What Is This Black, White, and Red Thing?



“What is black, white, and red all over?” is a traditional puzzle with multiple possible solutions. A newspaper is one answer, which uses homophonic terms to modify the word “red” to signify “read.”

Other possible answers to the puzzle include a red attribute to something that is normally black and white in hue. A sunburned penguin, an ashamed skunk, a Communist nun, and a zebra painted red are among the replies. In certain variations, the attribute and the object are swapped. Alternatives to the question include an embarrassed nun or a burnt zebra, for example.

Between 1917 and 1974, the joke appeared in at least 21 collections of traditional riddles.

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