I think the community at P.SE is an excellent crowd when one wants to find out good resources for puzzles (/riddles/...). However, as the site policy is rather strict on opinion based questions (which therefore don't have a valid answer), I'm wondering if the following question category would be suitable for the main site or not:

Asking for a recommendations for good puzzle books / sites / games...

I personally think they are within the scope of the site, but then again, I'm not sure. So instead of asking them on the main-site, I wanted to poll the general attitude towards such questions here first.

My impression is, that questions like

"Can you recommend good puzzling books?"

is clearly too broad and invites a VTC immediately (and rightfully so), but if it becomes more specific? For example:

"I'm interested in logical puzzles and would like to find a book which both offers some non-standard puzzles, but also teaches ways to solve them. Can you recommend some resources from your personal experience?"


"Can you suggest good sources for geometry-based puzzles? If possible, can you give details on how 'mathematical' those sources are?"

I think such questions would be in the scope of the site, but it might be opening a Pandora's box, so what is the general opinion about such questions here?

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    $\begingroup$ Could you provide an example of what you think a good question like this would be? $\endgroup$ – Doorknob Dec 28 '14 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Doorknob冰 Done. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Dec 28 '14 at 22:55
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    $\begingroup$ Those just seem way too broad (they ask for big lists, not answers). If these are going to be "give me a list of books about X," then no, they are not a good fit for Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$ – Doorknob Dec 28 '14 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Doorknob冰 This was my every-second-thought, too. But every-other-second-thought is: If I'm interested in finding a good list of topical books recommended by the experts in this field - isn't asking for exactly this very much in the scope of the site? Say you want to build/learn/study geometrical-puzzles and seek resources for it, wouldn't the 2nd example question be a very reasonable on-topic question? If not, then I think absolutely no single "recommendation" question is not too broad, as there is never a single answer and always a list. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Dec 28 '14 at 23:12
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see what you're saying. "Give me a list of sources" is a.) clearly opinion based, b.) asking for just a list of sources, c.) outdates very quickly, d.) does not have a single, correct answer, etc. $\endgroup$ – Doorknob Dec 28 '14 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Doorknob冰 Well, that's very much what I meant. If you put those arguments as strict rules then there simply is no recommendation-question which would pass, and the answer to my (posted) question, is simply: NO. No need to ask for an example then, is there? But that's why I asked this on meta. || As for a) sure b) Not just a list. A list pre-evaluated by experts in the field. Exactly what I seek. c) not really... d) so what? It still has answers to be voted for and I can accept the one fitting me as with all other questions. And others can read and like the post. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Dec 28 '14 at 23:26
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    $\begingroup$ Worth reading: What is the definition of a list question? and the Don't Ask help section (specifically the second part). $\endgroup$ – user20 Dec 29 '14 at 0:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Emrakul reading both references, I now have even more the impression my two example questions would be valid. Was this your intention? If not, I'd welcome some elaboration. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Dec 29 '14 at 0:41
  • $\begingroup$ Way too opinionated. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Dec 29 '14 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest "avoid asking subjective questions where...: every answer is equally valid... there is no actual problem to be solved... you are asking an open-ended question..." - this seems to fit these criteria, which is what I was pointing out. $\endgroup$ – user20 Dec 29 '14 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ I'd vote for the specific version of the question to be in-scope. It's interesting and useful. It 'solves the practical problem' of "where can I find information on X?" $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 29 '14 at 12:56

Seems like a great idea. Even if it's not, we can give it a trial run and then ban them as a community when chaos breaks out. It really depends on the answers, which depend on the community.


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