I was going to ask if I should ever answer my own puzzles, but conveniently there was already such a question. So now my question becomes:

When would it be wise to answer your own puzzle?

As in, how long would one consider it as "long enough" before they decide that, if no one has answered correctly yet, you should do it yourself? I don't want to answer too quickly as to give people a chance to try, but I'd like the puzzle to have the correct answer, so future users who stumble upon it don't have to feel like they'll never know.

  • $\begingroup$ If you do decide to answer your own post, consider using the wrap-up template (search for wrap on meta). There's usually a lot to be learned when a question doesn't get answered and it would be great to have that along with the solution. $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Jan 15 '18 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ Good answer to this here and another good answer see puzzling.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2799/…, which ithink is pretty much a duplicate, so maybe this one should be reviewed.... Anyway answer here and answer there are both useful, $\endgroup$ – tom Apr 6 '18 at 10:08

how long would one consider it as "long enough"

That's going to depend a lot on individual opinion. Definitely not on the scale of hours or days, though - maybe not even weeks, more like months. This riddle lasted three weeks before being solved, and this one lasted almost a month despite increasing numbers of hints. You never know when some genius might show up out of nowhere with an insight that nobody else saw. I suggest leaving it a loooong time before you start to consider self-answering your own puzzle. Instead, add hints (and more hints, and more hints) or place bounties. It'll be far more satisfying - both for you and the solver - if someone else manages to solve it than if you just post the answer yourself.


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