# If I have an idea to solve a riddle, but it isn't fleshed out, should I post my brainstorming as an answer?

The puzzle I have in mind is this one.

I have an incomplete idea to solve a riddle, but I want to share it so that other puzzlers might have an epiphany and come up with an answer. My incomplete idea is something along the lines of: "I have a pretty good hunch the puzzle works like X, and I can make a few interesting connections, but I haven't figured it out."

Is it appropriate to share my incomplete idea? If it is, would it be in the comments, or in some kind of WIP answer?

• There was a riddle, once, that the OP encouraged me to solve. I thought of the answer, but there was this one part I couldn't quite grasp. Then, somebody else posted the exact same answer I had thought of, also having trouble with that very line. Although that other person had a partial answer, it was only so because of the lack of explanation for that one line; the answer was correct, thus it got the tick. I was a little bummed out, but I had more reputation than the user who answered correctly, so I figured he/she deserved the tick more than I did. But that goes to show about partial answers – Mr Pie Sep 2 '18 at 1:50

## 2 Answers

Yes, it is appropriate. These are called Partial Answers. This is when someone doesn't have the full solution, but has something that might help.

You should share these as an answer.

Note that while partial answers are perfectly acceptable, there is a threshold test you should keep in mind before posting. Ask yourself how does what you intend to post contribute toward a solution?

Too often, a brain dump of incomplete ideas ends up being Not an Answer, not even a partial one, because there's nothing in it that demonstrably brings the reader closer to the solution. Having fragmentary thoughts on aspects of a puzzle might be comment-worthy, but you probably want at least a germ of an idea that seems to lead forward before you should post as even a partial answer.