Seriously, I think this has gotten out of hand.

Titles should clearly inform the user what the question is. Simply titling your question as "Ooh, spooky riddle", or "Riddle, Part 2", or "Riddle, the Sequel" or "user_name's riddle part 2", or "A crazy riddle", or "A very tricky riddle", or "This is a hard riddle", etc etc.

See where I'm going? The questions list is literally populated with these horrible titles. As a community we need to have unified support and figure out how to appropriately title riddle questions. Because the way it stands, with the current non unified naming conventions, at first glance nearly all riddle questions sound the same.

Furthermore, do we even need this stupid "part 1, part 2, part 3" naming convention? Questions should be unique on their own, and only if the question itself is actually related to the question before (and not just "they are both riddles, so they are related").

My proposal is to title your riddle with the first line of the riddle., followed by a "..." to imply it continues. This way riddle titles will not be misleading and can actually give user's a glimpse of what the title is.

Bad riddle titles:

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    $\begingroup$ To be honest I don't think naming it that way would work well, it could result in being LESS descriptive then it is now. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 16 '14 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ @warspyking How could anything be less descriptive than "Riddle - What am I?" like, seriously? $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 18 '14 at 16:23

I think that is a good suggestion for riddles. However, there are other puzzle types that would probably need a different rule.

Obviously any question that has its own unique question should put the question as the title.

Riddles -- Use the first line of riddle followed by an ellipsis.

Knight, Knave, Joker Questions -- ?? (All tend to have similar openings/questions with subtle nuances).

Murder Mysteries -- "Who framed 'Roger Rabbit'"? (State the question?)

Security Password Puzzles -- I would like to see less spaghetti and more variety... Try to come up with a unique theme and tie the title to that?

What comes next in this sequence -- Similar to security password puzzles, try to come up with a theme and tie the title to that?

I like what you are saying. The only problem I see is the fact that there are many different types of puzzle and there isn't necessarily one catch-all solution for all of them.

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    $\begingroup$ But anything to kill generic titles would do quite well $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 14 '14 at 22:45

It's a but boring, but I think think a 'rule' would be excessively authoritarian.

You can reward a dull question with a down vote if you like.

  • $\begingroup$ Except that never works. I can easily show you poorly titled questions that have plenty of upvotes and have hit the top of the Hot Questions board. $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark: I'm sure you can. I guess it depends what you mean by 'works'. If it makes them get a few less points than they would otherwise, that seems like punishment enough to me. $\endgroup$ – A E Nov 15 '14 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ If we don't have unified support, what is a few small voices going to do? Upvotes trump out downvotes, if you realize by now. $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 16:22
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    $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark: I'm all right with that. If there's not unified support then the few small voices ought not to get their way. Even if mine is one of them. Also, given how young the site is, I think we ought to be encouraging community and enthusiasm, whereas penalising people for things and making extra rules is likely to have the opposite effect. I guess I'm trusting to time and a future-wider-userbase to weed out the wheat from the chaff (the puzzles I mean, not the users). And this is a learning experience for a lot of users, me included. $\endgroup$ – A E Nov 15 '14 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ A rule is meant to enforce quality. The goal of SE is not to devolve to Y! Answers, we want this site to be a quality site for puzzles for both enthusiasts and beginners. Let's not go willy nilly and let everything go "just because the site is young" $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark: agreed. It's a question of finding the right balance. Too many rules might stifle creativity. $\endgroup$ – A E Nov 15 '14 at 18:12
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    $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark: also worth bearing in mind that some kinds of puzzles need ambiguity. For example, if we were to make a rule that all riddles must have the subject of the riddle in their title, e.g. "Riddle About Time", then we would be forcing users to give away the solution in the title. Which would have the effect of reducing num(new riddles) to 0. $\endgroup$ – A E Nov 15 '14 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ Uh, when has the first line always been the solution? You pointed out only 1 example. $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark: I'm not saying that the first line is the solution. I'm giving an example of how a restrictive rule can stifle creativity. $\endgroup$ – A E Nov 15 '14 at 19:16

I think all of the examples you gave are decent titles. They tell you the type of puzzle it is (riddle, guess the object, mystery, etc.), as well as whether it's part of an ongoing theme. That way people who like or don't like certain types of puzzles will know if it's worth clicking on or not. It's hard to have much more descriptive titles than those without possibly giving away the answer.

Contrast that with what you say is a good title:

Are you clever enough? You will have to pray

The "Are you clever enough" part is redundant for a puzzle site. Of course a puzzle will require cleverness to solve - that goes without saying. Then the "You will have to pray" part? That is totally useless. It tells me nothing about the type of puzzle or the puzzle's content. That is a horrible title.

  • $\begingroup$ Ambiguous titles will never help anyone. $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 1:55
  • $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark "Are you clever enough? You will have to pray" doesn't help anyone at all. At least the others tell you the type of puzzle. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 15 '14 at 1:57
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    $\begingroup$ "you will have to pray" is part of the puzzle. "mysterious puzzle" doesn't help me understand what the puzzle is. $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark "you will have to pray" is not part of the puzzle. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 15 '14 at 2:04
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    $\begingroup$ Revised question. That aside, I think you're trying to defend your kind of titles "pacoverflow's riddle 1, pacoverflow's riddle 2", that is a horrible way to name your riddles. $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 2:08
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    $\begingroup$ If every SO question was like that, "Java problem 1", or "my java problem", you really think the quality would still be good? $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 2:10
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    $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark I have "Riddle Poem" in my titles, so I don't think that's bad. Would you rather it be called "Riddle Poem #2 - Most in our family..." since the first line of one of them is "Most in our family"? That's not more helpful than just "Riddle Poem #2". Also this site is different from SO since there's no such thing as a spoiler on SO. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 15 '14 at 2:12
  • $\begingroup$ Riddle poem...wow, that is the most ambiguous term I have ever heard. $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark You can't figure out the type of puzzle from that? $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 15 '14 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 15 '14 at 4:03
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    $\begingroup$ "They tell you the type of puzzle it is (riddle, guess the object, mystery, etc.)" -- Wait... isn't that the point of tags? $\endgroup$ – Warlord 099 Nov 17 '14 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Warlord099 When I look at the questions list, I only read the titles, since they are larger. The tag text is fairly small so I don't look at those. I think tags are useful for searching. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 17 '14 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ @pacoverflow THere's a reason we have tags; so we don't clutter the title with useless wording. $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 18 '14 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ @thinlyveiledquestionmark The word "riddle" in the title is hardly useless. We might as well get rid of titles then, since everything can be found in either the tags or the body. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 18 '14 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ @pacoverflow nice slippery slope there, didn't expect you to jump from A to Z. What I mean is, if we can edit the word riddle out of the body and replace it with something a little more helpful, like the first line of the riddle, we avoid redundancy "ex. tagged as riddle, but has riddle in title" $\endgroup$ – yuritsuki Nov 22 '14 at 0:32

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