Where am I!?

This is Puzzling Stack Exchange's Official Riddle Sandbox™!

Users who wish to post riddles can post them here first, and receive feedback, development advice and guidance before posting them on the main site. Writing good riddles the first time can be difficult, and this is intended to help us all discuss quality and ultimately improve the site.

Posting here is not required. You are free to do so anyway, though, if you would like the feedback before posting your riddle.

To post in the sandbox, post as you would normally. You may include a solution - if you decide to do so, it should be spoilered, at the bottom of the post. Include the tags you plan to use, too: they can be formatted using [tag:tagname].

The ultimate goal of the sandbox is to help you improve your puzzle before it's posted on the main site. Once puzzles are posted on the main site, and people are already coming up with answers, it becomes much harder to edit and fix them; here, though, they're freely editable.

Here are a few important guidelines and tips for people who wish to help with sandboxed posts:

• Remember to be nice. The link is worth a re-read, even if you know what it says. We're ultimately here to help each other, and it's important to be sensitive to the work people put into their riddles.
• If participating in the sandbox for a question has given you an advantage when the question is posted on the main site, please don't answer it on the main site. People often put a lot of work into these riddles, and it’s discouraging when no one gets a chance to think about the riddle because someone else with prior knowledge scooped the answer.
• Offer positive feedback when you see something done particularly well - don't just focus on the improvement. This will not only encourage the riddle creator, but will help others to recognize what goes into making a quality riddle.
• Focus on the problem, not the person.

The sandbox works best if you sort posts by "active."

Also, feel free to ask questions in the riddle sandbox chat!

Thanks, and happy puzzling!

• I have a question. For questions like this one (puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/41088/…). that I came up with. It is an anageam question, but in riddle form, would this also come here? Aug 22, 2016 at 20:50
• @Jason_ Yeah! Anything that could reasonably be called a riddle, in form or function, can go here.
– user20
Aug 22, 2016 at 21:00
• I believe answers should be deleted from this meta post once they "graduate" on to the main site. Aug 23, 2016 at 12:53
• The PPCG sandbox says: "When you post your question on the main site, edit the sandbox post to include a link to the challenge, removing everything but the title and the link. This is to keep the sandbox more compact and reduce the scrolling needed to view other proposals. Furthermore, delete the post. (You should edit it anyway, because high-reputation users can still see deleted posts.)". Should we add that? Aug 23, 2016 at 19:42
• agree with @axavio! Also, there's currently no info about the sandbox when you add a riddle tag to a post. It might help to add something about the sandbox in the excerpt so people (..if they read the tag wiki) will know to post here first. Or even better, a pop-up notification like I've seen on other sites. Aug 23, 2016 at 20:43
• Hmmm..., when was +10 changed to +7?
– mbjb
Aug 27, 2016 at 2:54
• @mestackoverflow After I suggested it on chat. Aug 27, 2016 at 19:34
• For posterity's sake, I own the Sandbox account. Used to moderate Puzzling. Since resigned.
– user20
May 7, 2018 at 10:44
• Are there similar sandboxes for other puzzle types? For example I'm working on one that I'm confident about, I just want to check that the format of the answer makes sense, but it isn't a riddle. Oct 17, 2019 at 13:50
• It's confusing whether this sandbox accepts other puzzle types than riddles or not. Could mods clarify? Mar 9 at 18:53

I know this isn't necessary, but I would like feedback on this word-puzzle (plus I am unsure what tag I should use).

Not a snail's word

A word of four letters make me,
Related to speed I may be.
Unlike a snail, I am not slow,
Use a magnifying glass and you'll know!

Take off my first and flip me around,
And what do you know, now I'm a sound!
Used to communicate for non-human ears,
Am I heard in a city? Afraid not, my dears!

Remove my first and replace with another,
And now I'm something the dead might utter.
Or perhaps I'm yelled during a play,
When actors are not at their best for that day.

Now take last removed and append at end,
And I become something that's difficult to mend.
Why, if around me exists an obstruction,
With little problem I bring its destruction.

What was the original word, and the ones following?

• I really like that you posted here to get feedback even though it's no longer mandatory. This is exactly how the sandbox should work :-) Sep 1, 2016 at 18:41
• Tags: I would use riddle, word, and wordplay. Minor advice: in the first stanza, the fourth line is a bit too long and doesn't scan perfectly. Could you perhaps replace "magnifying glass" by, say, "magnifier"? Other than that, looks good! (I haven't looked at it deeply enough to work out the solution, only enough to give feedback, but I suspect it's probably quite easy and will be solved fast - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course.) Sep 1, 2016 at 18:44
• When I got to the third stanza, I was a little confused about whether I should be modifying the original word, or the one I got by following the instructions in the second stanza. I think you intended a series of changes, not multiple changes to the original word. Not sure if there's a good way to clarify that. Sep 1, 2016 at 18:50
• After solving the first three stanzas, it's obvious what the last one is, because you don't need any new letters. But if that weren't the case, I would find it difficult to come up with the word based on the clues provided. They don't quite seem to match the word itself, but rather a noun related to it. Sep 1, 2016 at 18:53
• In addition to the tags suggested by @rand al'thor, you could also use rhyme. Sep 1, 2016 at 18:54
• Did you post this one on the main site yet? Oct 20, 2016 at 15:12
• @randal'thor no, after hearing comments about it and that it was a bit easy and should be improved/modified, my life got a bit busy and I haven't had time to come back to it. Oct 20, 2016 at 15:15
• Possibly could be tagged anagram, though I haven't tried to find the answer. Apr 29, 2017 at 7:49

Yay, first riddle!

