I'm new to setting puzzles. My first was on this site under a week ago.

With each new one I learn a little more about what makes an unambiguous and fair puzzle. However I still find myself returning to questions in order to patch them up when comments show their shortcomings.

To give a concrete example, I set this puzzle. Just a few numbers

It has had a good reception but I think I could give a big clue by changing one word in the title. I could also make things easier by changing or replacing a couple of the clues.

Is it considered good practice to change the title or parts of a question in order to fine-tune it or should I just leave it alone?

In response to a comment from germcd (below), I should make it clear that my question is not specifically related to that example. I'm interested in the etiquette of changing parts of a question (but not the answer) after people have already spent some time working on it.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't think it needs a big clue in the title. I'd post an answer if I could explain all the clues. $\endgroup$
    – germcd
    Aug 10, 2015 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ @germcd - Sorry, I don't quite get what you meant. Are you saying I should post the answer to my own question? (Blanked out obviously) $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2015 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ I think I know the answer but I can't explain ALL the clues. $\endgroup$
    – germcd
    Aug 10, 2015 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ Are you talking about the puzzle I cited above? I only meant that as an example. My question here is a more general one about the etiquette of changing titles and answers. Especially after others have already made attempts to solve them. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2015 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ I was referring to that puzzle $\endgroup$
    – germcd
    Aug 10, 2015 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ Okay. So you have a solution in mind? Excellent. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2015 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ I have but I'm missing an explanation for about 4 clues. I'm hoping someone will reveal the answer $\endgroup$
    – germcd
    Aug 10, 2015 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ Which ones can't you get? Maybe I should make a note of the clues that everyone finds difficult and make them easier. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2015 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. $\endgroup$
    – germcd
    Aug 10, 2015 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


Generally it's fine to edit your question to insert clarifying edits or hints, or to correct an overlooked assumption. If you do it too much, it's usually taken as evidence that the puzzle wasn't written that well in the first place, but there's nothing wrong with the editing itself.

This applies equally to titles as it does to the content of a question. Sometimes titles are even edited by other people to make them clearer when the person themself doesn't know how to change it.


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