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The highest rated question on the site is an issue. How can we fight against lateral thinking puzzles when one of them is held up as an example?

Here's the link

While I agree that it's the best lateral thinking question I've ever seen, I don't think that means much. They're not really puzzles. Are we going to make the change we decided on and clean up the community or lose the momentum we've gained?

As of the time of posting, I'm the only downvote. I find this very disturbing. So, here's the real question. Do we downvote, flag, and take down these questions or do we allow lateral thinking questions as well as puzzles?

Edit: Here are some examples of other valid answers for the lateral thinking question at hand.

As a spy learned in drugs, you know that the drug used on you was derived from a rare tropical flower in Argentina. You could use some of the many words that are the same in either language, like amnesia or hospital to engage in conversation. As Scott Lawson suggested, you could look at the bolts keeping the chair down. The Foucault Pendulum is a bit of a stretch given how temperamental they are. As mentioned in the comments, it wouldn't work. I can understand bending a few things to make it tough to deduce, but not the laws of physics. People like this question because of the story, not the puzzle itself. That's the problem. The story is amazing and the puzzle is broken. While I think my puzzles are a little better than that, mine are popular for the same broken reason; people vote for good stories, not good puzzles.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have a reference for a meta discussion that says "all [lateral-thinking] puzzles are off-topic, period, no matter what"? $\endgroup$ – Doorknob Dec 30 '14 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ There's of course my own answer to the question of riddles suggesting a ban to "assumption" type questions like lateral-thinking. I can dig up more, but 35 votes sounds like consensus to me. meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/a/1530/5626 $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Dec 30 '14 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ Lateral thinking questions are a type of puzzle. While many of them are bad, I don't think a blanket ban is the way to go. We all know what happened last time the mods tried to put a blanket ban into action... $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 30 '14 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ Given what the second-highest voted question on the site is, I think Travis has something of a vested interest here! ;-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 30 '14 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor This may be true, but I swear my intentions are pure as snow. While I think the question is quite well written, it still has an infinite number of possible solutions. I'll add them to the question. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Dec 30 '14 at 15:54
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    $\begingroup$ Few people downvoted because the site was a different place with different people. It's changed since then. Is there actual harm is these questions remaining? Is there a precedent for applying standards retroactively? $\endgroup$ – xnor Dec 30 '14 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ My proposal from Nov 21 to outright ban lateral thinking questions was at +10/-4 (not consensus, but general favor), but that's far in the past on the scale of this site, so it might not reflect anything now. $\endgroup$ – xnor Dec 30 '14 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ The question 'You, a Bridge, and 3 Balls' is an even better indication of the point you're making: the 'right' answer is wrong, and there are lots of silly answers. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 30 '14 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ @xnor The usual course of action when a popular question is made off-topic by site scope changes is a historical lock, that's what happened to many of SO's top-voted questions. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Dec 30 '14 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ Yes to historical lock. If we start trying to change the past we'll never stop. $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 31 '14 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ Didn't know there was such a thing. Capitol idea. I think the main problem with these questions is that people go to the highest rated questions to understand the rules and see examples. $\endgroup$ – Travis Don Kindred Jan 6 '15 at 23:01

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