‘Caterpillar Flower Clock’ Riddle: Here’s the Answer to the IQ Test


A lot of riddles are circulating these days while people are sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic. One of the many puzzles being shared on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter is the “caterpillar flower clock” puzzle. Read on to learn more about the answer and the puzzle.

Here’s what the riddle looks like.


It’s not clear where the puzzle originated from, since it’s now shared everywhere without a source and there’s no watermark on the puzzle itself.

The puzzle reads: “IQ test for genius only!” and shows a picture of Einstein. Then it shows an equation, where you’re supposed to guess what the caterpillar, flower, and clock stand for numerically.

The first equation shows 1 caterpillar + 1 caterpillar + 1 caterpillar = 21.

The second shows 1 clock + 1 clock + 1 caterpillar = 19.

The third shows 1 flower + 1 clock + 1 caterpillar = 15.

Then the fourth line asks a question. What is the sum of 1 caterpillar + 1 flower x 1 clock?

Are you ready to learn the answer?

The Answer to the Riddle Is Below

The answer is 26. 

First, like many of these riddles, there’s a trick in the last question when the sign changes. The last equation multiplies two of the symbols rather than just adding them all together like we did for the first three. So keep that in mind when calculating your answer.

The final caterpillar does not have a flower hat, but it does have six dots. The earlier caterpillars all had a flower hat and five dots. Plus, the final equation has two flowers on top of each other, and the other equation has one flower.

Also, the time on the clock faces is different. The clocks say 6:00 in the second and third equations. But in the last equation, the time is 5:00.

This is confusing and pretty tough!

Well, let’s look at equation one. Each caterpillar has five dots. That equals 15, not 21, leaving us with 6 unaccounted for. This means the flower itself has to equal 2. (Yes, the large flower and the small flower on the caterpillar’s head have the same value.)

So: 1 caterpillar (5) + 1 caterpillar (5) + 1 caterpillar (5) + 1 flower (2) + 1 flower (2) + 1 flower (2) = 21.

Next we have 2 clocks at 6:00 + 1 caterpillar + 1 flower = 19.

If you take the face value of the clock to be its numeric value, then you have: 6 (clock) + 6 (clock) + 5 (caterpillar) + 2 (flower) = 19. It works out perfectly.

Next you have 1 Flower + 6 (clock) + 5 (one caterpillar) + 2 (one flower) = 15. Well, naturally the big flower should also be worth 2. It works out: 2 + 6+ 5+ 2 = 15.

And that leaves us with the final question: 

1 caterpillar with six dots  + 2 flowers (yes, they’re back-to-back) x a clock at 5:00 = ? 

6 + 4 x 5 = ? 

Per BODMAS, you’ll do the multiplication first. 4×5=20. 20 +6 = 26. The answer is 26. 

This is just one of many riddles that are circulating on sites like Facebook and Instagram during the coronavirus pandemic. If you’ve seen the “How Many Ducks Do You See?” riddle and were stumped, check out Heavy’s explanation here. If you ran into the “I Met a Man on London Bridge” riddle and have no idea what the man’s name is, you can find the answer in Heavy’s story here. The answer to the “You Enter a Bedroom” riddle is here, and the answer to the “Can You Open the Lock Using These Clues?” riddle is here.

If you’re looking for the answer to the “Hotel with 100 Rooms” riddle, it’s here. The answer to the “State Without an A” riddle is here. The answer to the “How many letters are in the answer?” riddle is here. And the answer to the “Penny Has 5 Children” riddle is here.

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