At first, it may seem like extinguishing all the candles is impossible and you are doomed to drown in the realm of Cthulhu. But the solution to this riddle is actually simpler than you might think. See the original question here.


There is no reason to blow on the same candle more than once. As the hint points out, blowing on the same candle twice is the same as not blowing on it at all, and three times is the same as once. With this in mind, if you start blowing on each candle one at a time, ignoring the effect on other candles, you will quickly realize that that is the solution: blow on each candle once.

You can go in order, from the first candle you blow on around the circle, and by the time you blow on the seventh candle all of the candles will be extinguished. You can also blow on the candles in any order you want, so long as you blow on each one once, and by the time you are done all of the candles will be extinguished. This is the minimum number of moves you can make to extinguish all the candles: seven.

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Congratulations, you extinguished the candles of the Old Ones, and Cthulhu was forced to let you go free... for now.

Don't forget to come back next week for another riddle!

*See all of our riddles here.

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Jay Bennett
Associate Editor

Jay Bennett is the associate editor of He has also written for Smithsonian, Popular Science and Outside Magazine.