I'm writing a puzzle that involves password-protected content on a website I manage. I plan to use the website for puzzles in the future, as well.

Are external links to strange, unknown websites frowned upon? Or is it just a matter of trust between the OP and puzzlers? I tried to find an example of this in the wild, but could not.

  • $\begingroup$ Can't you just reproduce the content of your website here ? Does it require something you can not reproduce ? $\endgroup$ – Fabich Jun 13 '16 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Lordofdark I could, but I would love to have password protection. I want a level of "forcing" obfuscation until the proper authentication is found, something which I can't do on Puzzling.SE. It's like one of those iterative puzzles, with many steps to find the solution. $\endgroup$ – cyberbit Jun 13 '16 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ To clarify, the password protection is a key part of the puzzle, not just a way to prevent someone from getting into it. If that was the case, I would just post it in the question. $\endgroup$ – cyberbit Jun 13 '16 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ Very nice that your puzzle(s) can be posted in serial form here. As long as the pieces constitute valid puzzles here, it might actually be proper to attribute the source (your site) just at it would be for any other borrowed puzzle. $\endgroup$ – humn Jun 14 '16 at 5:42

I would venture to say that this would not fit within the scope of Stack Exchange's mandate. It's goal (as I understand it) is to become a repository of good questions and answers (though I am having trouble finding documentation to that effect). Questions that simply link to another website are basically just advertising, and are not within the scope of SE.

Even if the entire question was posted on Puzzling.SE, but required a link to an outside website in order to solve the puzzle, that doesn't help anyone who finds this question in the future, after the linked-to site has rotted away. At that point, the post will be essentially useless, since there will be no way to solve the puzzle.

So the external website could be fun/useful in the immediate, but is a bad idea for the long-term, which is something that is important to consider when posting both questions and answers.

  • $\begingroup$ Good points. What about this: I post the first portion of the puzzle, and once that is solved, I post another question with the next portion of the puzzle, like a series. Each piece could (technically) be solved alone, but all together they work towards a common goal. Is that kind of series structure discouraged at all? $\endgroup$ – cyberbit Jun 13 '16 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ @cyberbit I've seen that sort of thing done before. I would say just link to the previous puzzle in the series so that people can understand where you're coming from with each one. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Jun 13 '16 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ Works for me! Thanks for the help. :) $\endgroup$ – cyberbit Jun 13 '16 at 18:43

The convention here is that it's better if the puzzle is self-contained.


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