I have 256 slots,
of which 10 are wasted!
I can produce objects lots...
...with just 246 slots!!!

My name is long
My fame is undisputable
I can sing a song
with a graphic unconfusable!!

• Who downvoted, and why? If you're a mod, was it Community or someone else? If it's you who downvoted, why? Sep 3, 2016 at 8:44
• Even mods don't have the power to tell who downvoted a particular post. I agree it would be nice to leave feedback with a downvote, especially here in the Sandbox whose whole purpose is to gather feedback. Sep 3, 2016 at 15:08
• @randal'thor Mods can see flags, so they can determine if it was Community or someone else. If it was someone else, they can't see who though. Sep 3, 2016 at 15:11

So I've read quite a few (although never been able to answer). Kind of had an idea for a riddle on my way home. Possibly rubbish, but worth a punt in here: what do you guys think?

Round and Round,

Driven by Man or Horse.

An enemy of Power,

Repeated Throughout History.

Enjoyed with Bacon and Tea,

When I arrive, I change everything.

What Am I?

Sealed Tree Logs Make Five

My friend invited me to a club, however, he stipulated that I must first NAME the club before I could join. I asked how on earth I could possibly know the name, and he provided me this picture:

What is the name I need to tell my friend to join the club? And what is the relevance of the name of this question?

Sandbox

I have added a non-sequitur name, but it should make sense when the solution is found. Also, part of the question is the relevance of the title. Exactly how important should that be to the solution, or should I remove it? (I have a feeling some people will be confused (and never learn what it means) if no-one solves it in their answer though)

• The backstory's not necessary, but it may help reception of the puzzle. As for the title, I would embed a hint into there (and if you decide to extend the backstory, there too). Right now it seems to be underclued.
– Deusovi Mod
Oct 28, 2016 at 13:39

Haven't posted a proper riddle before, and figured I should probably let someone give it the ol' Sniff Test (TM) before letting it loose in the wild. Apologies to Riley...[xkcd comic]

What am I?

To start? I negate winter's chill
My heart? Its roots grow deep and sound
In the end? Surely that (if you will)
My code is my self until found.

The following words have synonyms that build a famous phrase:

along huge skill appear big duty

What is the famous phrase?

Any tips on how to improve. Or if this is too easy how to make it more difficult
Also, what tags to use.

• tags: wordplay, english, word-property, etc. Apr 20, 2018 at 3:26
• Too easy, yeah. Next time, try for something that isn't so well-known. But, be careful not to make it too obscure either
– Sid
Apr 21, 2018 at 22:16

Not sure if this is still used at all, but I'm looking for feedback.

Amber, leather, fruit, or pine. Whiskey, crackers, never wine.

White and red across a sea. Or clad twice in sable, burgundy.

Hidden, swung, hooked, flown. Suited, bottled, jumping, thrown.

You'll never get me if you're slow. Who I am? Well, "You don't know..."

• The surface reading (rhyme and rhythm etc, poetic style) is great. It's a bit hard to tell whether the riddle itself is good or not, but the key aspect of a good riddle is to have a single unique answer that fits all the clues. If every part of those commaed-off lists is a clue towards the solution, then that's a lot of clues and so it seems likely there is only one solution. Again, hard to tell without knowing the answer, but to me this looks like a very good riddle. May 31, 2020 at 18:25

What is this place?

They brought me to this place last week.

It is a place of knives, wires and pincers. Throughout day and night, the silence is broken by screams of unbearable agony and unprecedented terror.

They put the wires on me and cut me with the knives when the pincers didn't work.

I have slept here more safe and happy than ever before in my life. I think I'd like to come back here.

Where am I?

Solution:

The place is a maternity ward. The screams are from women in labor (unbearable agony) and newborn infants (unprecedented terror from all the new experiences). The narrator was connected to a life sign monitor (wires) and when delivery by forceps (pincers) didn't work, she had an emergency C-section (knives). She is safe (monitored by doctors) and happy (about her new baby) and thinks she wants to have more children.

• If I may add my opinion - the last line of your riddle is not always the case. So, perhaps you could reword it somehow? Aug 27, 2016 at 18:31
• You don't need to specify the riddle tag, since this sandbox is about riddles anyway. Aug 29, 2016 at 18:20
• @MariaDeleva: if by that you mean the "I will come back", then the "I think" before makes it the narrator's intention. But I 've changed it to "I'd like to come back" which makes it clearer (and the contrast more jarring). Aug 29, 2016 at 20:44
• @MichaelBorgwardt, I mean the whole line. Sometimes, you do not feel safe or cared for at all. Sometimes, you do not even sleep - for multiple reasons. Sometimes, you wish you would never have to go through it again. Perhaps, it is just the ideal case you are describing. Aug 29, 2016 at 20:50
• @MichaelBorgwardt, perhaps you could just refer to a special gift you receive - not touching the experience part at all - it could have been pretty traumatic for some. Aug 29, 2016 at 20:54
• @MariaDeleva: the wording is intended to be the experience of a narrator, a single person. The "gift" idea is good thoug. Aug 31, 2016 at 11:52

With all my faults that make me quake,
this state I’m in tends to shake.

