As I was laboring over some very attractive unsolved steganography puzzles, I began wondering which tag(s) are the hardest for the community to solve?

I didn't see a breakdown of "time to get an accepted answer" or other objective solvability measure by tag, so forgive me if there are such readily available stats. I just didn't see them.

As an aside, subjectively many steganography puzzles seem to take a long time to answer, even when the tag tells you what you need to do. Far longer than many complicated ciphers.

Anyway, I was just curious.


1 Answer 1


Well, if you want data here is a query that returns the average time (in hours) it takes to get an accepted answer by tag (filtering out any tags with less than 10 accepted answers)...

However (and I think it's a pretty big however), that data is probably largely meaningless, because:

  • It ignores puzzles which have no accepted answers, which in turn ignores entire tags (eg. )
  • The number of posts in a majority of tags is probably not enough for statistically significant trends
  • There can be a massive range of difficulty, even within a single tag (eg. rot13 vs solitaire both being tagged )
  • Time to solve is often more a factor of how niche the knowledge/skills required to solve the thing (i.e. the more niche the tag, the less eyeballs looking, the longer it takes)
  • Difficulty is often very subjective and relates to the solver's experience/interests (i.e. what's trivial to you may be impossible to me)
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! For the query and for the insight! $\endgroup$
    – axavio
    Jul 21, 2016 at 4:06

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