Are puzzles where you give hints that lead to a song, a movie, or a book on topic? For example, if there was a puzzle for Harry Potter, it would look like this:

Once there was a little boy,

Who was nearly killed when he was young.

At a new school, a version of the three musketeers was made,

Although there rivals were hard to beat.

First they guard a precious artifact,

After kill a dangerous monster

Then they meet someone who is half human

After that one brings back a villain

... And so on. Is this an acceptable type of puzzle? Or is it off topic? Even if it belongs to a different site, it is still off topic, so....

  • $\begingroup$ Personally, I would say no. I wouldn't consider this a puzzle; it's just trivia. But I'm not sure if we have an official policy on this. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi Mod
    Jul 12, 2018 at 1:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think there's a continuum from "I am the protagonist of a series of seven books whose titles mention the Philosopher's Stone and the Chamber of Secrets: who am I?", through the sort of just-slightly-cryptic thing described here, to something like this Hugh Meyers gem. I'd say that the thing described here is, just about, a puzzle -- but not a good one. I'd expect it to be downvoted but probably not closed. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Jul 12, 2018 at 2:08

1 Answer 1


See What should we do about "riddles" that are pure trivia? for some thoughts about this.

There are many riddles that take a subject, say the fictional character Harry Potter, and present various indirect clues about that subject from which a solver can deduce the correct answer. These are riddles, and are on-topic here.

However, merely churning out a recitation of facts about a subject would leave a would-be solver to recognize the subject from the facts provided about it. This isn't solving a puzzle, this is answering a trivia question. Such questions really don't fit here.

The specific puzzle you proffer here, with a little more to it, might be suitable as a proper riddle. As it stands, it's perhaps too broad (I would be greatly surprised if Harry Potter is the only answer that fits the criteria laid out so far). But it's wavering between trivia and riddle as it's written right now; it's really a recitation of facts, written more vaguely than indirectly. It's close, but not quite there.


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