A blog for odd things and odd thoughts.

A Hat Trick of Trick Questions

Let’s look again at three old, trick questions, which all have something in common.


  1. What colour was the Lone Ranger’s white horse?
  2. Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?
  3. Who wrote Gray’s Anatomy?


  1. Did you answer “Silver”? No, that’s the name of the horse. Its colour was white. It said so right in the question.
  2. The answer is supposed to be Grant. It said so right in the question. But actually, it is a double trick. The answer is no-one. Neither Grant, nor his wife, whose bodies are in Grant’s Tomb are actually buried. Their sarcophagi are above ground.
  3. Legend has it that this question came from a quiz show “You Bet Your Life”. It wasn’t meant to be a trick question, but the contestant thought it must be, and thus couldn’t get the answer right.

    On one forum, I found another version of the story:

    One of the most famous stupid answers came from Groucho Marx’ show, You Bet Your Life. There would be two people who would talk to Groucho for a while, then answer questions for money. At the end of the show, if the contestants hadn’t won any money, they would be asked an incredibly simple question, such as “When did the war of 1812 start?” One couple was asked “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?” The woman, obviously wondering if she was supposed to answer, says “Me?” Groucho runs with it.

    Whether any of it is true or not, I found the whole thread a fun read.

  4. This last question was the trigger for this post, as I recently realised that this question no longer has the same answer that is used to
  5. The answer used to be Gray. It is right there in the question. But no more! It is now a double trick!

    Since the TV show came out, and is now probably more well known than the original, the answer is Shonda Rimes and her co-workers.

    But wait! There’s a triple trick here! When I asked Google Who wrote Gray’s anatomy I got a different answer again! It said Renée Shafransky! It referred to the movie Gray’s Anatomy, rather than the TV series (which spells it “Grey”!).

    To summarise, we have:

    • Gray’s Anatomy (book) by Harold Gray
    • Gray’s Anatomy (movie) by Renée Shafransky and Spalding Gray
    • Grey’s Anatomy (TV series) by Shonda Rimes et al.

    I hope you are now as prepared as I am for any surprise trick questions!


  1. Thanks for the lessons! (But… “it’s colour”?)

    [Ed: Aristotle is referring to a grammar error that has since been corrected. I need to resubscribe to “alt.possessive.its.has.no.apostrophe” for a while.]

  2. hi sr grant”s anatomy authore was grant:s

  3. I think that above comment was, quite rightly, pointing out that there is yet another similar sounding title: Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy was written by J.C. Boileau Grant.

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