Are you allowed to post a puzzle identical to another except in its solution criterion?

I ask because of a 5-person puzzle I created where one person lies, one person tells the truth, one flips a coin in their head and answers depending on what it says, one person always says yes and one always says no. (no head exploders or questions hinging on the coin flipper's behavior).

In this puzzle, asking multiple people a single question only costs one question. If you only consider a question something asked to one guard, the first solution posted requires 11 questions. I suspect that a version oriented towards reducing the amount of responses, while having an identical setup, would be interesting. Is such a variant question with identical setup but different solution aim allowed on PSE?

  • $\begingroup$ I have seen many puzzles re introduced with a different twist. I had my own puzzle "Prime to Prime Conversion" made actually more challenging by another version "Prime to Prime Sequel". I enjoyed that. I see nothing wrong in what you are saying as long as you acknowledge the original version $\endgroup$
    – DrD
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 12:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As for something you shouldn't do, do not edit the original question to add the new version as a "bonus", and definitely don't bug anyone to change/add to their answers to fit the new question (a scenario which I have seen multiple times) $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 19:25

1 Answer 1



If the solution criterion is different, then the puzzle being posed is in essence different, even if the setup is the same. It wouldn't be a duplicate of the previous puzzle.

A few caveats (which are probably obvious, but just to deal with all aspects here):

  • You should state your inspiration and link to the original puzzle, not claim the new version as completely original.
  • You should make clear in your puzzle exactly how it's different from the original one, to ward off potential close votes from less careful readers.
  • It may not be a duplicate, but that doesn't necessarily make it a good puzzle or an interesting variant. We can agree on meta that close-votes shouldn't be used, but downvotes can always be used at the voter's discretion.

An example of on-topic-but-bad: someone could post a puzzle asking to construct these numbers using those digits and the operations $+,-,\times,\div$, and someone else could post a separate puzzle asking to construct the same numbers using the same digits and the operations $\%,\div,!,\hat{}$; these would be two different puzzles, but not necessarily good ones.

An example of on-topic-and-good: mathematical games such as Nim can often be played in two versions: normal, where the player to make the last possible move wins, and misere, where the player to make the last possible move loses. The setup of the game could be identical, but two very different problems could be posed, depending on whether you want a normal-winning strategy or a misere-winning strategy. These could both be valid and interesting puzzles, and certainly not duplicates.


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