Since this lacks an answer and probably deserves one, I'll contribute one by offering my standard comment on "answers" that don't go quite far enough to providing a solution:
(... so how does this contribute toward a solution? As this stands, it's Not an Answer, not even a partial one. Having fragmentary thoughts on aspects of a puzzle might be comment-worthy, but you probably want at least a germ of an idea that seems to lead forward before you should post as even a partial answer.)
If you're providing undirected thoughts that occurred to you while looking at a puzzle, and haven't pursued them to see if they seem to lead toward a solution path, it's not appropriate to post that as an answer.
Conversely, if your "thought process [...] doesn't answer the question" but demonstrably leads in a promising direction that materially advances the solution process, then (as we see regularly, and as validated in the linked question, What is the etiquette for collaborating on the solution to a complicated puzzle?), that thought process would make a good "partial answer" post—or give you a starting point for a collaborative effort with others in a chat room and/or a CW post, as we've seen happen for several more extensive puzzles.
(Even if it turns out you're chasing a red herring, just eliminating that path of investigation advances the solution process, so while ideally your thought process actually makes progress along the path to the solution, it's not strictly necessary that it does so.)
See also: Is it appropriate to work out a solution in an answer when the solution isn't complete yet? for some additional related thoughts.