Some weeks ago, I saw this question in Meta where a user creates an account with a name similar to something that was mentioned in the riddle, maybe to confuse people. It could be or not intentional, I don't know (but probably yes, I think).

The thing is, that makes me think, how legit is to create fake accounts for a riddle? Maybe a riddle about a murder with some suspects, one on each profile with some clues in their descriptions, idk. I mean, something twisted enough that you can't put directly on the riddle.

You can obviously delete those profiles once the riddle is solved, but it breaks its magic a little.


There's no restriction on creating additional accounts as you see fit, including for this purpose, provided that you don't use multiple accounts to allow you to do something you wouldn't be able to do with just one (e.g. voting for yourself).

In fact, we've had a user PSE-famously "leave the site" only to start posting puzzles on a new id, thus starting a several puzzle long meta-puzzle that ended with a reveal of who that new id actually was. So creating new account(s) for the purpose of a puzzle is fine, again provided you don't use the account(s) to do something you can't do with a single account.

You can obviously delete those profiles once the riddle is solved, but it breaks its magic a little.

But this is wrong. We want to make sure puzzles (and answers) here are self-contained, rather than relying on external links to information or resources that may change or disappear. Remember that your puzzle may be seen and attempted by someone looking at it years in the future, and it should still be possible for them to solve it from what is provided within it.

If you build a puzzle around information in a user profile, whether it be your posting account's or some other account (whether controlled by you or by someone entirely separate), then that information becomes part of the puzzle and now cannot be changed or deleted without harming the puzzle (see Your answer is in another castle: when is an answer not an answer?, for example, for a deeper look at why posts on SE should be self-contained).

So you can NOT delete those profiles once the riddle is solved, because it breaks the riddle a lot.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I'm agree about not deleting accounts, it was just a comment. I know about the link answers and why they must be avoided. Another question comes to my mind: Could the site itself delete those accounts due to inactivity? PS: maybe that's another question. $\endgroup$ – alseether Mar 8 '18 at 15:58
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ According to this post from 2017, inactive accounts are no longer deleted on Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Mar 8 '18 at 16:11

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