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To what extent are language-related puzzles on-topic?

Some types of puzzles:

  • crossword clues
  • cryptic crossword clues
  • word ladders
  • Scrabble moves
  • substitution ciphers
  • pun-based riddles

Some types of questions:

  • solving a specific puzzle
  • general solving techniques
  • composing a clue
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  • crossword clues
  • cryptic crossword clues
  • word ladders
  • Scrabble moves
  • substitution ciphers
  • solving a puzzle
  • composing a clue

I see no reason why these should be off-topic. Even though there's already an English site, puzzles about the English language would be more relevant here instead. (Same argument for math puzzles.)

However, if the question is not specific to puzzles, ore could be rephrased in a more general way (such as "What is the most common letter in the English alphabet" - bad example but there are definitely more), then it would be better off on English Language & Usage.

  • pun-based riddles

No; we explicitly don't want riddles because they could have multiple opinion-based answers, making them a "guessing game."

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  • $\begingroup$ Please explain "This question appears to be off-topic because it is a riddle, and does not have a definitive answer" $\endgroup$ – blunders May 15 '14 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ @blunders Umm... what? I explained why riddles are off-topic in my post. $\endgroup$ – Doorknob May 15 '14 at 2:09
  • $\begingroup$ Since when are puzzles defined as having a single answer? Seems like the duck test applies to what is the best answer. $\endgroup$ – blunders May 15 '14 at 2:11
  • $\begingroup$ @blunders We don't want the OP to have to come back and say "Hey, yeah, that's what it was! That other one works but it's not it. Oooh, that one's clever! That one doesn't make sense. I like that other one; that could be an alternate solution! Anyway, thanks" $\endgroup$ – Doorknob May 15 '14 at 2:17
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    $\begingroup$ Wow, just add a tag riddles, and filter them out, really not a big deal. $\endgroup$ – blunders May 15 '14 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ @blunders Ignoring the problem does not solve it... $\endgroup$ – Doorknob May 15 '14 at 2:43
  • $\begingroup$ Your right, "Ignoring the problem does not solve it" - the OP clearly picked the "correct answer" and there was only one correct answer. Really, if filters didn't work SO would be dead. $\endgroup$ – blunders May 15 '14 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ @blunders Yes, that answer was correct and can be proven to be correct. $\endgroup$ – Doorknob May 15 '14 at 2:48
  • $\begingroup$ All of the answers are correct, not just the answer selected; in fact, the OP posted a link to that same visual proof before the selected answer was posted. Returning to the topic, "explicitly don't want riddles because they could have multiple opinion-based answers" - which is to say, the "correct" answer was based on which was more clever, not correct, and I don't see this pattern as a valid reason to ban riddle questions; especially if riddle questions always link to "riddle rules." $\endgroup$ – blunders May 15 '14 at 2:54
  • $\begingroup$ @blunders Yes, multiple answers can be correct, just like on SO or any other SE site. Answers to riddles cannot be verified as correct. "More clever" is not an objective criterion. $\endgroup$ – Doorknob May 15 '14 at 2:57
  • $\begingroup$ So, you're saying "more clever" is never used as a basis for answer selection on SE, nor was it used as a the basis for selecting the "correct" answer in the question I linked to, right? $\endgroup$ – blunders May 15 '14 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ @blunders The OP can accept an answer as he/she wishes; that's irrelevant. $\endgroup$ – Doorknob May 15 '14 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's correct, keep forgetting how irrelevant the OP's answer selection is; that is unless you don't know it is. $\endgroup$ – blunders May 15 '14 at 3:07
  • $\begingroup$ @blunders We cannot control what the OP does with the checkmark; it's not our decision and we can't make a policy for it. What answer the OP accepts is irrelevant in discussions about site policy. $\endgroup$ – Doorknob May 15 '14 at 3:09
  • $\begingroup$ Point is that question may have a single correct answer, but there is no single correct expression of that answer. As such, I don't see how duck typing the correctness of an answer to a riddle is not a valid way to select the best answer; both by OP selection & community votes. I'll think more about the matter and review more of the meta related posts; not attempting to argue, honestly don't understand, and a bit surprised by this view, since I personally feel it will not have a positive impact on the site. Cheers! $\endgroup$ – blunders May 15 '14 at 3:14

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