Not quite brown and not quite red,
stuck on an island it could be said.

Esto hace muchos años pasado Y2K,
you can see me, in night and day.

Who am I?

• What do you want to post it here for? Do you want us to help you improve? Do you have questions on its difficulty? Apr 22, 2018 at 6:29

I saw the Riley format going around and I like it, so I'm posting here first to get some feedback:

My prefix takes what it was not meant to have
My suffix shares what others have already shared
My infix wants to wander the world
But altogether, I'd rather just stay home

Hint:

My prefix and suffix are both abbreviations, one in sports and one online.

Are there any tags I'm missing from a Riley Riddle like this? What's the difficulty level? Any improvements you can suggest, especially any idea for a title?

• The original Riley Riddle (and many of its successful derivatives) rhyme quite nicely. Your riddle seems well put together, perhaps trying to make it rhyme would make it stand out? Aug 27, 2018 at 20:40
• I agree with @PerpetualJ. Your verses have very good contrast, and I honestly have no idea what the word could be as of this moment. An idea for the title would be tricky, because usually titles share clues to the answer, that of which I do not know (...yet). Tags might include knowledge, riddle and I assume wordplay (because affixes don't have actions). There is no Riley Riddle tag, though I wish there was, but that is off-topic now. Difficulty levels are quite subjective; I find this quite challenging, but other users might not. Apart from that, I really like this riddle. $(+1)$ :D Sep 8, 2018 at 12:28

Can you figure out the next number in the sequence?

1
3
5
59
245
2,491

Hint 1

Hint 2

Think binary

Solution: The next two numbers in the sequence

235,253
127,756,731

Explanation of the sequence

It is the Look-and-say sequence for binary numbers converted to decimal. So:
Decimal Binary Explanation
1 1 one(1)
3 11 one(1) one(1)
5 101 two(10) one(1)
59 111011 one(1) one(1) one(1) zero(0) one(1) one(1)
245 11110101 three(11) one(1) one(1) zero(0) two(10) one(1)

I came up with this sequence. Would this make for a good question?

• Pure number-sequence questions like this aren't generally well-received on this site. Part of the reason for this is that it is possible to generate a polynomial that will generate any given sequence of numbers, so unless there is something besides just the list of numbers, anyone with sufficient mathematical knowledge can generate a matching sequence. Sep 2, 2016 at 15:33
• Some tips to improve the question: Include a few more numbers in the sequence. Add some flavour text: Make up a little story about someone slipping you this list of numbers on the street and whispering something to you about a secret society. Your story can include hints to the intended solution, both to help people solve it, and to make your solution unique. If someone posts a generated polynomial as the solution, you can point out that it doesn't match the hints in your story. Sep 2, 2016 at 15:35
• I think your two hints as they are are too obvious. Anyone reading them will likely be able to find the solution almost immediately. If you somehow hide them within a story, though, they will still be available for those sharp enough to recognize them, but won't be immediately obvious. Sep 2, 2016 at 15:37
• I second everything GPR says above. As just a number sequence without hints, this puzzle a) doesn't look very interesting and b) is probably too broad, since many rules might generate that sequence. (Also: hints should be helpful but not necessary for finding a solution.) With the hints as you've stated, it would be solvable almost immediately. A good middle ground would involve un-spoilertagging the hints and obfuscating them somehow, e.g. in a story as GPR suggests. Cf. this or this. Sep 2, 2016 at 21:54
• This is way to easy anyways. OEIS sequence 049190 Fast thing Jul 13, 2017 at 23:09

This is a rather short one but should be obvious to most users of this site (or not):

What do you call a lot of pieces of paper from which a few have fallen down?

Please give me some advide whether this would be a good puzzle.

• The grammar of the riddle is a bit off... Are you trying to say: "What do you call a lot of pieces of paper from which a few have fallen down?"? Jan 31, 2018 at 23:34
• @Alconja thank you, English is not my native language. I corrected it.
– MEE
Feb 1, 2018 at 7:14

The Disdainful God

My name is held, in present time, with less regard than past. I work the seas, without your praise. It is I who’ll long out-last.

The Moon - I’m worried it’s too obvious, I intended the god part to be a red herring of sorts.

There is also a secret solution path hidden in the first line, hinted by the language tag. I’m still new to the etiquette of this site and am open to criticism. Hint:

Translate

Secret path:

Present tense of held is hold, hold in Hungarian is moon. I couldn’t think of a proper title or riddle hint for Hungarian (please suggest).

This is my first riddle, so I'd appreciate any feedback / suggestions.

You come across a door, guarded by two mysterious men. As you start to figure out how to tell which one is lying and which one is telling the truth, they say in unison:

WELCOME, TRAVELER, TO REIBELLO'S RIDDLE REPOSITORY. SHOULD YOU SEEK ENTRY, YOU'LL HAVE TO SOLVE A SIMPLE PUZZLE.

