Can we ask difficult math questions here? More specifically, I mean a math question that involves square roots.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You and I have a different idea of what counts as a difficult math question. Are you trying to dump your homework on us? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ No. I have solved a rather interesting olympiad problem. Is this a place to share about the problem? @JohnDvorak $\endgroup$
    – QuIcKmAtHs
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ @XcoderX Yes, that sounds fine. Just remember to include a citation to where you found the problem :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 16:00

2 Answers 2


Yes, as long as they really are "puzzles".

We have a lot of puzzles on this site - nearly 2000 questions in the tag - and many of them are Olympiad-style questions, some even taken from actual Olympiads. Square roots certainly aren't considered "difficult maths" by this site's standards - we've even had a puzzle whose solution required using the Green-Tao theorem!

A few important caveats though, before you post your puzzle:

  • Maths puzzles are on-topic; maths problems are not. See Are math-textbook-style problems on topic? for our explanation of the difference between the two. Basically, your puzzle needs to be somehow "interesting" and not formulaic.
  • Puzzles involving very advanced maths may be frowned upon. For more details on this rather nebulous policy, see What tricky mathematical questions are on topic here? and Proposed policy on mathematical questions. Basically, the puzzle (not necessarily the solution) should be at least comprehensible to a reasonable subset of Puzzling users. Again, square roots are definitely way below that bar, and I suspect all Olympiad questions easily pass this criterion. Just don't post something which requires a deep understanding of the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem ;-)
  • You must cite your source. If you're taking a puzzle from an actual olympiad, or a similar competition, or a puzzle book, remember to state in the body of your question where you found it. Without this acknowledgement, your question runs the risk of being deleted for 'plagiarism'.
  • $\begingroup$ is this question okay? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Scratch---Cat I see no reason why it shouldn't be. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 9:39

There's certainly no objection to square roots, and plenty of questions have been asked here that involve some quite tricky mathematics. However, PSE tends to frown on questions that are mathematics problems as opposed to mathematical puzzles. Roughly, the question to be asking is: is this more something you might solve for fun or the sort of exercise you'd find in a textbook or mathematics class homework?

Take a look at the "mathematics" tag to get an idea of the sort of mathematical question that gets asked here (and which ones have received lots of upvotes or good answers).

  • $\begingroup$ Okay... by mathematics can it be sort of like olympiad style? $\endgroup$
    – QuIcKmAtHs
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ Some of the mathematics-tagged questions here are quite olympiad-ish, yes. Anything at IMO level or above is going to be accessible only to a small fraction of Puzzling participants (though we do have a bunch of IMO types here). There isn't universal agreement on whether that's a problem or not. (Personally, I enjoy such questions but am on the fence as to whether they're appropriate here.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 16:37

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