What should the subjects of our fortnightly topic challenges be? (with updates!) [duplicate]

Update May 16, 2018: This post has been (almost entirely) inactive since the last fortnightly topic challenge almost a year ago. The Fortnightly Topic Challenge has now been rebooted (see duplicate link above), with a fresh start. Please use the post linked above to add suggestions for new Fortnightly Topic Challenges.

Updates 12/14: You can now propose anything - not just a tag - as a topic challenge. If you can get people to vote for it, go for it. You can also now re-use past tags, but you have to indicate in your nomination that it's a re-run. See also: this meta question.

Let's do fortnightly topic challenges.

A fortnight seems like a reasonable time period: there aren't enough questions asked in the timescale of a week, and a month is long enough for things to change by quite a bit on a young site like Puzzling. Weekends are normally quiet, so let's start with a bang on a Monday!

Much of this is based on the methodology from the corresponding post on Worldbuilding. What works for them can work for us, right?

What to do:

If you have an idea for a tag or a theme of any kind to use as a topic challenge, post it as an answer below. Only one suggestion per answer, please. Here is a list of all tags, to help.

At the start of each fortnight, the highest-voted answer to this post will be selected as that fortnight's topic. That answer will then be deleted to mitigate clutter in this list.

I (or someone else) will create a new meta question in the format of this one. That person will then post an answer to that question which lists all the posts in the featured topic in the fortnight, together with whatever highlights they think worth mentioning. That post will be updated as new questions are asked within the topic, either by the poster of the answer, the poster of the puzzle, or by another friendly denizen.

We'll keep a list below of all topics we've had, with links to the relevant meta sub-posts.

marked as duplicate by GentlePurpleRain♦May 16 '18 at 20:56

• Are we (the community) still moving forward with this idea? Looks like Movies has the lead (as of this writing, at least); shall we proceed with that as the fortnightly topic? – NeedAName Sep 8 '15 at 19:00
• Can we make sure there's only one suggestion per post? Finding it hard to vote for astronomy/outer-space without simultaneously voting for genital piercings or Baseball.. – alexmc Sep 8 '15 at 19:57
• There seems to be a lot of inconsistency around the duration of these challenges. The first one was 16 days. The next one started the same day the first one ended, and lasted 16 days again. The third one started the next day, and lasted 14 days. And the current one waited a week and is scheduled to last 15 days. Wouldn't it make sense for them to always start on a Monday and end on a Sunday two weeks later? Then the next one can start again on the Monday. – GentlePurpleRain Nov 2 '15 at 16:30
• Just for clarifications: Do the suggested tags require to be actual tags already, or can they be new tags? – BmyGuest Apr 7 '16 at 7:12
• @BmyGuest They can be new tags. I'm fairly certain that neither movies or astronomy were around before this challenge. – GentlePurpleRain Apr 11 '16 at 14:24
• meta.stackexchange.com/questions/240634/… Maybe add something about Puzzling? – Mithrandir Jul 25 '16 at 13:40
• For posterity, I've deleted a couple very old negative answers. – Aza Nov 28 '16 at 4:53

This tag has very few question (7 as of posting, 2 of which are closed). I think there is a lot of potential to make some great puzzles for this tag.

• Hmm ... a problem with this tag is that it tends to attract opinion-based questions. There's a reason why ~30% of the questions posted so far have been closed. – Rand al'Thor Nov 10 '16 at 22:12
• PS. Only 6 questions now :-) – Rand al'Thor Nov 10 '16 at 22:14
• @randalthor I agree that the tag can bring bad questions, but isn't that part of the point of the challenges? Make great questions in those tags so others have a reference for what good questions look like? – David Starkey Nov 10 '16 at 22:49
• Well, that rationale is why I haven't downvoted this suggestion. Still mulling over whether or not I think it would be a good idea for the challenge. – Rand al'Thor Nov 10 '16 at 22:56

One of the under-appreciated flavors of the word puzzles.

Maybe a tag centered around the theme of or would be an interesting challenge.

Rabbit-Hole

Many puzzles lately have been quite deep in terms of how far you have to worm your way into the puzzle, and giving just enough information. I personally would like to see more puzzles of this type, especially in terms of information re-use.

