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The tag is for:

A question where you must identify a puzzle based on a reasoning to solve it.

The tag is for:

A question inquiring about the name or nature of a specific puzzle, given its description.

From the tag wikis, there doesn't seem to be any difference in meaning. From the usage patterns of the two tags so far, however, it looks like has been used for questions where the OP doesn't know the answer (e.g. What's the name of this puzzle, which consists of small cubes connected by elastics? and What is this magic trick with 6 cards featuring numbers between 1 and 60?) while has been used for questions which are puzzles in themselves, such as Reverse Puzzling and The missing page of Adrian Puzzlinger.

Is this a distinction worth making?

  • If so, let's rewrite the tag wikis to clarify the usage difference between the two tags, and ensure that all questions in these two categories are tagged correctly.

  • If not, let's synonymise the two tags.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for editing the tag-wiki. -1 for merging. Indeed, the reverse-puzzling tag was introduced to classify a special type of puzzle. Maybe the name "reverse-puzzling" is also not ideal, though.... $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Sep 9 '16 at 10:34
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    $\begingroup$ Definitely not synonyms. The tag wikis need updating. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Sep 9 '16 at 15:48
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In practice the two have very different flavours.

  • As rand al'thor says, reverse-puzzling questions tend to be deliberately short of useful information, whereas puzzle-identification ones tell you everything the author knows.

  • Reverse-puzzling questions tend to have plenty of "abstract" information -- state graphs, tables of possibilities, ... -- but lack "concrete" details such as what the damn thing actually looks like. Puzzle-identification questions tend to be the other way around.

I don't think they should be merged, although I know that generally distinctions based wholly on "intent" are frowned upon. If that's a problem, maybe we need to try harder to isolate typical differences (e.g., the abstract/concrete one I mention above, though I'm not sure how consistent that one is.)

If we keep them separate, perhaps their tag wikis should explicitly reference one another to indicate the distinction? E.g.,

  • reverse-puzzling: "A question where you must identify a puzzle based on deliberately limited information such as notes made in the course of solving it. Contrast with where there is no element of deliberate challenge."

  • puzzle-identification: "A question about the name or nature of a specific puzzle, given as much descriptive information about it as the questioner possesses. Contrast with where giveaways like the physical appearance and goal of the puzzle are typically omitted for the sake of challenge."

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    $\begingroup$ If we keep them as two distinct tags, their tag wikis should definitely reference each other (cf. the tags history and puzzle-history.) And on a strange SE like Puzzling which has both challenge questions and asking-for-help questions, I don't think it should be a problem to base the distinction wholly or mainly on intent. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Sep 9 '16 at 10:36
  • $\begingroup$ In light of the consensus reached here, I've updated both tag wikis to reference each other and accepted your answer. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Sep 10 '16 at 15:02

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