When I answer a puzzle and am told that I've given an incorrect answer, I usually edit my answer if I want to try again.

However, I saw a comment recently (can't remember where) that suggested that you should post a separate answer for each new try. Is this correct?

Related to this, but that's a different question related to simultaneous rather than sequential ideas.


For puzzles, there is minimal value in preserving an incorrect answer except as a signpost to other would-be answerers that the answer you tried has been rejected.

If you have multiple possible answers, and think all of them have a reasonable likelihood of being correct, that might be a good reason to supply more than one answer to the same question. But if you're essentially replacing an existing but known-incorrect answer with a different attempt, there's often little reason to retain the original answer, so it is entirely reasonable to edit your former answer with your new attempt. This avoids cluttering up the answers section with answers known to be wrong (and also avoids drawing the downvotes that wrong answers often collect).

If you think the line of reasoning you took in a wrong answer is something others are very likely to also follow to the same result, it may be worth keeping that wrong answer around (and giving another attempt as a new answer) just so people can see that it's already been tried and found wanting. If the asker indicates your answer is wrong but you think there is substantial value in your answer (e.g. a sincere "this should be the answer" scenario), that might be another reason to keep an existing answer and add a new one for a subsequent attempt. Beyond these cases, I would not as a rule create a new answer for every attempt.

The system pops up a dialog box when you try to add a new answer to a question you already have an answer for. This is no accident. :)

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    $\begingroup$ I think if your answer is substantially different, there's a good case for adding a new answer, even if the original was incorrect (you can always delete the original one). I have often read the comments underneath an answer and not understood at all what they are referring to until I look at the edit history and realize that the comments are about a completely different answer that was replaced. I think one post should be for one specific answer, and if that answer is changing substantially, it should be in a separate post. Apparently we differ on that... :) $\endgroup$
    – GentlePurpleRain Mod
    Feb 25 '19 at 18:26

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