Consider the following riddle (as an example):
- I am (usually) green on top, and brown on the bottom.
- People always break me before they start to use me.
- 8 is my most important number
When riddles are posted, you will often see answers something like this:
I think the answer is
- A tree
I am (usually) green on top, and brown on the bottom.
- A tree's leaves are usually green, and the trunk is brown
People always break me before they start to use me.
- When a tree is going to be used for construction, it needs to be cut down first.
8 is my most important number.
- Not sure
The person posting the answer found a solution that seems to fit some of the clues, so went ahead and posted it. But it doesn't fit all of the clues!
They had no idea how to make the third clue fit with their perceived solution, so they just hand-waved it away.
It seems to me that
- This is obviously not the correct solution. If it were, you would be able to see how the last clue applied to the answer.
- The person is either:
- Too clueless (or too stuck on the first answer to pop into their head) to realize their answer doesn't fit, or
- Too anxious to be the first to answer that they don't care
In my opinion, riddle answers that only match a portion of the riddle's clues are non-answers, and should be deleted, but they often get upvoted as "good-effort" answers.
Don't get me wrong -- if an answer does try to make the solution fit with every clue in the riddle (even though some could be a bit of a stretch), then I think it needs to be considered as a valid answer, even if it is incorrect.
But if it only matches a portion of the clues, and no effort is made to make it match the rest of the riddle, then I see no reason for it not to be deleted.
Some examples of answers like this, from recent riddles (there are many more):