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It is crystal clear that we are enouraged to ask questions to which we know the answer. http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/07/its-ok-to-ask-and-answer-your-own-questions/ However, it is much less clear what is the case with puzzles. Why should I not ask questions regarding puzzles on Stack Overflow? Posting programming/algorithmic puzzles on Stack Overflow

So what is the verdict?

Also, I wonder if it occured to people to support puzzles with simple extra features. Ideally a puzzle would be a question with expiry date (like a bounty) but crucially, answers would only be revealed to the OP, or to users who opt out of submitting an answer. After the deadline passes, answers are revealed and correct answer revealed.

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3  
You may want to check out the Programming Puzzles & Code Golf SE. –  Matthew Read Jun 6 '12 at 17:32

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's simple:

The same guidelines apply to every question, whether you post an answer of your own or not.

As already stated in the Meta question Why should I not ask questions regarding puzzles on Stack Overflow?, puzzles aren't a good fit for Stack Overflow. That information is 2 years old. The rules have become much stricter (or the community has become stricter at enforcing them).

After all, the FAQ says:

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

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Thanks Dennis, puzzles in this context are not necessarily more open-ended or chatty, it is the same as a question, I got it. It is more just something that the OP knows the answer to, and reveals it after deadline. Others may choose to not see the answers or have spoiler alert kindof. So maybe its like puzzle-viewing mode. –  Viktor Trón Jun 6 '12 at 18:18

Addressing only the second part of your question: hiding answers to some visitors goes completely against the purpose of Stack Overflow. So does the idea of an expiry date or preventing some people from answering. Questions and answers are meant to have lasting value and to be open to everyone.


Stack Exchange has spoiler markup. You can use it to make part of an answer initially invisible, to be revealed on mouse hover or if selected.

Put >! at the beginning of the spoiler paragraph.

>! Put `>!` at the beginning of the spoiler paragraph.

Use spoiler markup in moderation. For example, do not put a whole answer in spoiler markup: your answer must make sense even if one only reads the immediately-visible part. You may use spoiler markup for complements that are interesting but not a necessary part of the answer. If in doubt, don't use any markup.

Note that some Stack Exchange sites may forbid the use of spoiler markup. As far as I know, Stack Overflow has no policy, but spoiler markup is not normally used, because the site is primarily for questions with a practical payoff, not for intellectual puzzles.

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thanks a lot. very helpful. spoiler markup is great feature and i totally agree Questions and answers are meant to have lasting value and to be open to everyone. –  Viktor Trón Jun 6 '12 at 20:25

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