Well, it is nothing new, many have done that (including me) and still do (including me 2.0) :

The fast expanding answer

Let me explain. A new puzzle is posted, within the diffulty, different people might type the answer as the same time. This technique, like you can see in the comments of It's in your best interest to just leave me be, consists in putting only the answer, and then editing the posts multiple times to put all the clues that go with the answer.

The thing is that this technique brings one or two problems. For instance, you might have the answer but lack some clues, but as you "locked" the answer before the others you've got time to think of those clues while editing. And there is also the "fair-play-crushing" in doing that, especially if someone started writing all clues etc.

So we could resume by asking :

Is it fair to put an answer with no details to be first and then edit the clues?
Or should we make a special answering rule for puzzling SE ?

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ See also: The Fastest Gun in the West problem. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Jun 17 '16 at 7:23
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting post indeed, but imo it is a bigger deal in Puzzling SE than in other communities $\endgroup$ Jun 17 '16 at 8:39

I think the answer lies in what PuzzlingSE is all about, and what it is not all about.

PuzzlingSE is not about earning reputation and winning contests.

With this out of the way, is your question still making sense? Wait is "fair" and what is "not fair" if the goal is not to be accepted first etc.? In fact, as a puzzle author I have - and I will - always accept the best answer to my puzzle, i.e. the one which when somebody reads it explains the best. I also shift acceptance to better answers, if they are added later, even if the first was already correct.

I think the more important questions is:

I posted a solution (and it is correct, maybe even already accepted). Should I care to edit it to be complete and easy to understand?

And the answer here is a big fat


The purpose of PuzzlingSE is - in accordance with the overall goal of StackExchange - to educate and to learn and to build a searchable, high quality data source for those who want to learn. With this in mind:

Always focus on editing content on this site (your questions, your answers, other people's answers, and other people's questions!) to make it better quality. Speed is not important. If you find a post which is year's old but could be made better: Please do!


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