Is this site more for a specific niche of people, or can anyone participate in solving the kinds of puzzles I've come across? Most seem to make very obscure references and wordplay that's inaccessible to a beginner like me. I realize the point isn't to make questions accessible... Otherwise most people would be able to solve them. But then what's the point? Effectively you end up catering to only a small percentage of people who actually understand what you're going on about.

Where do I begin improving my puzzle-solving skills if all the puzzles are so difficult?

  • $\begingroup$ So is your question about what the purpose of the site is, why the site has the purpose that it does, or where to practice? This seems more like a rant than something that can really be responded to. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi Mod
    Jun 2, 2019 at 2:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A while back, we had a contest for making simple, straightforward puzzles that would be solvable in 5 minutes; you might find some suitable material there. (As is right up the alley for our beloved community, a puzzle with misspelled cryptic crossword clues (incredibly difficult for anyone that's not an expert in cryptics) ended up being the winner, of course.) $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Jun 11, 2019 at 17:34

2 Answers 2


Disclaimer: I am not sure whether I should put this as a comment or an answer, so please tell me if this is inappropiate. Any comments are welcomed. Thanks!

1) Is this site restricted to a small percentage of people?

No, definitely not.

This site is public and welcome to all, as are all other SE sites. It is absolutely normal to feel outsmarted when you first joined P.SE.

2) How could I solve puzzles, or learn how to solve them?

I would recommend you browse through some of the past questions and answers and try to learn how people solved them.

Most puzzles are solved from experience and exposure to similar kinds of puzzles, and I don't think there is any shortcuts.

In case you need any tools for solving puzzles, JonMarkPerry's A collection of Puzzling Tools may be useful.

3) I have no interest in all this...

You are here for a reason. Please do not be fed up, keep it up, and happy puzzling, as it always should be!


My best advise for a beginning puzzle solver on this site is to pay close attention to the tags. Try a variety of puzzles with multiple tags to determine which types you enjoy solving, and don't limit yourself to recent or unsolved puzzles - puzzles are archived for a reason. You will likely discover that there are certain types of puzzles that you will NOT enjoy, but others that are much more fun for you. You can then search on that tag to find your preferred puzzle type.

Unfortunately, not all posters tag their puzzles correctly, but other users typically correct/add tags quickly, so they are fairly trustworthy.

One word of warning: Puzzles tagged "knowledge" typically require in-depth knowledge in a particular field; even a simple puzzle can prove to be extremely difficult if you know nothing about that area. These puzzles can be an exciting challenge, or a great source of frustration ...


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