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How devious and against-the-rules is it to purposefully add a non-crucial hint or helpful piece of information to a post in an edit, and then delete that very same information in another quick edit, thus creating "hidden hints" only available to those who truly dig?

What if you didn't do this on purpose? Is there any way to delete edit versions to avoid such a thing?

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Note that there is a timeframe (I think it's 15 5 minutes) within which all edits made are rolled into a single edit. Thus if you make a change, then revert it a minute later, the two edits will be rolled into one and the original change will not be visible in the edit history at all.

Aside from that, if it's non-crucial, I suppose it wouldn't hurt anything. There have been puzzles in the past that have relied on the edit history. I personally don't think it's a great way of doing a puzzle, but I don't think there are any strictures specifically preventing it.

There are avenues to take in extreme circumstances to delete particular revisions of a question/answer, but that's generally reserved for when the information within them could potentially be harmful to someone. If it's simply a worry about revealing too much information for your puzzle, I would suggest deleting the question and reposting it (provided it doesn't already have answers). Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll probably just have to live with it.

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  • $\begingroup$ How frowned upon is it to delete and re-post a puzzle? I know that could potentially be seen for a multitude of bad things; reputation gain, neromancy, etc. $\endgroup$ – iiiidk Jul 10 '18 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ If it becomes a habit, it would definitely be frowned upon. As a one-time deal, if it has no answers and few votes, I wouldn't be too concerned. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Jul 10 '18 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ The edit grace period is 5 minutes, unless a certain event happens. $\endgroup$ – Andrew T. Jul 11 '18 at 11:34
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Alternatively, if you really want to hide it from the post instead of using spoiler tag, you can use HTML comment tag. The readers need to read the markdown source of the post by clicking "edit" on the post, or the "source" of a revision to see them.

It could be a fun/interesting idea for some first puzzles as long as it's not abused. However, I could see that this might not be a good idea in the future, since it would just make the regulars always checking the edit history/markdown source and it became tedious instead.


Example:

This is a puzzle statement

>! This is a spoiler

<!-- This is a hidden hint -->

Rendered:

This is a puzzle statement

This is a spoiler

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