As someone who avidly follows the algorithm tag, I use it (with a couple other tags) to filter the Close Votes queue.
Like any other tag, it gets its fair share of questions that show a lack of effort. However, I often find that such questions that also don't involve code still get close votes with the reason
Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results. See also: Stack Overflow question checklist
Although I agree that questions like this should be closed, what bothers me is that once we then close this type of question and that reason is displayed, this might only serve to confuse the question asker because of those first four words. ("Why do they think I'm asking for code? I never said anything about wanting code!")
When I vote to close these types of questions, I generally go for the close reason
Other (add a comment explaining what is wrong)
and add some comment along the lines of "This question is off-topic because the question asker has not shown any effort"
My question then is this: Is what I am currently doing the "correct way" to handle these types of questions, or is there a agreed upon "better way" of handling them? Some of them might involve topics better suited for cs.stackexchange.com or math.stackexchange.com, but voting to migrate (and then making people on the other sites actually vote to close) sounds counter-productive.
As much as I dislike "lack of effort" questions, I do want to give as constructive of a close reason as possible (call it my way of being a bit nicer to new users).