Looking at the most recent questions for , the use of the tag does not seem very well defined. At a cursory glance, the use of is used to indicate:

It seems like this tag was meant for puzzles of deduction but the definition got a bit loose over time.

What does encompass?
Do some questions need a retag?
Do we need to find a way to split the logic grid style puzzles from the formal mathematical deduction puzzles and the liars/oracle puzzles?


I'm bothered by this. It seems that logic-puzzle is being used as a catch-all "I can't think of any other tags" tag. Logic is a very general tool that should be used in many puzzles, so the name logic-puzzle is ambiguous. The definition is also rather general and does not suggest a specific genre of puzzles:

A puzzle where one uses formal logical deduction to arrive at a solution.

The first and third categories you mentioned already have tags describing them: math and lateral-thinking. The second however does not, and I believe that the logic-puzzle tag is meant to describe that category. For those sorts of puzzles I propose the name "paper-pencil-deduction"--which is rather verbose--unless someone has a better suggestion. And for the definition I propose,

A puzzle whose solution requires spaces to be filled in correctly using only deductive reasoning from the clues provided.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Maybe logical-deduction? $\endgroup$ – user20 Sep 28 '15 at 1:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul I like that. I think a big part of the reason that the tag is overused is because many newcomers don't know how to tag their puzzle, and the first thing they think to type in the "tag" box is "puzzle". Guess what shows up when you type "puzzle"? $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Feb 9 '16 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking logic-grid. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Feb 9 '16 at 16:09

"Logic" often refers to a lot of things that aren't formal deductive logic, and almost every puzzle uses something that could be called "logic". Because of this, logic-puzzle gets tagged for a uselessly wide range of questions. I think that logic-puzzle is a bad tag name, and doesn't adequately describe what type of puzzles we actually want in it.

For the puzzles that involve formal logical deduction, we should use a tag name that indicates more obviously what the tag is (and isn't) for. I would suggest , although I'm not entirely sure that it wouldn't have the same problem. (Compare , which is for a very specific type of puzzle but has been tagged for quite a few puzzles that just involve logic and grids.) Hopefully a better tag description could help here, maybe something like "A puzzle that involves combining information from given statements using formal logic to prove a conclusion."

We should also address the issue of logic-puzzle being used as a catch-all tag. A tag is supposed to group together similar questions, and if it's being used for everything, it doesn't fulfill that purpose. One option could be to get rid of it entirely. Alternatively, we could keep it with a broad definition, although it's hard to articulate what that definition actually would be. Using the inductive/deductive reasoning distinction, a first approximation might just be puzzles that don't qualify as riddle, cryptograms, pattern, lateral-thinking, enigmatic-puzzle, or situation. Looking at the current list of questions tagged with logic-puzzle, I think the ones that seem most out of place either belong in one of those categories (where they should be retagged) or are entirely off-topic for the site.

  • $\begingroup$ See my comment above to Emrakul. I think there's a reason this tag gets overused. If we're getting rid of it, we need to consider what will become the next "catch-all" tag by default. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Feb 9 '16 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain That's why I suggested leaving it with a broad definition. It isn't ideal to have a tag that is so broad, but at least it would keep the current situation from happening to other tags. If we retag the questions that match the categories I listed, I think the remaining group would be at least somewhat coherent. $\endgroup$ – f'' Feb 9 '16 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ See my answer for my thoughts on the issue. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Feb 9 '16 at 17:26

I'm going to put this in an answer, because my thoughts are spread over several comments, and I want to make them cohesive:

I think the major problem is that a new user isn't sure what to type in the tag: box, and often ends up just typing puzzle. The first (only?) thing that shows up is . Renaming to something else will solve that particular issue, but won't help with new users trying to find a default tag for their puzzle.

I suggest that we create a bunch of aliases containing the word puzzle for the most common tags, which will help new users find the appropriate tag:

(If this sounds redundant, ask yourself why instead of ?)

Then when a new user naively types puzzle into the tag: box, they are presented with options for the most common puzzle types. Since the above tags are aliases, the puzzles end up being tagged with their actual appropriate tags instead, and Everybody Wins™!

  • $\begingroup$ For reference, this is what shows up for "puzzle": i.stack.imgur.com/5uRNA.png $\endgroup$ – f'' Feb 9 '16 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ Looking at what comes up currently, I'm honestly not sure there's enough information in the tag prompt box to accommodate this... I like the idea, but I'm not sure we have enough finite control to implement it effectively. $\endgroup$ – user20 Feb 9 '16 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul But if it were our most-common tags that had the -puzzle aliases, wouldn't they be the ones to show up? It looks like the tag prompt box is sorted by popularity. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Feb 9 '16 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain Just tested it, and you're right, yeah. The most popular tags would show up with those synonym matches. $\endgroup$ – user20 Feb 9 '16 at 18:35

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