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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.
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  • Focus on the problem, not the person.
  • Return to check up on posts you've already seen, and vote/give specific feedback.

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!

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    $\begingroup$ 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? $\endgroup$ – Jason_ Aug 22 '16 at 20:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Jason_ Yeah! Anything that could reasonably be called a riddle, in form or function, can go here. $\endgroup$ – user20 Aug 22 '16 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ I believe answers should be deleted from this meta post once they "graduate" on to the main site. $\endgroup$ – CodeNewbie Aug 23 '16 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ 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? $\endgroup$ – axavio Aug 23 '16 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – user812786 Aug 23 '16 at 20:43
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    $\begingroup$ Hmmm..., when was +10 changed to +7? $\endgroup$ – mbjb Aug 27 '16 at 2:54
  • $\begingroup$ @mestackoverflow After I suggested it on chat. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Aug 27 '16 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ For posterity's sake, I own the Sandbox account. Used to moderate Puzzling. Since resigned. $\endgroup$ – user20 May 7 '18 at 10:44
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    $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – Tonks Oct 17 '19 at 13:50

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This is the first riddle I've written, and I'd love feedback on whether it's worth posting, and if yes if it would need the knowledge tag.

I defy or gall, By house or by wall. What am I? (5 letters)

Hint:

Wikipedia lists 23 examples of the type of house referred to. I have been in the one in Cambridge, MA and often pass by the one in the North End of Boston. The walls are rarer, there are supposedly only 4 remaining in the UK.

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It's easy to compose a riddle but without experience it's impossible to know if the riddle is worth thinking about. Is this any good at all?


Third of a hero

Part of a fly

Half of itself

But what am I?


I think if it has a weakness, it's in the lame answer, which is intended to be the three-letter sequence "tse". (Mao Tse Tung; Tse-Tse fly; and iTSElf)

The site code rejects it as low quality without even seeing the answer. I don't know why.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your 'hero' is very hard to guess. So is the fly. And for 'half of itself' I would assume either 'its' or 'elf'. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Sep 10 '16 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir: Thank you for your prompt attention. - I wonder if most people would find the fly hard to guess. When I hear "half a fly" I immediately think "tse-tse fly" because I have seen it in so may riddles and jokes. If that is no longer a popular meme then I agree, the rest of the puzzle is just too poorly connected. $\endgroup$ – A. I. Breveleri Sep 10 '16 at 19:14
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, I agree with @Mithrandir. When I first saw this, I thought "third of a hero" = R and "part of a fly" must be one or two of the letters of "FLY". Getting from hero to Mao and fly to tsetse are two too-big leaps. (Also, Mao being a hero is ... subjective, to say the least.) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Sep 10 '16 at 19:59
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    $\begingroup$ I like the last two clues, but I agree with rand al'thor's assessment of the first - that's really my only reservation, could you rework that part? FWIW I've heard of the fly before, I think using the inner "half" is sneaky in a good way, and the rhyme is cute.. but that's just my $0.02 :) $\endgroup$ – user812786 Oct 7 '16 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ Well I could say "Third of a leader/Half of a fly/Inside itself/..." but that is only a little bit better. $\endgroup$ – A. I. Breveleri Oct 7 '16 at 19:19
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I can make you wonder what is it.
I am not written like a sentence.
My endpoint is different
and it is not just a point.

I know this can be too difficult to deal with.

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    $\begingroup$ This is incredibly broad, fitting everything from 'It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!' to a metaphor-rich haiku, to a damaged barcode, to certain types of encrypted messages. Consider adding some more clues to narrow down the possibility space. $\endgroup$ – Sconibulus Sep 7 '16 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Sconibulus Actually, none of your answers explain 'I can make you wonder what is it'. Anyways, I edited it. $\endgroup$ – EKons Sep 7 '16 at 13:34
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My first riddle! May not be great, but it's worth a shot! :)

I own a brilliant wooden twig.
Juices of hair make me sick.
I have to be careful when jumping into a fire-place.
But I don't get burned to a wick.

