Patos and penguins


There are myriad rhyming arithmetic riddles (chistes, I think…) out there, including (possibly especially) in Spanish. I think this is one I heard in Oaxaca some time ago….

Un pato con una pata, ¿cuántos patos y patas hay?

It employs confusion that is similar to that encompassed by this riddle:

What’s black and white and red all over?*

So: patos are ducks and patas are feet, but also could be a female duck. Therein lies the confusion. Anyway, I was always confused by this riddle (they have never been my strong suit), but I think it says, if there’s a duck with one foot (or a female duck), how many ducks and feet are there? Googling suggests one cheeky answer is “un pato cojo“, meaning a lame duck.

Why do I mention all this? The pastry above is Mexican, and called a pato. And, in this case, no feet…. See how my mind works?

* See, this only works if you hear it, because to be correct you have to spell it “read” not “red”…and the answer is: the newspaper. This is the classic version, anyway. There is a subset of versions that actually rely on “red”, and their answers often refer to gruesome penguins.


  1. Marquis says:

    What is green and white and red all over?

    A Spartan Froggie in a blender!

  2. Pooh says:

    What’s black and white and red all over? A sunburned zebra, an embarrassed penguin, etc.

    The Marquis “blended” together 3 riddles. Well, 2, but who’s counting?

    1. What’s white and green and white? A frog sandwich.

    2. What’s brown and green and brown? A frog sandwich on toast.

    3. What’s green and red and goes 90 miles an hour? See the Marquis’s.

  3. Sammy says:

    Was #3 ever updated with a food processor?

  4. Jay says:

    Some of us still only have blenders

  5. Dog Momster says:

    I wore out my food processor a few years ago… back to using a blender again.