# Best answer: what does it mean?

I've recently answered this question and noticed a weird situation.
The author of the puzzle had in his mind a solution, which happened to be very similar to my answer. Though, he decided to assign the "Best answer" to another solution, simpler and easier to understand, but completely different from the author's solution. Now I ask:
What makes a solution the best?
Apparently, there are only $3$ valid answers to my question:

• The most original, simple and creative answer, even if different from author's solution.
• The puzzle was too broad, so any answer is valid as another.

Any answer of these has consequences: if it's what the author was thinking of, then Nit accepted the wrong answer as best; if it's the most original answer, then this would be a serious issue for riddles and "what am I?" puzzles, since all the answers are usually very creative and varied; if the puzzle was too broad, it should have been closed instead of protected!

What makes a solution the best?

It's very simple: Whichever solution the author of the question decides it is.

The accepted answer is left completely up to the user who asked the question. If you would like to express your own opinion, do so via upvotes and downvotes. However, only the author of the question can decide which answer is marked as accepted.

• As exemplified by this question where the accepted answer has a score of MINUS 21. Apr 28 '15 at 18:54

It is up to the OP to accept the answer which, in his eyes, is the best answer to a question. sometimes (in the case of your tagged question) it might not be as clear as to what the OP is thinking.

In questions without the lateral-thinking tag I would like to argue there should only be 1 possibility. If there are multiple like this question you need to refine your question by posting hints and expanding the question with more information to narrow the results (as the OP did) though posting hints and expanding a riddle is not a nice way to handle this, it is the best way i can think of.

In the end it comes down to the OP (and the community).

TL;DR
Lateral thinking
The accept answer to a question with this tag should be either of the following:
- The one the community voted highest.