I've recently joined this community and discovered an interest in puzzles that I didn't know I had. The atmosphere and camaraderie are great.

The only problem for me is detecting in-jokes.


Old dragon returning - hide your children!

Now the question I ask myself is: Is the title a clue to the puzzle or not?

The following comment makes me think it might simply be an in-joke.

I did indeed like this solution! Maybe @CodeNewbie is too new to realise that Avigrail is the dragon returning after an even longer absence :-O – rand al'thor 1 hour ago

How can I tell in cases like this?

Could such in-jokes (if that is what it is) be flagged in some way?

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If understanding of such in-jokes is required to solve the puzzle, then it's not a good puzzle. But in most cases they're just a nice but unnecessary cherry on the top, not actually important to the solution. Recently I made a post entitled "Did you miss me? Here's a riddle!" when returning to the site after a long absence; anyone who's been on the site for long enough would understand what the title meant, but the riddle was perfectly solvable without it. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 8 '15 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ Okay, that's fine, but a newbie might spend a long time trying to use the title as a clue to the solution - that's what I've tended to do. up to now. In the case you give, 'Do you miss me' would trigger thoughts of "target" and so influence how I tackled the riddle. Thus I'm never sure which way to take a particular title (or obscure reference within a riddle). $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Aug 8 '15 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, that's funny! Back then, I often used the title to hide a hint. People were discussing if using the title as actual part of the riddle was suitable or not. Looking at riddles again these days shows that everyone is reading the title very carefully. I took the chance to NOT include a hint but a red herring on purpose ;) $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Aug 8 '15 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe this post's title itself is an in-joke… or a puzzle! Meaning out of everything! $\endgroup$ – Conor O'Brien Aug 10 '15 at 6:50
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    $\begingroup$ @CᴏɴᴏʀO'Bʀɪᴇɴ - Well yes, except that this is Meta and we're not supposed to be cryptic or pose puzzles here - just ask clear questions ;-) $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Aug 10 '15 at 16:14

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