• Can you please clarify what this means? It may just be me, but I don't know what this is... – Mithrandir Feb 12 '17 at 10:22
• @Mithrandir, I mean puzzles that involve going several plies down using few pieces of information. – boboquack Feb 14 '17 at 6:21
• How is this different than meta-puzzles? – David Starkey Apr 25 '17 at 16:24
• @DavidStarkey In a meta-puzzle you have multiple different separate puzzles, with a single puzzle combining them at the end. I would like to see puzzles that are self-standing and that have information that you have to reuse over and over again. – boboquack Apr 26 '17 at 6:20

non-rectangular grid-deduction

There are so many shapes, not only rectangle !
Let's be creative with non-rectangular grid-deduction

I'd like to propose: re-run.

Because "A picture is worth a thousand words".

• Should it be mentioned in the post that this is a re-run proposal? – Ankoganit Jul 13 '17 at 15:11
• Oh!!! If this happens it will encourage me to redo the drawing puzzle I was making! – n_plum Jul 13 '17 at 17:36
• Oh, my bad. I missed it was a re-run. – Maria Deleva Jul 13 '17 at 18:14

Somewhat similar to movies, but then again an entirely different genre, how about:

, or , or

As suggested by AE, .

Something along those lines. Can't think of one thing to encompass them all.

• 'theatre'? .... – A E Oct 31 '15 at 18:38

"One layer"

This would include any where the solution can be found after performing one step (perhaps allowing for an extraction step; details can be discussed).

The idea here is to encourage simple but fun/clever puzzles. Hopefully this will be a challenge for old hands to create short puzzles which are also rewarding, as well as an inlet for newcomers who may be intimidated by the complexity of many of the existing puzzles. My main concern is that it will also encourage low-effort puzzles, but perhaps that can be limited in some way?

• "performing one step" - what exactly does this mean? Many puzzles can't be solved so algorithmically. How many 'steps' would it take to solve an average riddle, for instance? – Rand al'Thor Jan 4 '17 at 10:55
• @randal'thor It's hard to formalise, but I sort of mean that once you perform a single action (transformation, manipulation, interpretation, etc,) on any part of (or the entire) the puzzle, then the result is directly part of (or the entire) the answer. Of course, riddles can't really be analysed that way, but there's a reason I stipulated enigmatic-puzzle. – Volatility Jan 4 '17 at 11:19

We should do .

Paradoxes make people think outside the box because they defy time. Plus, there are tons of types of paradoxes. Grandfather paradoxes are just a few of paradoxes and on Wikipedia you can discover more types of them.

Selflessly looking through the tags for a topic I'd personally enjoy, I couldn't help but stop at which I think would be mighty fun, although a broader topic may be better, such as "Fantasy media/literature"?

$$\begin{array}{c} \large {\text {~Poetry~}} \\\hline \end{array}$$
${\text{A world without poems, is a world without beauty}}$
${\text{Wonders of words, that is the realm of}}$
${\text{A beautiful tag, yet too few on site}}$
${\text{Let Puzzling bring this tag to light}}$
${\text{So many sorts and forms to try}}$
${\text{Express yourself, and don't be shy}}$

${\text{Support me here, and enjoy the test}}$
${\text{Maybe it will be one of the best}}$
${\text{With so many examples }}$*${\text{ it will be hard to protest}}$
${\text{That I think this is a great tag to suggest}}$

I'm surprised no one has suggested this tag yet. It is a great topic with many possibilities. There have been some great examples already displayed (see link in above poem) though there aren't that many questions actually tagged (currently just over 100). I would love to see some more!

• Unfortunately, the rhyme tag has surpassed... – Feeds Sep 8 '18 at 12:16

because it would really allow people to be imaginative and a bit crazy, and because haddock.

• While this could be fun as a theme for legitimate puzzles, I worry that this would encourage people to post nonsense puzzles, e.g. a riddle whose expected answer is "skydiving haddock" even though the clues are about purple trees and eggnog. – GentlePurpleRain Dec 11 '15 at 21:46
• @GentlePurpleRain, I see what you mean. We could try explaining that although it's on the topic of surrealism, the puzzle should still be solvable. And then if it isn't there's always downvotes. – A E Dec 12 '15 at 21:24
• @GentlePurpleRain Well, I suppose regular rules still apply so if it doesn't meet the minimum standard of this site, it doesn't matter if it's part of a challenge or not. – Alenanno Nov 12 '16 at 16:49

Sincere Flattery

Pick an existing puzzle on the site (well known or otherwise) and create one of the following:

• Remake - a new implementation of a unique puzzle idea
• Twist - an extension/modification of the ideas in the source puzzle
• Tribute - take the visual/thematic/etc idea of the source and create a new puzzle of a different genre
• Satire - a humorous or meta take on the source
• Sequel - an (unofficial) extension of a story/concept