Do we want to have situation riddles on the site? These are the puzzles where someone poses a riddle and people get to ask yes/no questions until they figure out the answer. Could be like an interactive game in the comments.

Example famous ones:

  • A man goes out to dinner with a friend he hadn't seen in 10 years, and orders the albatross. After taking one bite, he pulls out a gun, shoots his friend and himself. Why?
  • A man is found to have hung himself in an entirely empty room. He is not tall enough to reach the ceiling to tie the rope. How did he do it?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Those aren't yes/no questions at all. They're a type of riddle called a situation riddle. $\endgroup$
    – user88
    May 19, 2014 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. Thanks, I edited to use that word $\endgroup$
    – durron597
    May 19, 2014 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


I don't see how this could possibly fit into a questions and answers format.

Stack Exchange has a specific goal: it's a questions and answers site. This is not a discussion forum, or a challenge game engine, or a poll engine, or a creative writing site.

Besides, your examples are prime examples of open-ended riddles. I mean, it's obvious that the first man tasted a poison with no known antidote, so he killed the friend who'd prepared the dish and then himself to stop the pain, and the second man was killed by a Mafia goon who remembered to lock the door behind him but didn't pay attention to the length of the rope — but I'm sure some people would come up with different answers.


No, definitely not.

The concept behind a Q&A site is to provide a question which contains a full context and pick the best answer.

The concept behind situation riddles, as described in the linked article, is to provide a vague question with missing context, and finding the answers require to narrow the context using additional questions. It's nice for the evening beer party, but terrible for Q&A format.


Yes. Apparently, someone with the ability to create tags thought this might be a possibility, as there is the situation tag. I feel it is a good argument that if this site has a tag for a particular type of question, then that type of question must be allowed; otherwise, we have a contradiction where the site allows one to tag a particular type of question that shouldn't be asked in the first place. This is a misleading situation at best.

Further, many riddles require some clarification, whether they solicit "yes or no" questions or not, and many riddles can have multiple answers if one simply uses a certain amount of imagination. This is consistent with the principle behind situation riddles.

If one argues that this site should have one and only one answer and the question and answer should be clear, then you still get that with situation riddles if you just read the comments, chat and answers. Combined you have the full details and rationale for both question and answer.

This site is a little unlike other stackexchange sites in that the questions are meant to provide entertainment in a challenging and unique way. They aren't supposed to contain encyclopedic knowledge where precision is more paramount.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "if this site has a tag for a particular type of question, then that type of question must be allowed" - anyone can make a tag for any type of question, even ones which are explicitly off topic. (I could even make the off-topic tag.) $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Mar 28, 2016 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ Then perhaps the creation of new tags should be approved by a moderator, but note that this is just on point of many I've set out. $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2016 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ Necessary information shouldn't be in the chat or the comments. It should be in the question. It might be OK if you edit the questions and their answers into the post afterwards. $\endgroup$
    – f''
    Mar 29, 2016 at 1:37

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