Update 10/2015:

It's been a year since this question was posted, but it's still just as important today as it was then. While at the time it was buried, as the site continues to grow, having this resource will become increasingly important. It's largely up to you all to determine what goes here, so have at!

Now that we've had some time to determine the sorts of questions that we do and do not like to see on this site, it may be time for us to populate our Help Center article (this is the only one we have the freedom to edit) on what questions we like people to ask.

This is particularly important, and we need to bear in mind a few things when determining what the content should be:

  • This is the first resource for a lot of new users to see what we find on-topic here.
  • This message is linked to form many in-site sources
  • People are linked to this page whenever a question is closed as off-topic without a unanimous reason

We also want to be able to use this to give people a general sense of what questions should be asked here. This important: our aim is to help people have an enjoyable experience on this site, and a significant part of that has to do with letting them know what questions are appropriate here.

This being said, here's a list of potential things we want to discuss:

It is also worth noting that, as this is the only Help Center article we can freely edit as a community, we may wish to include information about what is not on-topic here as well.

This all being said, what should our Help Center article say? How should the information be organized and presented so as to be clear and helpful to our readers?

  • $\begingroup$ There are still not a lot of users on the site. And, most important, it still lacks "professional" puzzle-entuziasts. Do you really think it is wise to decide on limitations now? Then the question is which criteria do you propose? I tried to find something about it on SEMeta but failed... $\endgroup$
    – klm123
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 11:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @klm I think it's a good idea to have something, especially since the generic text is very unhelpful. But it's an open discussion, and I'm but one voice! $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 15:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I would propose that all of us just edit this post: meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/a/28/28 adding there lists of currently well-welcomed questions as on-topic and bad-welcomed questions as off-topic. And in Help Center itself will be given a link to this post and comment that this is how we see the site at the moment, but limitations can change in the future. In advance some moderator would be required to set (if it is required to be changed) a general structure of the description (like: 1. the goal. 2. what is the puzzle. 3. what is on-topic. 4. what if off-topic. 5. examples). $\endgroup$
    – klm123
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 15:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @klm That is a possibility. It is worth noting, though, that we as a community can edit this portion of the Help Center whenever - it's not like we're writing its final form. Still, I do understand what you're saying, and that may be a better interim solution. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 15:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This should definitely be done. The current page says nothing at all and it's causing problems, such as arguments about whether this question is on-topic. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ we can add there that "questions which asks about how to solve a certain kind of puzzles will be highly appreciated." By saying that I mean the questions which uses the tag of ''puzzle-creation", "puzzle-theory" and other similar tags. A perfect example of these kind of questions can be this $\endgroup$
    – manshu
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


Suggested Rules

General Rules

  1. The purpose of this StackExchange site is for users to have fun.

Asker Rules

  1. Every puzzle must have a correct answer.
  2. If the asker doesn't know the answer, it needs to be explicitly tagged as solution-unknown.
  3. Hints should gradually be provided if no one gets the solution in a "reasonable" amount of time.
  4. Asker should try to make the problem have a unique solution..
  5. Any justified answer that fits the clues is considered correct, even if it's different than what OP had in mind.
  6. If multiple users solve the puzzle correctly, the earliest post gets accepted.

Answerer Rules:

  1. No answers in comments.
  2. Answers must be justified in some form.
  3. Answers and justification should be hidden with the CSS tools available.
  4. One attempted answer per post.
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This and this meta post concern proposed asker rule 6. The most common opinion seems to be that askers are free to accept whichever answer they like best $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 19:28
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ For the proposed asker rule 3, I don't think there should be a rule obligating askers to add hints. Maybe it's better to say something like "If nobody finds the solution in a reasonable amount of time, it is OK to add hints gradually." $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 19:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Sorry for the deluge of comments. Re: asker rule 2, there used to be tags indicating whether the asker knew the answer, but these tags were removed, see here. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 19:39