You quickly agree to hear the puzzle. You also notice that their voices are different. One is deep and strong, while the other is softer, and strangely emphatic about his words.

Our first AND second facilitate, that which you need to operate.

Each alone, is not correct, but read aloud make our subject.

Our third is imprecise at best, but gladly taken on a test.

Our fourth is five- IT IS TWO! We disagree. But it's also half of twenty-three.

Our fifth is fifth. All the clue you'll need, I reckon. But just in case, it's also our second.

Our sixth and last, core of our planet round, but don't go quite as far in underground.

Our riddle complete, answer if you dare. Six letters, and no more, WE SWEAR.

What word are the mysterious men looking for?

I have an alternate line for letter 4 - tell me if you think it's better / worse / easier / harder please and thank you.

Our fourth is five- It's two. His clues are the worst. It's also half of what is first.

• This is a great riddle! I think the alternate line for letter four is the better one, this way you're not giving away each letter. Aug 27, 2018 at 21:03

Title is still yet to be decided

I was playing a game and thought of this problem:

Rules

1. There are 4 distinct tiles on a $$6\times6$$ grid.
2. You can shift all the tiles in one of the four cardinal directions (north, south, west, east) until they hit a wall or a tile.
3. After every move, a new tile appears on the grid.
4. If three or more same tiles line up orthogonally (not diagonally), these blocks disappear.

This game is a mix of Match 3 and 2048. Here is an example screenshot. The player can shift the tiles down and the 3 green H-tiles will be removed from the game:

Question: Is it guaranteed to never lose in this game?

• I would suggest changing the question to "Is there a strategy to never lose the game?" Aug 4, 2020 at 15:37

Enter the Vermillion

• This was a great riddle (and still is) :D Sep 19, 2018 at 8:17

Since I made first puzzle proly too hard, I try it here first. Only changed actual puzzle to A,B,C,..etc. Please write some comment what you think about it and how to change it. I wanted to do it like meta-puzzle, but it would end like my first puzzle

Part 1:
Find: YYyy-MM-dd (years-months-days)

YY = Current difference between A and B in days
yy = roman numbers In teXt
MM = Difference between D and E (some number, hard to see in given context)
dd = Only day in june, when something F

(if you find something like 20 months, add 1 year to yy and now you have 8 months)

Part 2:
After you find wiki-date, or you knew about it: Solve x and y, where G and F are given from that wiki-date-page:
19*G+2*F+0.00743331 = x^y-y
What is yx?

Sadly I could not find alternative for that 0.00743331. That is my main concern.

• Is 0.00743331 even precise? Apr 29, 2017 at 0:00
• @boboquack that number is "real number"… but I will give good zero hint for verification and also for "an idea" Apr 29, 2017 at 0:29

I am not new to puzzling. But a puzzle I posted and then deleted is of interest to me. I want your feedback on how I can make this better. It was commented that the puzzle was too broad. I feel it is an interesting and hard puzzle.

Can you give me an English Surname with at least 12 english names/nicknames appearing in its spelling sequencially. Cannot rearrange letters. The names must come from a reputable site like Wikipidia or Usefulenglish.ru. My solution has 13 (may be 14) names/nicknames in it. Example : JACKSON has Jack, Jason, Jon, Jan in it.

I did my research and there are not that many surnames with more than 12 names/nicknames within their spelling.

• The issue with the puzzle is exactly what counts as "reputable". You don't make that clear, so it's impossible to tell whether something counts as a solution. For any website, you can find people who disagree on its reputable-ness.
– Deusovi Mod
Jan 7, 2018 at 0:53
• Also, there are several very long surnames that would work. What about this person's surname, which has over 500 letters? I'm sure you could find a ton of names or nicknames in there. Or this person, who had to get a new driver's license because her surname was so long? Both of these people lived in America, an English-speaking country.
– Deusovi Mod
Jan 7, 2018 at 0:55
• So how do I word it? Make it specific saying it is a 15 letter UK surname? That will be so easy to solve. How about giving away say 5 out of the 13 names/nicknames?
– DrD
Jan 7, 2018 at 13:56
• It seems to me like giving away several of the embedded names would be far more informative than giving the length of the surname.
– Gareth McCaughan Mod
Jan 7, 2018 at 23:22

I'd like to post this to the main site, but am not sure of the difficulty level, or if it's interesting to solve. Any thoughts/suggestions?

I'm not a mammal, no flier-by-night,
(though I too have been known to give you a fright).

And you might just stutter when finding my name
(but I'll give you energy to try again).

My end is quite short - and it's part of a key.
(Just please use the right way to dispose of me!)

And I can't decide if this should be part of the riddle, or a hint:

Still stuck? Here, try this: you can buy me with money,
or sometimes with Na, if you're being funny.

• Alright, it's going up on the main page - we'll see how it's received! Wish me luck :) Jan 28, 2018 at 22:22
• @user477343 it's here Nov 17, 2018 at 21:40
• Thanks! :D ${}$ Dec 3, 2018 at 10:19

quite new here and looking to post my first question/puzzle soon-ish. This is what I have so far:

I have seen this story unfold in a few different forms, but I think the general flow of it goes something like this:

Once upon a time on a small pes of land
Ruled by the rainy, devious, Irish and tin-clad
Was a community built on strange inquiries

One day a citizen had one such request
And claimed it to be the true test
Of this people's resources and skills
So sure enough some doubt was instilled.

