This recent riddle question had the poster comment that:

I came up with this last night at 3am when I couldn't stay asleep. The intended answer was " a balloon that tells lies"

Such riddles purport to have an interesting answer (which is pretty much the bulk of the enjoyment in solving riddles), which makes the question attract upvotes. However, when the riddle turns out to not actually have an interesting answer, it detracts from the entire point of posting riddles on this site.

From the comments to that question, it appears to more than a few people that such riddles are highly unsatisfying, and that they should not be encouraged.

What should be done (if any) to such unsatisfying riddles?


2 Answers 2


Why would anything need to be done? Just like on other sites in the network, you can down-vote a bad question - which is why we can vote on questions. A good answer, regardless of whether it's the intended answer, can get up-voted as well.

I think, in most cases, if the answer is "unsatisfying", but has an interesting (unintended) answer, there is no reason to close it. Similarly if the question has no reasonable answer because it's too broad, then you should VTC.

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    $\begingroup$ The problem with the down vote and move on approach us that people think the question is interesting and upvote it, but when it turns out that the answer is uninteresting or seemingly "wrong", they are unable to change their vote and can only flag it. $\endgroup$
    – dfperry
    Jan 7, 2016 at 11:13
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    $\begingroup$ @dperry That's sort of the point of votes. I don't really see the issue there. (I mean, I understand that some people would just delete every question they don't love if they could, but that's a bad way to run a website) $\endgroup$ Jan 7, 2016 at 11:40
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    $\begingroup$ The point is that I couldn't down vote. I had already upvoted because I thought it was an interesting question. When it turned out to be an "oh, I was actually lying" answer, it was too late; my vote was already locked and I couldn't down vote it. $\endgroup$
    – dfperry
    Jan 7, 2016 at 11:47
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    $\begingroup$ @dperry I'm sure there's something that can be improved in the question... $\endgroup$ Jan 7, 2016 at 11:49
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    $\begingroup$ @dperry, The question has been edited, which means that you can change your vote if you so choose. $\endgroup$ Jan 7, 2016 at 13:50

Maybe we can make a site policy that whenever a puzzle gets successfully answered, then it can be edited (either by the OP or another user) with an update stating that the Q has been answered.

This won't do any harm, and will allow any who wants to change their vote to do so.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm really not sure of the point of this, since the OP should 'accept' the first correct answer, or best answer. This clearly indicates that the question has been correctly answered and is visible from the question page and from the list view. $\endgroup$
    – jhabbott
    Jan 18, 2016 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ @jhabbott This is just in addition. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2016 at 16:39

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