Would it be legal for a tag to be part of a question. E.g. to have a seemingly mathematical question which is really a lateral thinking puzzle and tag it math to intentionally make the puzzle harder?
Is this within the spirit of SE Puzzling or not?

I.e. Could the tag be part of the actual puzzle?

The most obvious repercussions, should the community decide that this IS legal, would be that we would thereby not be allowed to edit tags of other users (which causes other problems).
What could be a good solution (providing you think that it IS legal to intentionally insert misleading tags)?

  • 13
    $\begingroup$ This is particularly troublesome if the hidden tag is lateral thinking. I would be annoyed if I spent time working on a math puzzle only to find the intended answer involved lateral thinking. Also, we don't want to encourage lateral thinking answers on questions not tagged as such. $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2016 at 15:02

2 Answers 2


I would say no, it should not be legal. The puzzle should be entirely contained within the post, and the tags act as descriptors. Even the idea of temporarily withholding tags (which has been previously discussed) had a mixed reaction.

Puzzling.SE is still primarily supposed to be a Q&A site. Even though we stray from that in one aspect doesn't mean we have to stray from it in others.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I'm generally in agreement with this. Tags are how people (and the site's logic) sort and categorize questions. Messing with that as part of a puzzle seems antithetical to the site's design. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Feb 22, 2016 at 18:41
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ 100% agreed. Tags are for categorization—using tags as "part of the puzzle" introduces an inconsistency at the service of this wink-nudge gimmick that only really works in a vacuum. $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2016 at 18:56
  • 13
    $\begingroup$ Also, I (and thus I assume others), use tags to "filter" content to their interests. So, this proposal has a compounding effect where you both miss your target audience (I may not click into the hypothetical mathematically tagged lateral thinking puzzle, even though I may actually be interested in it), while at the same time annoying/frustrating others (people who only enjoy mathematical puzzles then have their time wasted by a disguised lateral thinking puzzle). $\endgroup$
    – Alconja
    Feb 23, 2016 at 1:20
  • $\begingroup$ Thoughts on this? $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    May 16, 2018 at 17:20

If you don't want to show what kind puzzle you want to use, consider using the tag. If you make the question look mathy, it could still be lateral-thinking. Still, I think that even this may not be the best idea.

However, I also think that it is a bad idea to intentionally use the wrong tags.


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