I don't know if this is appropriate for meta or not but I'm getting frustrated.

Here's my conundrum:

  1. To my knowledge, there's no way around the grace period
  2. My puzzle is designed to require the user to look in the edit history of the question
  3. If I post the hidden puzzle with the intent of changing it later so it only shows in the history, it is seen and answered too quickly because and people are always online
  4. If I preface the OP with something like "Please don't answer this yet" it either gives up the game or it gets deleted by mods because it's not a question

Is my puzzle impossible to post?

How would you get around these troubles?

Here's the actual puzzle. I don't expect it will ever be posted on Puzzling since I can't figure out how to get around the restrictions I face. I was trying to be all meta and clever and it just hasn't worked.

I hide a chestnut within me
I've held it for naught eternity
Only briefly did I wield
The question that will the answer yield

You've heard before and will again
Me and others among my kin
We're known quite well and answered now
No longer do we furrow brows

Be wary, though, and be not fooled
The riddle here is overruled
You must find the one most hidden
Changing is to some forbidden

Dig it up and answer that one
I think the hunt shall be most fun
Explain these stanzas if you choose
But a one-word answer is all I'm due

I puzzle you? You puzzle me!
I do not know why you don't see.
I have a history hidden from thee
Find it for simplicity

Then, in the edit history, the user would see the first posting was a fairly simple puzzle. Something like "What color was the bear?" All the user would need to post to get the tick was "White" and, after a while, an explanation of how they found it.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I'd tell you, but 1) this is crazy and 2) if you can't solve The Grace Period Puzzle then expecting others to solve yours is a bit presumptuous. $\endgroup$
    – Shog9
    May 9, 2015 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ Is it crucial that the information is in the question's edit history (I haven't seen the puzzle)? Could you link to a set of files or diffs that has the same information? $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    May 9, 2015 at 3:55
  • $\begingroup$ @xnor I'll post the puzzle so you can see. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2015 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Shog9 So far as I know, my only option is to either wait 5 minutes so the first post will stick in the history or post it when nobody is online. So far, I haven't found a time when that's the case. I don't know if you mods have powers that could make this work but I haven't been very successful at contacting one directly to find out. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2015 at 4:44
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast Honestly, the whole "hidden within the question/markup thing" is pretty cliche by now. The riddle is a step up, but I'm still not a fan of a puzzle that literally hides information. You could though just hide the secondary riddle in some invisible markup that can only be seen by editing the question. $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    May 9, 2015 at 5:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You could post it, quickly delete it then later undelete it and quickly edit it. (You could also split the information required to answer between the new edit and the old one, such that the old one cannot receive an answer until one sees the new one) $\endgroup$ May 9, 2015 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ @xnor I didn't realize that hiding things like that was cliché. I didn't mean for it to be a trick as the answer to the posted riddle would be "the question edit history". It also never occurred to me to try invisible markup. This would have been a good suggestion. $\endgroup$ May 11, 2015 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Meelo That... Is an excellent idea. If I had thought of it, I would have posted it. $\endgroup$ May 11, 2015 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ To give a contrasting view, I think that, if the puzzle has a 'steganography' tag, then hiding information in tricky ways is absolutely fine. That being the point of steganography. I suggest looking through existing posts with that tag to see what's been done before. $\endgroup$
    – A E
    May 14, 2015 at 9:46

1 Answer 1


Answering to close my question

As pointed out in the comments by Meelo:

I could have posted part of the hidden riddle and then deleted the question. Later, I could undelete and edit in the second part of the riddle. As well as posting the riddle in this OP. This is probably the closes to what I was looking for.

As pointed on in the comments by xnor:

I could hide the riddle in hidden markup within the question posting. That would have required a slight change in the riddle, though, as it changes the answer from "look at the question edit history" to "edit the question". However, it would have served as a functional solution.

These were both good solutions. I will not be posting this riddle as 1) it's already given away by this post and 2) what I thought was a clever twist has already had similar posting elsewhere, according to xnor.

However, I still learned some things / got some good idea and that was my goal. I am satisfied.


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