A day went by, then two, then three, then four
To the point that this citizen seemed ignored.

So he created an incentive with his powers
That would last one hundred and sixty-eight hours
In the hopes of garnering some attention
Lest his problem reach a form of ascension.

The hunters of this land took notice of the prize
But knew they had to be both skillful and wise
For such an incentive would only quench one hunter's thirst
In order to claim it they'd need to be correct, and first.

The hunters gathered and laid down their plans
Finishing with a race of the deftest hands
Credit was given where credit was due
But still the prize was for one and not two.

With the citizen's problem resolved by the answers he's seen
Fellow hunters were envious but the victor was green
This hunter finally took his prize home
One chocolate-covered coconut dome.

Looking for advice on accuracy or with cleaning up the vocabulary/grammar used to hopefully sound a little less awkward but keep a rhyming scheme. [Or if this is close enough to another puzzle already on the main site so as to make this a duplicate :( ]

Or any feedback in general, thanks in advance!

• Here's some proofreading. Line 1 should probably be "... on a small piece of land". Line 8 should be "... was instilled". Apr 30, 2018 at 2:20
• Hmm, for line 1 I spelled it pes in hopes that it would be a tip off to where it would be posted ->pse, would that be necessary/useful at all or just confusing and look un-proofread? Your other suggestions have made their way into an edit :) @Laurel
– Einb
Apr 30, 2018 at 3:31
• I was wondering if it was an enigmatic clue towards the solution (or just a strange typo: thus "probably"). I would probably not have made the connection between "pes" (which is an actual word meaning "foot") and "PSE". Apr 30, 2018 at 3:47
• Okay I'll keep that in mind and will probably end up changing it to just piece. Hopefully after some more eyes get to take a look at it. Any comment on the puzzle in general?
– Einb
Apr 30, 2018 at 3:59

A hopefully, about to be, entry in the Fortnightly Topic Challenge. This is my first riddle (and my first poem in a long while) so feedback to improve it would be appreciated.

Appropriate Term

The day was hard
and full of play
and after I went to sleep.
And when I woke
the place where I counted sheep.

locale to find
in desperation I searched,
for striking things
and I knew not where I perched.

A cloud was first
that I observed,
fluffy and pleasantly firm.
and gently slept for a term.

In top of tree,
floating, carefree,
I'd slept on a lily pad.
Upon a lake
took place my rest

Outside was cold,
no comfort there,
yet shivers did not connote,
for I did rest
in comfort warm,
under sheep's fine woolen coat.

a dark sun rose,
hiding in fear behind shield.
By fragile shell,
its airy core,
and hardened center were sealed.

Behind the star
a dozen friends,
All glowing green
with five points each --
mysterious, this daydream.

Beyond it yet,
and further still,
craters of thrilling beauty.
Behind the stars
floated the moon,
in place as was its duty.

Down at my feet
a dark cave lay,
its entrance greater than I.
I thought it might
give chase and cause me to fly.

Inside I saw
the outlines of
tapestries hung up on high.
Yet all were turned
toward the side
their faces left to mind's eye.

Across the floor
animals roamed
rabbits, a fox and a bear.
I looked away
and turned again --
only mock animals there.

Upon wood legs
a flat top rests
its features all knots and lines.
Quiet and still
it stands and waits
like all its ancestral pines.

And on this top
a tiny pond
water line over the shore.
The tallest for
its narrowness

And there nearby
a flower danced
Inside its cage
it whirled (what fright!)
my fingers dared not enter.

Next to the pond,
some crystals grew,
all bright illuminated.
Dots and numbers,
letters they formed,
and stars they dominated.

Behind me then
a great space glowed,
got brighter by the minute.
Though light was blocked
by slats of wood
eyes hurt as luck would have it.

Where am I now?
Where have I gone?
I have great need to confirm.
I need to know,

Solution

Each stanza except the first two and last one refers to a different thing. They are, in order: A pillow, a waterbed, blankets, a light bulb (behind its fixture), glow-in-the-dark star stickers, the roof (textured), a closet, clothes, stuffed animals, an end table, a cup of water, a fan, an alarm clock, and a window (with wooden blinds). The final solution is that I'm exactly where you'd expect me to be sleeping: My bedroom.

