The standard "riddle of the Sphinx" is "What has four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?" The answer is "man," who crawls on all fours as an infant, then walks on two legs, then uses a cane in later life.
This riddle comes from an ancient Greek myth about a monstrous creature called the Sphinx that roamed near Thebes. The Sphinx would ask travelers her riddle and if they got the answer wrong (which they always did) the Sphinx would eat them. The hero Oedipus finally defeats the Sphinx by correctly answering her riddle, which causes her to kill herself.
There are other riddles ascribed to the Sphinx, but the one given above is the most common version.
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