Recently I've been noticing a trend in puzzles, where they're either answered within 2 or 3 hours, or left to sit unanswered for days on end until a massive slew of hints is provided that finally points someone towards the answer. I find this to be an issue with how puzzles are presented on this site, and I was wondering if there's a solution.
This and this are examples of puzzles that were solved basically on the spot. Both of them strike me as pretty good puzzles, and I'm much less worried about this end of the spectrum since puzzling has the "many brilliant minds" effect. However, I think that if the site were populated with only puzzles like this, there wouldn't be as much allure, as either you solve the puzzle immediately and feel minimal reward, or someone else does.
On the other hand, this and this are examples of the other end of the spectrum, where they've been stewing for days and/or weeks waiting for someone to find the answer amidst a thick veil of obscurity. Multiple hints have been added, and yet still no one has made any progress. This type of puzzle is even more troubling, since if every puzzle was like this no one would ever get the satisfaction of solving anything.
I'm a firm believer that puzzles requiring 5 hints are probably just too hard (even though some of my favorite puzzles, and some of my puzzles as well, have well crossed that threshold). I like puzzles that are solvable on their own, and become moderately easy when 3 or so hints are provided. Is there a way to quality check puzzles to make them fit that guideline? Surely I can't be the only who ends up frustrated over a puzzle that sits unsolved for months.
P.S. At the end of my monologue, it became clear to me that too-easy puzzles aren't an issue here. Still, I like to be able to make puzzles that aren't too easy without being intensely difficult as well, and I'd like to find the threshold for that.