These tags seem appropriate:

• Overall I like this. A couple notes: metaphor is one thing, fibbing another: "colorful sheep who baaa'd" isn't exactly a fair description for this thing; similarly, "algae"? Also, the mosaic doesn't sound like a typical style for what it represents; it may be factually true of this specific place, but may be too unusual to ring any bells for solvers. Finally, the penultimate stanza, even knowing what it's meant to be, doesn't suggest that thing at all to me. I suspect if you ask a test-solver to look at this, they'll show you by where they get stuck which bits may need more accessible cluing.
– Rubio Mod
Jun 4, 2018 at 1:26
• Thanks for the feedback. I'll give it some thought and see if I can improve on those. I think I've got a good idea for the sheep at least, it'll just take some working out the rhyme. By test-solver, do you mean a person who's trying to solve the puzzle? Or is that something different? Jun 4, 2018 at 3:44
• Nope, means exactly that - someone you give a puzzle to and let them try to solve it. Very useful, especially when you're either just starting out, or when you're trying something pretty new.
– Rubio Mod
Jun 4, 2018 at 4:22
• I tried to make some improvements to the problem clues. The sheep who baaa'd are a sheep's wool coat now and algae became bright crystals. I think you're right that the "mosaic" I used is probably too unusual, so it's a flat pine top on legs instead now. Complete with knots. I just made the horizontal forest explicitly wooden slats too. Does that make it better? Jun 4, 2018 at 4:58
• Ah, I was thinking of someone who solves tests, not a solver who is the test(er). That makes more sense. I don't know anyone who could be a test-solver, unfortunately, but that sounds like it would help a lot if I did. Jun 4, 2018 at 5:01
• I think rhyme could also be a tag. Jul 6, 2018 at 23:57

In a multiverse where arguably people are falling into "oblivion"....

This guy and his lot, always making things complicated.
Fortunately, I found that thing that makes rpg'ers feel heroic.
A distress, and its sibling bit
Time for Olympics! Go, go, go!
Are you nuts?
Or religious?
It's hot in here.
Psychologist.
HA! Now YOU need a psychologist.


And I'm not even mentioning the birds....

Note: I suppose it needs the knowledge tag

• This might also need to include the enigmatic-puzzle tag, because a question is not even stated. Sep 9, 2018 at 0:38

Here's my most recently created riddle:

Recently, a friend of mine went on a trip. He isn't generally active in any social media, and he didn't tell me where he was going to. When I asked him where he was, he sent me the following image:

He then said:

"People use this all the time here. Without it, I'm in trouble. I'm adding double trouble: it is not a recent edition. I am going out now. It's 5pm and my tour around the tourist points only ends at 10pm. Meanwhile, can you figure out where I am and from which year the thing in the photo is from?"

The only problem is: at the time he sent the message, it wasn't 5pm (wasn't the internet connection because I was talking to him at the moment).

Can you help me to find out?

The answer involves both lateral thinking and some specific knowledge about the location (which can be solved by Google):

First: because my friend said that it was 5pm when it clearly wasn't, that must be some kind of clue. I'd expect someone to start looking for patterns, like some wordplay with the number five and the number ten.

When the puzzler gets frustrated, he'd come back to the same sentence again: "It's 5pm and my tour around the tourist points only ends at 10pm". It's a rather big jump, but to cut things out, this is what I'd like the puzzler to think:

- That the answer is hidden in the message.
- That he must look for something that starts at 5 and ends at 10.
- Tourist points -> points -> point -> punctuation (Does this make any sense?)

The hidden answer starts from the beginning of the message at the 5th position and continues after every punctuation, each time adding 1 to the number of characters that you must jump (including apostrophes and white spaces), until it ends at 10. Look again:

PeopLe use this all the time here. WithOut it, I'm iN trouble. I'm aDding double trouble: it is nOt a recent edition. I am goiNg out now. It's 5pm and my tour around the tourist points only ends at 10pm. Meanwhile, can you figure out where I am and from which year the thing in the photo is from?

You now see that the answer for the location is London, but now you have to find out what is the thing being shown in the picture. From the description, I'd guess that it must be something like a guide or a map, but that may be because I'm too biased (I created the puzzle, after all). If you follow this line of thinking, you'd easily get to travel guides and eventually to the Tube or The London Underground network. You'd then find out that the photo is from the cover of the Tube map guide from the year 2011.

There you have it: the answer is London, 2011.

I'd like to get some feedback on whether this would be appropriate to post as a puzzle:

9     8 7 7     7
H     H H D     CS


In case the formatting got messed up... There's a 9 displayed above an H, then a large gap, then an 8 above an H, then a small gap, then a 7 above an H, then a small gap, then a 7 above a D, then a large gap, then a 7 above CS.

The puzzle is to work out what it means.

The reason I'm asking here first is because it's not a puzzle per-se, but rather a note I made on my phone a while ago and then trashed. I recently came across it again and am trying to work out what it means! :-D

• If it likely doesn't have a "solution" that we can find (because it's dependent on knowledge only you have), it's probably not acceptable here. Our answers would only be speculation, and there's likely no clear answer that stands out as being correct. (That being said, HDCS are abbreviations for the four card suits - maybe something to do with a card game?)
– Deusovi Mod
Aug 28, 2019 at 6:33
• Thanks @Deusovi, this sort of feedback is why I posted here first. It is indeed related to a card game! Thanks for pointing that out. I think I was trying to work out whether it's better to try for all Hearts or all 7s, given the 3 cards in the middle. Puzzle solved :-) Aug 28, 2019 at 13:18

What comes next in this self-referential sequence?

5, 6, 5, 6, 5, 5, 7, 6, 5, 5, 8, 7, 10, 10, 9, 9, 11, 10, 9, 10, ...

It is not a polynomial sequence.

The question seems too short, and I don't know what tags would be good, or a title. Once it's known what the sequence is, people can keep extending it more or less indefinitely. I also don't know how I'd provide clues without giving away the answer. I've added the first 20 numbers now, which is probably too many. It would be good to know how many to include for the right difficulty level.

• This is probably not a good puzzle by itself - see puzzling.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5712/…. (Number sequence puzzles are often ambiguous and arbitrary, and the solution process being "guess what the author is thinking" is generally not fun. (For example, right now it looks like the rule could be "count from 0 upwards, replacing each power of 3 with 6 and each non-power-of-3 with 5".) I'd at the very least recommend extending the sequence, and putting some sort of subtle hint in the title or text of the post.
– Deusovi Mod
Sep 11, 2019 at 15:52
• @Deusovi It's not an OEIS sequence and the answer is unique. It's not a polynomial. It's actually very simple, maybe even too simple. I expect some people would get it in 15 minutes, but no-one would get it if it took longer. Each number refers to itself in some way. Sep 12, 2019 at 1:40
• Also, this isn't a riddle :-) Agreed with Deusovi: clearly there is no unique answer without adding extra clues. Perhaps your "each number refers to itself in some way" could be extended to include enough extra info in the puzzle for a unique solution? A more subtle hint somewhere might also be nice for a self-confirming answer (e.g. if the puzzle involves chemical elements, slip in the word "elementary" - that sort of thing). Sep 12, 2019 at 8:15
• Am I allowed to edit my post to incorporate feedback? Sep 13, 2019 at 1:07
• @CJDennis of course, but only here. in the main site making major edits after posting a question is highly encouraged Oct 8, 2019 at 0:12
• @OmegaKrypton I think you mean "in the main site [it's] highly discouraged". Oct 8, 2019 at 0:15
• @CJDennis yes my typo lol :P Oct 8, 2019 at 9:49

I have a puzzle, but I'm not sure if it's too similar to some of the existing puzzles on the site. I'd like feedback on whether or not this is too similar. Other feedback is welcome, of course.

Here's the puzzle:

I work downtown Monday through Friday. I was making my evening commute once, and while I was stopped at the intersection of Puzzle Street and Riddle Avenue, I noticed something very strange about one of the crosswalk timers. Normally, they count down in order to indicate how many seconds a pedestrian has left to cross. But I happened to notice that one of them wasn't counting down properly! I watched as the numbers counted like this: 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 8, 9, 4, 3, 2, 1. I ignored it at first, but I saw the same thing happen a few days later, and again a few days after that. I decided to call the city's road maintenance office, and they told me they'd send someone to take a look at the problem. The next day, I got a call saying that they sent a technician out, but the technician said the crosswalk timer seemed to be working just fine. And yet, that very evening, as I was driving home, I saw the problem happen again, clear as day. Well, that Saturday, I was out running errands. While I was stopped at the intersection of Puzzle Street and Riddle Avenue, I looked out the window at the crosswalk timer again, and what I saw explained everything. What did I see and what's the explanation?

The crosswalk timer was working correctly the entire time. However, when I saw the timer during my commute, I saw it from an angle where the two rightmost segments of the display were hidden, causing 6 to look identical to 8, and 5 to look identical to 9. I thought that I could tell what numbers I was seeing, and so it didn't even occur to me that I couldn't see the entire number. On Saturday, I went through the intersection a different way and saw the timer from a different angle. After I saw it working correctly, I finally realized why I had thought it was broken.

Similar existing puzzles:

The broken crosswalk timer – A very similar puzzle, but in this one, the display really is broken. The solution involves explaining exactly how it's broken. Sequence seen on the street – This puzzle is similar to the one above (but not so similar to mine). The display really is broken, and furthermore, it's not a crosswalk timer; it's some other kind of timer which counts up. A strange sight in London – This one is very similar to mine, but more complex. In this puzzle, there are "numbers which appeared to be counting up but which then switched to counting down." Actually, it looks like nobody ever posted an explanation of that part! I'm guessing that the intended explanation of that is exactly the same as the explanation for my puzzle.

These many strings of digits unique
First made from space and time so to speak
The same for my second
Three 'n' five: names reckoned,
And my fourth has a random technique

How I think the lines are to be read, based on this guide:

These many strings of digits unique
these-ma-NY strings-of-DI gits-u-NIQUE

First made from space and time so to speak

The same for my second
the-same-FOR my-sec-OND

three 'n' five: names reckoned,
three-n-FIVE names-reck-ONED

And my Fourth has a random technique
and-my-FOURTH has-a-RAN dom-tech-NIQUE

I don't think this is a hard one. I would definitely like help on making it scan/read better as a limerick.

• My understanding of limericks is that lines 1, 2 and 5 have the same syllable count and rhyme, while 3 and 4 have the same syllable count and rhyme. While you're meeting the rhyming scheme of AABBA, your syllable counts are off (7, 8, 6, 7, 9). Sep 23, 2021 at 14:42
• @Tacoタコス I think I've fixed my syllable count AND stress pattern Sep 23, 2021 at 17:00
• Those look perfect! Sep 23, 2021 at 17:24

I am working on a new puzzle type similar to crossword. Maybe it exists, I haven't seen it before. I am not great at explaining things clearly, can you review the directions and propose updates to the rules to make them easier to understand?

I placed "PUZZLE" of length 6 near the bottom as an example.

GRID: (don't worry about any clues, just proofing instructions)

DRAFT RULES:
Crossweb rules:
Almost every clue is a definition-less cryptic clue. Word lengths are given.
All clues except the final answer have the same definition (guess what).
Place a letter in each circle. Only crossed letters appear in circles.
Each word begins at a circle numbered by its length, heading off in some direction. Each number can indicate multiple words of the same length.
Each word must start and end with a crossed letter, and run in a reasonably straight line.
You may fill in uncrossed letters on the lines if it helps you keep track of things-but it is not required and ambiguities are permitted.
The vertical line going through 6,8 IS bent; any bend less than this is considered straight.
Any circles connected in a straight line are part of the same word.

This is difficult but can be filled in with logical deduction. Feel free to add in your logical reasoning as to how you filled the web.

Important reminder to get you started: Look at the '7' at the top center. A word of length 7 must necessarily head downwards from there, as the lines leading left and right from the '7' are parallel and thus part of a single word which must necessarily have length 6, beginning in the top right corner and ending in the top left corner. (Because of these two nodes, only '6' is labeled as a possible starting node).

• This looks very interesting! Some things that need clarifying: <ol> 1. When you say "crossed letters," I assume you mean letters that are shared among the answers. If so, I think the rules should make that a little clearer, and they should also indicate that non-shared letters should go on the edges. 2. It isn't clear what the "final answer" is - is it the shared definition among all the clues? 3. What is a "reasonably straight line"? Is it a line that is mostly straight except for one location, or a line that looks straight on the diagram, or something else? (1/3)
– HTM
Sep 23, 2022 at 8:32
• 4. Related to the previous point, does a word have to be only contained in a straight line? Or can I have it veer off in a different direction somewhere along the way? 5. Is it possible for a straight line of nodes/letters to be used by multiple words? Based on the example in the reminder, it seems like it cannot, but the rules themselves don't say anything about that. </ol> (2/3)
– HTM
Sep 23, 2022 at 8:32
• One recommendation I have would be to include a diagram of a solved puzzle to demonstrate the rules in action and minimize confusion - grid deduction logic puzzle rules often do this for the same reason. Besides all this, this looks like a cool, unique concept for a crossword/logic puzzle hybrid, definitely looking forward to seeing the main post! (3/3)
– HTM
Sep 23, 2022 at 8:32
• @HTM Thanks for looking at this! If you or anyone has ideas of wording to make this clearer, feel free to edit in/adjust my post or add as a comment, that is what I struggle with. Otherwise I'll do my best. To your Q's: 1. Yes 2. Ignore, it will be clear from the actual clues 3. As straight as I was able to do in Photoshop without spending forever on this; e.g. the 15 squares running horizontally in the center are 'straight' even though there are very tiny wiggles. The one exception is noted but I'll see if I can make that bend more obvious. 4. Yes, no turns 5. No, good point
– Amoz
Sep 23, 2022 at 13:55

I wasn't a proud man who pursued my wife before she was mine. I never thought I was better than the one she already had. I didn't sleep with every woman I knew. I didn't love a woman because I had to have her. I didn't hate her for not wanting to be mine. I didn't have to have them all. I didn't destroy the place where we would stay.

What am I?

Everything after this point may contain a hint, so any edits will be reverted after this point, please take that into account when trying to edit.

Ohh errr I.... Say how about a challenge?

Here is is my story:

Iye went to a magic show the other day. It was a clever show about the human brain to pick up patterns in number sequences. The man was a Catalan person and often generalized. He was in the sixth order of magic and really like to do illusions with his eye. He handed me a paper with the following image. And asked what is next?

Oh yeah and we met at the Patalan club

• I can't put many tags as that would actually give away part of the challenge Jul 14, 2017 at 0:29
• Some feedback (using generalised terms to maintain some level of spoiler avoidance): I like the idea of a puzzle including the technique used in your image, but there's not much else to it unfortunately, which makes it simply a gimmick. Basically, I think it's a good start, but the second step needs something more puzzly/meaty (see here). Jul 14, 2017 at 0:38
• @Alconja well after the image there is another step Jul 14, 2017 at 0:40
• I am going to add another step Jul 14, 2017 at 0:40
• @Alconja you think the technique is too obvious? Jul 14, 2017 at 0:41
• I'm a child of that era, so it was fairly obvious to me, but I don't think that makes it bad. I've not seen it used before in a puzzle, so I think it's suitably interesting (plus the image gives the impression of other steganograpy, which acts as a red herring of sorts). My issues are purely with step two being fairly uninteresting (see the link I included in my other comment). Jul 14, 2017 at 0:43
• I largely agree with Alconja. Also, I understand that for some people the technique used here simply doesn't work, making the puzzle inaccessible to them.
– Gareth McCaughan Mod
Jul 14, 2017 at 0:57
• In this case, even without the image I think it would be possible for someone who's encountered something like the relevant ideas to get most of the way to the answer. But of course they wouldn't know which one was next.
– Gareth McCaughan Mod
Jul 14, 2017 at 0:58
• Yeah I actually provided several large hints that take some looking. I am adding a few more things. Now some people may not be able to view them but there are other ways of doing it Jul 14, 2017 at 13:57