Recently I lost some points to the difference between riddles and situation riddles. I didn't really understand the difference until @Emrakul pointed it out.

However, I did look through the FAQ for this site to get some ideas on how it worked, and also how to do the hide-a-comment technique (which reference I could not find; fortunately I have enough rep from other sites to sneak a look at people's code).

I suggest that we add some clarifications somewhere about how to ask and what you can ask.

We might also add some basic definitions - or references to them from the wiki - in that same FAQ page, like the difference between a riddle and a joke, for example, and that you shouldn't post jokes (otherwise the site will become junky). But there are other distinctions too that come from conclusions derived in this meta.

Right now it seems like the only way to know the "rules" is by reading through all the questions in the meta.

  • $\begingroup$ This section of the Help Center is editable. Maybe we should think of something to put there nudge nudge $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Feb 20, 2015 at 3:38

1 Answer 1


I agree we need more guidance on out help page, in particular to reflect consensus that has developed on Meta. But I want to address here your particular comment about losing points and jokes versus riddles.

On this SE, many people use downvotes to express personal dislike of a puzzle. Because posted challenges are content to for readers to enjoy rather than requests for help, downvotes serve a different purpose that on other SE's, where they mark (among other things) content that does not belong. For that, there are close votes.

(By the way, would we be able to change the downvote mouseover text? It doesn't make sense for thise site: "This question does not show any research effort. It is unclear or not useful.")

So, challenges get some downvotes, and that's the usual order of business. Even many of the highly-voted, popular challenges get a downvote or two. It would be nice if people explained why they downvoted, but alas.

There does also seem to be downvoting of content that people feel doesn't fit the site, but much of that is subjective. Maybe some people don't like jokes, maybe some people don't feel they make good riddles, and maybe some people don't see a difference between those two statements. It's not the type of thing that can or should be delineated on a help page. (Though if someone believes joke riddles to be off-topic, that is a matter of policy, and should be discussed on Meta.)

So, all on all, don't stress about downvotes. Same for on-topicness -- if people believed your post off-topic, they'd express that in other ways. The site is young, and there's lots of puzzling ground to explore. Better to try something new even if it might get downvoted.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I agree with you about not worrying about downvotes. I just want to become one of those guys with 10K rep; I've got 2700 on SE, but I've worked my tail off to get it. $\endgroup$
    – bgmCoder
    Feb 20, 2015 at 6:22

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