Hint:

I have been devised by a homogametic person.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm 50/50 on this one. I think this one we'll need to know the answer to decide whether its a worthy riddle or not. You can post the answer then delete it quickly if you don't want it to be posted $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 22 '16 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand the fourth line. The others make sense, although there isn't really much metaphor, wordplay, or misdirection. It's mostly just a description of the solution. See the riddle tag wiki for more information on what makes a good riddle. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Aug 22 '16 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain, I see. The hint is simply encoded with the Caesar cipher. Rot 7 and the string is reversed. Also, the third and fourth lines are talking about the Floo network! $\endgroup$ – theabhinavdas Aug 22 '16 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ Okay here's some feedback: @GentlePurpleRain is correct in saying the hint shouldn't be encrypted and shouldn't contain the answer, so that needs to be removed. I think that the clues are a little too hard to get as it isn't a straightforward riddle. Maybe adding more or making the others clearer will be better. While a riddle needs to be hard to get it also can't be too hard $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 22 '16 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe you just need some more lines... $\endgroup$ – Mithical Aug 22 '16 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ An example of a hint might be something like: I am a fictional person. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Aug 22 '16 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil I personally don't think the difficulty is an issue. I suspect that if this were posted to Main, it would be solved within a couple of hours, at maximum. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Aug 22 '16 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, these are amazing suggestions. Thank you very much! I have changed the hint, do let me know if that is sufficient, or if I really need more lines or perhaps better poetry! :D $\endgroup$ – theabhinavdas Aug 22 '16 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think a hint is necessary in this (or most) cases. If no one can answer the riddle within a day, then start adding hints. Giving it on day 1 detracts from the satisfaction of trying to answer it. $\endgroup$ – APrough Aug 22 '16 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps it's just me, but I like something that involves wordplay or metaphor as well as the "straight" clues given here. Something like "I dabble in ceramics, all covered in fuzz." Something that requires an imaginative leap. The first line does that a bit but my preference would be for more. Perhaps a clue involving headlines? $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Aug 23 '16 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this has a definite answer. Specifically, there's a fairly obvious intended answer but it seems to me that lots of other characters from the same fictional world would fit just as well. I don't think it's too difficult or would require a hint to be solved. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Aug 23 '16 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ Oh my... If even the OP says "May not be great" why should I even bother looking at it for more than 1 second? Seriously, don't annoy other people with your content if you think it's not great! $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Aug 23 '16 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ You should add more lines to make it refer more definitely to the intended answer. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Aug 24 '16 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil Why deleted? The answer can be in a spoiler! $\endgroup$ – EKons Aug 29 '16 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ I immediately thought Santa Claus because of that fireplace line, hahah :P $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie Sep 9 '18 at 0:40
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I recently posted the following short, sweet riddle with a title I found creative. I was surprised that it wasn't well received (1 upvote, 1 downvote, answered in 5 minutes). It's brevity could explain how quick it was answered. I'm looking for feedback on why this isn't a great riddle - too simple, too many varieties of the answer, or what?

Natural, Free Range, Not Raised Locally

Q:

What falls standing up and moves around laying down?

A:

Water

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    $\begingroup$ Hmm, personally I would not even agree with the answer after reading it. Not sure, if I'm missing something though. (And I'm not generally fond of / good at riddles). I don't think the title has anything to do with down/up votes in your case, though. I like the title. I do not like the riddle/answer. I did not down-vote, just abstained, ;c) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Aug 24 '16 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ For a riddle to be short and good, it really has to be spectacular, because it's almost impossible to keep it from being too broad. For example, with a few seconds of thinking I can come up with many "satisfactory" solutions: baby, snake, pencil, etc, etc... $\endgroup$ – Alconja Aug 26 '16 at 4:05
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Once upon a time there were kings three,

who were plucked up by the roots by

one detainee, one refugee, one free.

They were helped by a person with no title.

What is that person's name?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! You may be getting downvotes because this seems to be pure trivia. Trivia questions are generally discouraged here, since riddles should have some form of metaphor, wordplay, or other misdirection - otherwise, it's not a puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Aug 28 '16 at 23:51
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