Hot answers tagged

17

Categorizing answers as "clearly not in the spirit of the puzzle" or as "troll" answers seems subjective, no matter how obvious the categorization may be to you. Votes help quantify users' subjective views. So, there is already a mechanism in place to help address this concern about answers. However, consider that "troll" answers can be useful for ...


16

I like spoiler blocks. I have a large monitor, I enjoy solving most puzzles instead of simply looking at the answers, and spoiler blocks greatly facilitate my use of the site. I can read through questions without constantly having to avert my eyes from answers (often in boldface) only inches away. Single spoiler blocks or multiple structured blocks with ...


16

Only the user who asked a question can accept an answer. A "community-accepted" feature is not currently planned. If you believe the accepted answer is low quality, simply downvote it like you would any other answer.


15

That is certainly allowable, but it's not an ideal solution. If there is a picture or diagram you want to include as part of your answer, then definitely insert it as an image, but I would encourage you to type as much as possible of it as text. Doing so helps the answer to be more searchable, and most of the time will be much easier to read. It also lets ...


15

Most such answers are by newcomers. Silent downvoting is a great way to make them feel unwanted. So I would suggest a polite comment and perhaps deletion after a few days.


15

Just for the sake of having an answer to address in general (not just your case) the issue of two answers saying the same thing ... Don't post a duplicate answer long after the fact. If someone posts an answer to a riddle and then weeks later someone else comes along and posts the same answer, that re-post will often be deleted even though it's technically ...


14

I think an appropriate concept here is "contra proferentem". Essentially, where there is ambiguity this counts against the author, not the reader. If you want a unique, "correct" answer, then you must construct your problems such that they each have only one valid answer. This is a significant component of problem setting. There is very little in the world ...


14

FWIW, here's what I've done in the past: Upvote the answer. Thank the answerer for their great contribution and acknowledge that the answer does fit the problem as stated. Explain that while you think it's a good answer, it isn't the one you were looking for, and that this reflects a fault in your question, so you'll be revising your question. Revise your ...


14

In my opinion, answering only a small part of a large puzzle should not be a "partial answer", particularly if these answers are unconfirmed. What counts as a "small part" will of course vary from puzzle to puzzle, but here are some guidelines I recommend (and use myself), to decide when -- or whether -- to answer: (1) A partial answer should clearly ...


14

Yes, absolutely yes. So much yes. On Puzzling specifically, due to the nature of our site and the fact that bestowing a checkmark is an implicit message of "this is my puzzle's intended answer and/or the most high-quality solution path" from the original poster, it is my opinion that accepted answers should stay pinned to the top, to most clearly ...


13

Spoilers are not necessary for answers. As far as I know, there has never been a site policy requiring spoiler-marked answers. However, it is generally polite to spoiler answers if any of the following are true: The puzzle is short, so the answer will likely appear high up on the page. The answer has multiple parts that someone might want to reveal only ...


12

Downvote them. They are answers, and they're not really (necessarily) VLQ. As the tooltip says, a downvote means "this answer is not useful," which is exactly the problem.


10

I blame the questions. If “solve this riddle” is a valid question, then those are decent answers. These puzzles are officially off-topic, but pretty much nobody appears to be enforcing this.


10

No.


10

Having written a lengthy meta post on this same subject myself, I took a deep breath, rethought the matter, erased my post, and here's my final policy suggestion: Let's not have a policy on this. Let's face it: the problem here was not that we didn't have a policy for this particular situation. Instead, the trouble was entirely caused by the fact that we ...


10

The association bonus doesn't count for protected questions (or "highly active questions", as they're now called). You need to earn 10 reputation on this site before that block disappears. See also Why is the Association Bonus ignored when trying to answer a protected question?


10

Let's look at some real examples from PSE. (Note: Potential spoilers ahead!) Ghotiy spelling (score of accepted answer currently +39, top answer +173) This is our most "extreme" example at the moment in terms of score difference between accepted and top answer. Here the top answer reads more like a "joke" answer, as the same method would ...


9

I think that answers should break their spoiler into multiple labelled parts if possible, like my answers here and here. That way, readers can control what they're spoiled on. Someone who just wants a nudge to help them along can look at just an early part and then work the rest out for themselves. I object to the format given by the OP (Josh Caswell) ...


9

If you know any people who might be interested in the puzzle elsewhere, there's a handy "share" button under every post which provides a link for sharing the puzzle in your favourite medium. We also have some chatrooms where you could ask about a specific puzzle to get more eyes on it. And of course it's perfectly allowed to post another bounty on ...


8

I believe that in most cases we should comment and down-vote rather than simply delete. The presence of a publicly visible answer with many down-votes and comments about it's redundancy seems a better discouragement then a deleted answer. Notes: If the duplicate answer came within about a minute of the one it duplicates (two different users solved the ...


8

I say: Yes, establishing that a bunch of plausible things don't work is a perfectly cromulent form of partial answer. What's the point of a partial answer? Either to save work for other people, or to record your progress so far with the intention that it may later turn into a full answer. (And maaaaybe to help the OP know what hints might be useful.) If ...


8

First of all, I'd like to apologize: I vastly misinterpreted the community consensus on this issue, and I didn't realize that I had inadequately communicated my "open-ended" proposal's intended effect on this type of question. I should not have deleted the posts there, and I fully acknowledge and apologize for my mistake. That being said, I would ...


8

You choose whichever answer you think most deserves the glorious green checkmark. You can use whatever criteria you find appropriate. First to answer anything. First to answer everything. First to answer whatever was answered last. (On the grounds that presumably that was hardest.) Clearest answer. Cleverest answer. Unless you're doing something 100% ...


7

"The oracle is lying" If a question introduces facts through a party who is implied to be infallible, stating that they are not will almost never be an appropriate answer. This is especially true if OP is the oracle. Possible exceptions: Determining which statement/oracle is a lie/liar may be an appropriate solution to a problem if several statements by ...


7

In order to promote an environment of expertise, we need feedback answers. First, this includes those members of our community that dislike the "puzzle challenge" format and are upset that it seems that's all we do. In any community, it's important to include minority opinions. Second, other formats have problems. Lengthy critiques make comments a mess and ...


7

One reason for this is the way the 'hotness' scores are calculated. Questions with high 'hotness' can reach the SE home page and the multi-collider-thingy, which gives them a big boost in visitors and rep. The hotness formula gives a big advantage to questions with plenty of answers, specifically MIN(AnswerCount, 10); see How do the "arbitrary hotness ...


7

To quote @JoeZ. "I'm sorry; this is a bad question given the answer you've accepted as correct". As the community cannot change the accepted answer, the question is as much of the issue as the answer and both deserve similar voting consideration.


7

You can of course click a picture of a handmade diagram to explain the answer well. But you need to type the plain text. You cannot post the picture of a plain text because: some users might not be able to understand your handwriting. the webpage will take time to load and it will create annoyance for other users. (half jokingly) save trees?


6

It's not just you. The problems you've mentioned here are the main reason I stopped participating in this site several months ago. I have no intent to return in the future unless they are worked out (which I'm not hopeful of). I decided to describe what I expected this site would be and compare to what it actually became; while this isn't entirely relevant ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible