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For some puzzles, such as Sudokus or nonograms, posting the answer is not enough. Doing so results in requests for a step by step solution, but this isn't actually a requirement.

I'm thinking maybe it should be a requirement for grid like puzzles. Here are some reasons why:

  • It proves you didn't just put it into an online solver
  • It helps others learn where they went wrong or how to solve such puzzles
  • Makes it easier to identify possible errors

However there are some reasons why people might not want this to be a requirement:

  • It is time consuming
  • You've already solved the puzzle, so shouldn't be made to have to explain how

We have a similar requirement for riddles, where you have to explain why, but

Should step by step explanations be required for these genres of puzzles?

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    $\begingroup$ Good question! I personally always try to do this, but I'm also happy to upvote (correct) answers that don't. Could go either way on whether to make it a requirement, really. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 5 '17 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ To add, a step-by-step solution is not that helpful in many cases. Either the reader got bored and just wanted to see the solution, then got intimidated by a wall of text and left, or the reader got stuck in the middle of the puzzle, but found that a different approach was used in the solution. This doesn't always happen, but I'd imagine that this happens frequently. $\endgroup$ – greenturtle3141 Mar 13 '17 at 4:04
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Personal work-around

Personally, I put up my final solution with a comment along the lines of 'I will add a step-by-step later' and later when I have time, I actually add my method. This is for two reasons:

  • Most of the time when I find a solution I don't have time to write up a method
  • (Okay, I'll admit it) I don't want to get ninja'd by somebody else :)

So should we require a method?

For me it depends on the difficulty of the puzzle. For example in the puzzle WITLESS - A Puzzling Journey, the inscriptions and constellations shouldn't require a step-by-step but the final (well, really, biggest) puzzle should. I mean, for any puzzle, if the whole puzzle is one big grid-deduction then I would recommend adding a step-by-step solution. In the case of a few (or a lot!) of small puzzles probably not. So my vote is yes a method is required.

But I guess-and-checked...

If guess and check is used, then just mention your thought process. For example if you have an instinct that this square must be part of this region then say that.

So in summary as long as your solution makes it clear to other users how you arrived at a solution then it seems reasonable to me.

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