So, when this question started appearing on other stack exchange sites through the hot network question feature, I submitted an edit for review to change the title “◳◰ ◓◨ ◨◧◕ ◎◌ ◱◯◱◯ ◍◌○ ◉◉ ◇◔◓◕ ◐►◓◒ ◒◑ ◈◑ ◆◆◓ ◉◉◉” into something that actually describes the question (“Clue for Security to the Party part 12”, not saying this was a great title, but it definitely was an improvement). This edit however seems to have been rejected (wasn't notified of a rejection, however it didn't get accepted after a day~ so I think that's what must have happened). I am all for creative titles, but shouldn't titles at least hold some descriptive value?

Actually, now that I am thinking about it, it might be worth considering to raise the required standard on question titles greatly to give the site some more seriousness, but I will post that as a separate issue if this one is well received.

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    $\begingroup$ You can check your suggested edits by opening your profile, going to the Activity tab, and finding it there. Filter it by 'all' or 'suggestions'. Here's a shortcut for your profile. If there's a shorter way I'm not aware of it. $\endgroup$ – doppelgreener Nov 15 '14 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ @doppelgreener: Thanks, guess I have gotten too used to my edit getting accepted straight away always :P $\endgroup$ – David Mulder Nov 16 '14 at 12:58

You don't get a notification of rejected edits. You need to go and check the activity tab in your profile.

Indeed, a title should be descriptive. There can't be two questions with the same title, for a reason: it should be possible to distinguish two questions based on their title. <Bunch of incomprehensible symbols> is a bad title because it's indistinguishable from <another bunch of incomprehensible symbols>.

Questions whose title don't include English words are kept out of the hot questions list, but this is only done for foreign language sites, so it doesn't apply to Puzzling. I don't think keeping this particular question out of the hot list based on its title would make much sense, though: at the scale of questions that do filter into the hot list, this title is descriptive — it clearly conveys “decipher a bunch of symbols”.

I'm afraid your proposed title “Clue for Security to the Party part 12” isn't much better. The question is self-contained, after all — the fact that it's related to “Security to the party part 12” doesn't say anything about the nature of the puzzle and isn't necessary to solve it.

Titles like “The Security to the Party [Part 34]” (and I wish I was joking, but I'm not) are a worse problem. We have about 30 questions whose title says nothing about the nature of the question. And it's getting to be a more and more widespread problem: we have ”Murder of the President - Part 5“, “Name that entity (4)”, “What Am I - Riddle Part 7”, ...

One of the reasons to have unique, descriptive titles is that they are very helpful when searching existing questions. Stack Exchange exists so that questions can be searched. We now have hundreds of indistinctive puzzles. Like hundreds of sites over the Internet.

These interchangeable “brainteaser” questions have completely overwhelmed the site, even though they're officially off-topic. They're drowning out the questions about puzzles. This site has all but become Yahoo! Puzzles.

Some aspects of Stack Exchange still work — voting serves as a poll on brainteaser answers. But Stack Exchange isn't about polls. The bad titles are one more nail in this site's coffin.

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    $\begingroup$ Please suggest alternative titles for the titles you don't like. Remember the title shouldn't help to give away the answer. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 16 '14 at 10:04
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    $\begingroup$ @pacoverflow The title shouldn't help to give away the answer? Why? I think you're trying to force Stack Exchange into something it isn't designed for, and it isn't working well. Stack Exchange is designed for searchable questions. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 16 '14 at 10:42
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    $\begingroup$ I think it's debatable as to whether it's working well or not. Plus the search feature isn't just for titles, it searches through the post as well. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 16 '14 at 10:46
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    $\begingroup$ @pacoverflow The title is a big part in determining whether each search hit corresponds to what you're looking for. Look at the forest, not just at the tree. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 16 '14 at 10:48
  • $\begingroup$ Just to be clear here, I didn't think that the title I was suggesting was necessarily the best, but reading the question that seemed to be the most distinctive feature of the puzzle. I am all for a better title, just anything better than this garbled set of characters would be great. $\endgroup$ – David Mulder Nov 16 '14 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles For those riddles, I'm not sure what a better title would be. Please suggest what you think are better titles. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Nov 16 '14 at 18:37

Yes, that was my question.

I rejected your edit because I intended the title to evoke curiosity.

That is the explanation I put in when I rejected the edit - that it would make the question worse. I went into detail.

And no, I don't think that titles of puzzles should have to hold descriptive value. Ambiguity is often part of the puzzle.

A descriptive title would have been "Cryptogram of plaintext MAGICSIBLINGS using a simplified Pollux cipher". But then there's no puzzle to solve so what's the point?

Your proposed title was something like "Clue for ... [other puzzle]", which, while it's true, doesn't describe the content of the cryptogram puzzle at all - it doesn't mention the type of the puzzle, or the plaintext or the ciphertext or the cipher. Which are all there is to describe.

If my questions doesn't have enough 'seriousness' for you then I suggest you don't visit them. In that respect, a title without much 'seriousness' could be useful in that it could alert you to a question which you're likely to dislike.

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    $\begingroup$ It's not about the seriousness of the title, its about its descriptive quality. How does the title help distinguish this question from another question? If you can't distinguish questions based on their title, then the titles aren't specific enough. <bunch of symbols> and <bunch of symbols> aren't distinguishable, so your title is a bad title. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 16 '14 at 9:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Gilles: How would 'Cryptogram' have been better? You can't use the name of the cypher or the plaintext because that would give away the puzzle. So the only descriptive thing left to say is that it's a cryptogram. The suggested replacement ("Clue for x") didn't even say that. Also, hating fun is not actually obligatory on SE: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/01/stack-overflow-where-we-hate-fun In puzzles particularly, creativity is a good thing (IMO). $\endgroup$ – A E Nov 16 '14 at 9:39
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    $\begingroup$ This isn't about fun or creativity. Arqade manages to have fun, creative titles that are still meaningful. And yes, “Clue for Security to the Party part 12” is even worse. Titles should be descriptive. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 16 '14 at 9:50

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