I am planning to submit a question that has sub-parts that are needed to answer the whole.

I've noticed in other puzzles that sometimes individuals will submit part of an answer and then others will co-operate to complete it. I'd like that to be the an option with my latest question.

Are there any conventions or rules about this and can you recommend a fair way to award points?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure this is a thing you should directly aim for. Too many partial answers is generally a bad thing: it fragments information across multiple answers in a confusing way. And "award points" seems to me to be the exact wrong way to go about this: it's coming at this from the "game" perspective, rather than the "puzzle" perspective. The point of this site is to provide puzzles that can be definitively solved, not games that people compete in. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jul 11 '20 at 17:07
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    $\begingroup$ (This "game" vs "puzzle" dichotomy is the problem with many open-ended questions.) $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jul 11 '20 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi - I have created a mathematical puzzle that is specified completely and has a single answer - with a request to show the working. Each part has its own single answer and they have to be combined to get the final result.Strict logic constrains the maths. There are also a couple of historical bits that are unlikely to be multi-valued IMO. The puzzle is a tightly rewritten update of my "One and one and one ..." question that was closed. I'll remove the request for team work and submit as is. $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jul 11 '20 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't implying that your question was necessarily open-ended -- I just meant to say that the approach as a "game", where you intend multiple people to post separate answers, seems to be the wrong way to go about it. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jul 11 '20 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ (Also, it sounds like this is just a straightforward mathematical calculation with some research to get 'inputs' -- not a puzzle? I may be misunderstanding: I'd have to see the question to make sure.) $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jul 11 '20 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusov - Surely any question involving maths/logic with a unique answer is simply a matter of calculation once you have identified the technique. $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jul 13 '20 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ "Once you have identified the technique" holds a lot of weight there. For the 'one and one and one...' problem, the 'technique' was just multiplication of the number of options for each. If you have n options for one thing, and m options for another, then your total number of options is n×m. On the other hand, for grid-deduction puzzles like Sudoku or Tapa, the 'technique' holds a lot of specialized deductions, and can exploit interesting qualities of the puzzle setup. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jul 13 '20 at 17:32

One possibility is to post each sub-part as its own separate question, then post a final question that requires the answers from all the previous puzzles in order to be solved. This doesn't guarantee that each sub-part will be solved by different people, but it does severely reduce the likelihood of one person solving every single piece (and the likelihood of ending up with numerous fragmented partial answers, which Deusovi noted as another potential problem).

I'm sure there are multi-part puzzles that have used this approach before, but I haven't been able to find an example yet.

  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi and F1Krazy - I have now submitted a new puzzle (not the one I mentioned above) that has many tags. Going by the comments, I am sure that some mathematicians have solved the arithmetic part but everything else is from a different area of expertise. I would like the maths people to share their knowledge so that others can get started - otherwise I am going to have to give more and more clues. The puzzle - puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/100029/… $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jul 17 '20 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ ... Is there any reason I shouldn't encourage this? $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jul 17 '20 at 20:40

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