What’s the answer to the riddle “Forward I’m Heavy; Backwards I’m Not?”

“Forward I’m heavy; backwards I’m not” means a tonne. If you write the word “tonne” backwards, you get the word “not.” So, even though a tonne is heavy, weighing 2,000 pounds, if you just look at the word, you get the word “not” backwards.

This is a “What am I?” riddle, which is a type of puzzle where you are given information about something and have to figure out what it is. “I am the beginning of every end and the end of every race,” which is another common riddle in this category, has the answer “e.” Most of the time, these types of riddles play with words.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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