Puzzles for kids such as you see in children magazines always seem to belong to a small set of predefined categories. There are shadow matching puzzles, mazes, spot 7 differences, etc. Though there can be infinite variations of these, I would like to present something new.

I thought of a treasure hunt puzzle on a grid. You have a starting point, you have the treasure, and you have a limited number of steps to go from one to the other. There are obstacles in some squares, with rules attached. You can't go near a coconut tree because there are monkeys in the coconut trees and they throw coconuts on whoever gets too close. You can't go on the northern side of a rock because there is a troll hiding there. Etc.

I would like to post a question such as this one:

Requesting Feedback on Check Sum for Word Linking Puzzle Stage

Am I allowed to ask this type of question or is it opinion-based?

If it is allowed, should I include an example? Should I post the picture of a puzzle which would be boringly easy for anyone over 10 years old? Should I try to create an example difficult enough to be a challenge to an adult? Wouldn't it be confusing (people might post the solution to the puzzle as an answer)?


1 Answer 1


What problem are you trying to solve?

The question you link says, essentially, "I have a goal X. X has problem Y. Does solution Z work?"*. Its final questions are all centered around feedback on solution Z. This means that answerers can focus on how well solution Z actually solves problem Y, keeping in mind goal X.

By contrast, what goal do you have? Is it just that you want people to tell you opinions and thoughts vaguely relevant to your idea? Without an explicit problem to focus and direct feedback, the question becomes too broad.

Here is an analogy. If you simply ask for feedback about your puzzle type in general, without elaboration on a goal, then that is like asking "What do you think about me wearing this fancy suit?". Without knowing what the goal is, it's impossible for a friend to provide useful feedback. Someone could say "I think the suit is handsome" (the equivalent of "I think the puzzle is fun"), but that's probably not the kind of feedback you were looking for.

If you instead ask with an explicit goal (as the other question did), it is like asking "I'm going to the karaoke place tonight. The school uniform I have on is probably inappropriate. What do you think about me wearing this fancy suit, instead?". In this case, answerers can focus their feedback on how well your proposed solution (wear the fancy suit) solves the problem (school uniform being inappropriate) while considering the overall goal (have fun at the karaoke place). A friend could provide useful feedback, such as "That's too dressy, people at the karaoke place are usually much more casual."

In conclusion, yes, you can ask for feedback. However, if you're asking for feedback on something make the problem you're trying to solve clear. If we know your goal that makes the question sufficiently focused that answerers can provide useful feedback.

* Specifically, goal X is "make a solvable word-linking puzzle", problem Y is "solver might move to next stage with an unintended answer", and solution Z is "use checksum"

  • $\begingroup$ What about: I have a problem. I don't know whether this would be a good puzzle for kids (6 to 10 years old). I want to send some examples to an editor. I need to have it tested in some ways (or the editor will probably refuse it). I can't just say "my kids liked it and asked for more". I have a possible solution. Coding an online version. Would this be a good solution with the puzzle as it stands? $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Aug 27, 2022 at 11:16
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    $\begingroup$ Define "good puzzle". What qualities are you looking to create: being difficult, easy, visually appealing, engaging for X time, etc.? Or perhaps tell us what kinds of testing the editor will be looking for. Keep in mind that no one on the site will be in your target age range (at least legally so, there's a requirement to be 13). $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Aug 27, 2022 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Good puzzle: Fun for the kids, makes them count, makes them plan ahead, neither too easy nor too difficult for that age range (and can make me win a bit of cash). Visually appealing or easy to understand and easy to play comes later, that's part of designing the interface. I don't really know what kind of testing the editor will be looking for, I was thinking of a 5 stars rating system at the bottom of the page associated with the question "Can you please tell me how old you are?". Some people on this site are parents. $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Aug 27, 2022 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ @AlainReve am I right in thinking you want to collect feedback and ratings? And then maybe pass onto an editor to put in a book? This doesn't really work with the StackExchange model where we want one correct answer, not lots of separate ratings spread out over lots of answer. If you do want general feedback then you'll need to rethink how you ask for it perhaps. $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2022 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you both for your time. Yes, it's not the kind of question which can have one and only one correct answer. I'll drop the subject for now. $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Aug 28, 2022 at 9:02

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