This would seem to be a trivial question, but with the current structure of puzzling.SE I'm legitimately not sure: I have a question that's a variant on another puzzle previously asked on the site; the difference is that I don't know the answer to my variant. The question would be reasonably appropriate either here or on the mathematics SE site, but given that the original problem was here, puzzling.SE seems an appropriate site for a followup. Still, the fact that I don't know the answer does seem to complicate matters, and I want to be certain that it's an appropriate question to be asking 'can you figure out the answer?' of here even if I don't know the correct answer (yet) myself.

An update, for the curious: I decided once the question was written up that it was more mathematical in nature and that I was primarily interested in the mathematical content rather than the puzzle content, so I've gone ahead and posted it over on mathematics.SE.

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    $\begingroup$ For two of my three upvoted questions, I didn't know the solution before posting, but they were very successful nonetheless. $\endgroup$
    – Kevin
    Apr 18, 2015 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


Good question.

Seems to me that just so long as you include the info that you don't know what the solution is and there might not be a solution (if that's the case), there wouldn't be much for anyone to complain about. If puzzlers don't want to take on that kind of challenge then they can skip it.

So I'd say go ahead and post it but make sure to provide that info, so that puzzlers know what they're getting into before attempting it.


Not that I disagree with the other answer, but I wanted to chime in - I think this is one of the best kinds of questions for this site.

Finding a puzzle and being unable to solve it would lead someone to come here, show the puzzle, explain they cannot find documentation on the solution and describe what they've tried and where they've become stuck. This would mirror pretty much how the trilogy sites are/were setup.

In addition, if it's a puzzle that was found and not made up, it could lead to additional traffic and users as they stumble on the puzzle and search for a solution.

It's essentially the same as "I found a puzzle and I think the solution is this, can you tell me if I'm wrong or if there's a better way?"

  • $\begingroup$ The point about traffic is dead on. We've had a couple notable viral questions, and the resulting traffic influx is unbelievable. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Apr 19, 2015 at 10:54
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    $\begingroup$ @Emrakul Thanks, Cheryl $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2015 at 19:57

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