Riddle Robot asked about someone who we put on their back. The image is of a guy's back, while he sits on a stone wall.

Riddle: Turn us on our backs, and open up our stomachs. You will be the wisest of men, though at start a lummox.

Answer:

BOOKS

Explanation:

Once again, personification makes this riddle, like many others, difficult to understand, and therefore difficult to solve. Let us start by breaking the riddle down into simpler parts. Here is a list of requirements that we can extract from the words of the riddle:

  • they must have backs
  • they must have stomachs which we can open freely
  • they must make you wise
  • they can do this even if you start dumb (which is what being a lummox means)

Our Riddle Robot indicates that whatever we are talking about must exhibit all of the above. We should try to take the list of things above and generate another list of possible solutions based on one or more of those facts. Then we can run through each, compare them to every other requirement, and either rule them in or out based on how well they fit.

  • people have backs
  • waiting lines have backs
  • books have backs

People

Riddle Robot specifically used the word “us” in his conundrum. Immediately, for most people anyways, this makes us think that the riddle is about a person, or group of people, since we associate the word “us” with Humans. But Riddle Robot Eyezak is tricky in that way. He uses personification on a regular basis in order to throw you off, so that it is harder to find the appropriate answer. Let us explore the possibility of a person or group of people satisfying all the requirements.

They have backs, but they also have stomaches. The stomach is where much of the big food processing takes place in our body. It is the place where our bodies use a chemical process involving acids and enzymes to break the bigger chunks of food down. This makes it easier for the rest of the digestive system to extract energy from the food. Opening up the stomach of a person sounds gruesome though. It sounds unlikely that even Riddle Robot Eyezak would send us down such a horrific path. We should continue just in case though.

People, especially old people, can make you wise. This requirement simply implies that you can learn something from them without directly experiencing it yourself. If you have ever listened to an older person, one that has any real life experience, you will see that there is plenty learn from these folks. All you have to do is listen, and contemplate on the words that they use and the stories that they tell, and you can avoid follies in your own life. It is quite liberating in some ways.

They can even teach you these life lessons if you start out as a dumb dumb. Your level of knowledge will definitely increase if you take what these wise teachers have to offer and incorporate it into your daily lives. Despite not having any real world experience yourself, you can get a sense of the real world, sometimes anyways, by listening to stories about olden times.

All of these things seem to fit, except the act of opening up a person’s stomach. Even though we “could” open a person’s stomach, it is so gruesome, and it is so outlandish that most people would not do it. Because of this we can safely say that Eyezak the Riddle Robot probably did not mean this to be the answer. Instead, it is more likely that our Riddle Robot was using Personification to mislead us. Using that as a frame of reference, we will explore inanimate objects from here on out.

Waiting Lines (Queues)

Riddle Robot Eyezak said that we need an object that has a back. Waiting Lines (Queues) have backs typically. When you “cut the queue” you are jumping from the end of the line, where you should actually join the line, and instead placing yourself arbitrarily in the center of it. Queues are often used as the method to wait to get into a building, or to buy a product, or to see a doctor. They definitely have fronts and backs.

Queues do not have stomaches though. Instead of the mid-section of a queue being called the “stomach of a line,” most people just refer to it as the “middle of the line” or “center of the line.” When you “cut the queue” you move to the center, not the stomach. Eyezak the Riddle Robot is looking for something that a normal Human would say or do. Since this is so unnatural, it is probably not the answer he is looking for. We should investigate further just in case though.

Queues do not really make you wise, not generally anyways. Riddle Robot knows that queues are basically just you standing around, not really doing anything of educational value. You do learn a lesson while in a queue, which is that you should have arrived earlier, but you are certainly no wiser because of it really. Eyezak the Riddle Robot knows that is more of a jab at your intelligence, than a wisdom you have gained. One final condition to meet though.

If you are a lummox when you join the queue, you will probably still be a lummox after you leave it. You are not really learning anything while there, and there is no magically force that makes you stop being dumb and magically become smart or wise. Riddle Robot knows that magic does not work like that.

In conclusion, it is unlikely that Queues are what Riddle Robot Eyezak was looking for. He wants something that has a back and a stomach. It is required that the stomach gets open freely, which you cannot do in the absence of a stomach. Finally he required that you can become wise from being in the line, even if you started out a dummy, which is almost never true for this object. We can conclude that Riddle Robot Eyezak was not looking for this.

Books

Riddle Robot asked a conundrum about Books. This is a picture of a filled shelf of books.

So we have concluded that people are not the answer, and something abstract like a queue is not the answer. Let us try a physical item, like a book. Books have backs. We as humans refer to their backs as paperback or hardback/hardcover books. In addition, we can flip a book on it’s complete back by opening it up and laying it on a table.

The act of opening a book up could be considered us opening up the book’s stomach. This is a little unnatural to say, but it does make sense because we can actually open it up freely, as the primary function of the book, and it is in the center of the book when viewed from one end. Riddle Robot Eyezak would probably let this pass.

You can gain knowledge from a book, especially non-fiction books that are about a topic that you have little or no experience with. Eyezak the Riddle Robot knows that textbooks are a very common example of the act of reading a book that makes you wise. It has also been said that books contain the compendium of knowledge of all of Humankind. Take that for what its worth.

Even if you start out a dummy (lummox) you can still learn something from books you read. Even though Riddle Robot has never personally read a book, his creators did, and they imbued him with the knowledge they gained from such an act. As Humans, we can say with certainty that even little kids, who have no prior knowledge on a topic before reading about it, can read a book, and instantly become an expert. This is worth something, especially int he context of Riddle Robot Eyezak’s conundrum.

Looks like Books meets all the requirements for the riddle. They have backs. Their stomaches are freely openable and are opened as the primary function of the book. Reading them makes people wise about a topic. Finally, even people with very little knowledge, reading a book can still make them wise. This is the answer. If you have questions, or a different possible answer, please comment below!

One Last Thing:

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