As we all know, how this community works is people post puzzles they make or otherwise have access to and ask us to solve them. Is it possible to ask a question where the goal is for people to supply their puzzles? Full disclosure I want to put a sort of open casting call out there for new types of puzzles people invented so I can showcase them in another outlet.


Actual site policies aside, as the vote count has probably already told you, that is not going to be well-received on this site. Essentially what you are asking is:

"Can I come here and solicit content that I may (potentially) profit from?"

It becomes more of a question of ethics and intent. While I'm sure you would get some folks willingly posting their own creations with no qualms, several others would abstain and/or downvote you into oblivion.

Since you are here asking this, I can assume you already know that it's hard making this stuff. Even the simplest puzzles here can take quite a bit of time and effort to create. The best ones take more time to build than they do to solve (and solving alone can take our cleverest members days working in tandem). As such, these puzzles are people's brainchildren, and they want to see their content treated with respect.

We are all here to have fun. We post puzzles for others to enjoy and get to solve the ones that they post (plus we get to award each other fake internet points). Swooping in to collect on our creativity without responding in kind, whether it be with puzzles of your own or a welcome criticism of the solving process is not going to win you many friends here.

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    $\begingroup$ Treating people and their creations with respect was always the intent. I made my question broad so it wouldn't be seen as advertising for my product. It comes down to I want to pay puzzle creators and include them in my magazine. But I see how it's not technically set up for that. My mistake. $\endgroup$ – Topple Oct 1 '17 at 4:58


Taking other people's work and profiting off it is technically allowed per copyright rules here, but:

  • all puzzles shared here are under CC by-SA with attribution to both the user and the SE network, meaning you must include a link to the source of the puzzle
  • even if you were to do this, not minding the required link for every puzzle used, you wouldn't make any friends doing it without permission
  • if you tried to ask for permission, not many people would give permission for you to use their hard work for your own monetary gain

And even if you somehow managed to overcome (or not care about) all those hurdles, if you asked it as a question on the site, the question would be too broad. There would be no way to choose a "best" (or even a correct) answer. Because of this, the question would likely be too broad, and it would be closed as such fairly quickly.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the too broad thing is enough of an answer, thanks. I pay my content creators, so enough of the "hard work for your own gain" line. What I want to do is find new types of puzzles people have come up with and give them proper credit and remuneration. Just looking for places where I can advertise the opportunity. It was never about not getting permission, nor was it about not rewarding people financially. $\endgroup$ – Topple Oct 1 '17 at 4:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Topple - No, you said your request for puzzles would be asked as a question here. Asking a question but not wanting "answers" to be here would be... dishonest at best. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Oct 1 '17 at 5:14
  • $\begingroup$ And I'm the one being disrespectful. And by the way, if I am asking for puzzles that will be included in the magazine, then the ones selected for the magazine would be the answers. $\endgroup$ – Topple Oct 1 '17 at 5:33

The other answers here address Topple's question pretty well. I'd like to add a few things that may be helpful in light of some discussion that happened in TSL chat recently.

First: No one (so far as I know) has a problem with (1) there being a puzzle magazine or (2) giving puzzle creators money in exchange for puzzles or (3) giving puzzle solvers puzzles in exchange for money. These are all good things, and the negative reactions here are not because anyone objects to those things.

So what is the issue? I think there are two things going on.

Issue 1: What you're wanting to do doesn't match what this place is actually for. This is a Stack Exchange Q&A site focused on puzzles. Questions here are meant to be either puzzles or questions about puzzles. And -- this is a thing the Stack Exchange network has always been super-strict about -- questions are meant to have clear-cut answers, so that e.g. the "accepting" mechanism makes sense.

So what you're hoping for, here, is to take a mechanism that's intended for setting puzzles and asking questions about puzzle construction and solving, and ask a "question" that isn't really a question-with-an-answer but a sort of recruiting tool for your magazine. And here we come to ...

Issue 2: It feels like you are wanting to use the PSE community without contributing anything back. You want to use PSE as a tool for finding puzzle-setters for your magazine. It's clear enough how you would benefit from this. It's not so clear that anyone else here benefits much from it. (You might say: Prospective setters benefit from it, because they may get a new audience and some money. But, pretty much by definition, puzzle-setters here have an audience and are happy to make puzzles without being paid.)

And there's also:

Issue 3: Your proposed question would be redundant because it's basically saying "please post some puzzles" and people do that here all the time. They post them as questions, and then other people try to solve them. What's the advantage of posting a puzzle as an answer to your question? Again, I can see the advantage for you if people do that -- you don't need to look at all the puzzles posted here, you can just see what's posted in response to your question. But what's the advantage for anyone else?

You have, of course, good reasons for wanting the things you want. Using PSE in the way you want to would help your business. Contributing a lot of puzzles to PSE would hurt your business since it could conflict with selling those same puzzles. But you need to understand that the needs of your business aren't paramount for the rest of us the way they are for you. This must be frustrating for you as a business owner -- you want, nay, need your business to survive, you care for it as you would for your child -- but it's just how things are. So e.g. when Deusovi said that PSE questions aren't the right venue for finding contributors to your magazine, your reply was something like "So where can I go?", which I unpack uncharitably as follows: "The universe owes my business success, therefore there must be somewhere where I can conveniently solicit puzzle contributions for my magazine; if it isn't here, then where is it?". But -- and I'm sure that in theory you recognize this, which is why that unpacking is uncharitable -- the universe doesn't owe your business success, and there is no guarantee that there's any such place, which is why "So where can I go?" is not a helpful response.

That all sounds harsh, I know. Lest I be misunderstood: I hope your venture succeeds, and if it doesn't I hope other similar ones do; the goal of getting a broad range of puzzles to a broad audience is a good one. You've put time and effort into making that happen, and I wish you every success. But, none the less, the specific thing you are asking about here would not be a good fit for PSE, and it would not benefit the PSE community.


Deusovi has told you about site policies. My point here would be how it would be received.

Obviously, the votes on the question show you people aren't too thrilled. That apart, my concern would be how you choose the puzzles you want. You say that you will post a question inviting puzzles for your magazine. Let's assume that it won't be voted to be closed as "too broad" and people are receptable to your question.

In that case, how would you select the puzzle you want? What would be the deadline to post the puzzles? Would a very good puzzle be accepted if it is posted after the deadline? From your specifics, what this feels like is that you randomly choose puzzles to be published in your magazine.

You also claim that you are willing to pay Puzzlers for using their content. In that case, wouldn't it lead to bitterness among users who had their puzzles selected and users who didn't? Also, how are you going to pay unknown strangers over the internet who wouldn't want to share their account details for you to transfer money to them?

My final question is: if your idea of inviting different puzzles from users isn't voted to be closed, what does Puzzling gain from setting such a precedent?

I believe these are all legitimate questions which are nowhere answered nor even hinted upon in your original post. It would do you good if you clarify.


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