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The current description of the tag is as follows:

A brain teaser is a puzzle that involves thinking in unconventional ways, or one that involves disregarding what seems obvious. It typically requires inductive reasoning rather than deductive.

While the tag has this in its excerpt:

Puzzles that generally involve thinking in unconventional ways, or overcoming some form of assumed restriction that is not actually present in the problem.

The two tags have nearly identical descriptions, and yet the tag is being used for some things that do not involve any lateral thinking at all.

What should be done about this? I propose redefining "brainteaser", but we never came to a conclusion about that the last time this was brought up.


Given that the brainteaser tag has now been burninated, this question has been resolved.

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  • $\begingroup$ Delete all questions having either tag. Problem solved, and site quality upped. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 12 '14 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ If only that were anything like a solution... $\endgroup$ – Psychemaster Nov 14 '14 at 15:05
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We should merge the two tags. The tag wiki for starts with:

Puzzles that generally involve thinking in unconventional ways...

The tag wiki for starts with:

A puzzle that involves thinking in unconventional ways...

I think the two tags actually just mean the same thing, and should be merged. There's no significant distinction between the two, as far as I can see.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not all brainteasers involve lateral thinking, though. I'm saying the tag wiki for "brainteaser" is wrong as it currently is. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Nov 17 '14 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. The problem is, I don't think there is a good definition for "brainteaser." It's sort of... a catch-all for logical puzzles. My other idea might be to remove the tag completely, but I'm not sure... $\endgroup$ – user20 Nov 20 '14 at 6:09
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As it stands, I would go with changing the description of the tag to something like this:

Lateral thinking puzzles are those whose solutions are often found by thinking 'outside the box' - usually this involves approaching the problem and any available information from a different direction than the average person would expect.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That's still essentially the same meaning, though. And it doesn't since the problem of "brainteaser" being used for things that fall outside of its tag wiki definition. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Nov 14 '14 at 17:54

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