and sets his watch back one hour. He should set it one hour forward.
- If the barbershop is just around the corner and it would take him as long as three minutes to get there, it would be impossible for him to see it.
- If Heinz is cut on his right side, the wound will be on the left side of his reflection.
- Nineteen marks cannot be disbursed in five-mark notes.
- Five groschen and twenty five-pfennig coins equals 1.50 marks. Heinz should have received only ninety pfennig in addition to the nineteen marks, because he gave the barber twenty marks for a shave that cost ten pfennig. [
*There were ten pfennig in one groschen, and 100 pfennig in one mark.*] - If the barber, the pharmacist’s twin brother, is a young man, then the pharmacist cannot be an old man.
- A window cannot be closed from the outside.
- Even if he is dead, a man has only one skull, not two.
- One could not yet take photographs in the time of Frederick the Great.
- A bladeless knife missing its handle is simply not there.
- Someone with a corner seat cannot have neighbors to the right and the left.
- If Anton’s housekeeper is deaf and alone in the apartment, she wouldn’t know to open the door after Heinz rings the bell.
- If someone lives on the sixth floor, a two-story building cannot block his view and he cannot see the faces of passersby.
- If the train station clock reads 14:00, it’s 2 pm, not 4 pm.
- The crescent of a waxing moon looks like the start of a German uppercase “A,” not “Z.”

Did you get all of them? Good on you! Pat yourself on the back—you’ve successfully passed a test designed for the German children of the 1930s!

*These riddles appears in *Radio Benjamin*, available now. Reprinted* *with the permission of Verso Books.*