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Some types of riddles work when asked verbally but not when written down because the catch is that a certain word uses a homophone with a different spelling. How should these kinds of questions be asked?

Here's one possible solution (although it's limited to rather short questions).

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  • $\begingroup$ What's your link about? 1. Please do not use link shorteners. 2. This seems to be some audio link, but I don't have sound right now so I genuinely don't know what you're trying to convey. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 16 '14 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles The link is to a Google Translate dictation. I shortened the link so that you can't read the text with the wrong spelling of the homophone. $\endgroup$ – Keavon Nov 16 '14 at 20:42
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It may depend on the riddle, but I'm not sure any special treatment is necessary. Homophones are a fairly common feature of riddles and I guess most people (or most people likely to solve the riddle) will be looking for them anyway.

If you think there might still be a problem, one option would be to take a cue from cryptic crossword clues. The convention is to add a phrase such as "we hear". The problem with this kind of approach is that it signposts the fact that the solution depends on a homophone.

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    $\begingroup$ So should we just create a tag for this kind of question and the existence of the tag should alert people that certain words may be spelled incorrectly? $\endgroup$ – Keavon Nov 11 '14 at 20:22
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The ideal solution would be to provide the riddle as an audio file only, but I am not sure if the existing rules of posting accomodate for that.

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