(This question does not apply to questions where the question-asker asks and answers their own question, that's clearly OK and even encouraged)

There have been some questions, for example

What was the first piece of wood to reach the far side of the Moon? Or the first spacecraft?

Have any knots been tied incorrectly on a spacecraft?

where it's pretty clear the question-asker knows the answer but chooses not to post it right away.

They end up being ok because answered by the asker, but in the interim, they attract downvotes.

Given that this kind of question is a legitimate question, could tagging such questions with a tag-specified-for-these-kinds-of-questions prevent the reflexive downvoting that has been seen?

It seems to me that if it's acknowledged from the git-go that the question is a quizbowl type question, people might not be annoyed. Of course there are always drive-by downvoters.

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    $\begingroup$ Some stack exchange communities are centered around this type of quiz questions, but is that something we want here? I don't think we have reached a consensus on that. In the case we are not, then asking a question you know the answer to, without also posting the answer, is bad practice. $\endgroup$ – SE - stop firing the good guys Sep 22 '19 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ I'm going to stay neutral on this one, but I will say we should be careful about how we phrase such a tag because it could encourage undesirable behavior on the site. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Sep 23 '19 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ Personally I dislike them - why should I waste my time answering something where the answer is known - but it seems like some such tag could be a win-win: people that like to post them won't get downvoted, and people who don't like them can easily ignore them. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 23 '19 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage okay, this asks for a minimization so it could qualify for "space gold?" ;-) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 26 '19 at 15:23

I really like the idea and would like to see further discussion!


I've explicitly used "Puzzler1" in titles a few times, and I think that only a fraction of the time did I have some idea of the answer, so I'd like to see a distinction between the discussion of questions for which the OP knows the answer (which I think is a different issue entirely2) and the discussion of questions which might warrant a "puzzler" tag.

Space Trivia

The questions Have any knots been tied incorrectly on a spacecraft? and What was the first piece of wood to reach the far side of the Moon? Or the first spacecraft? have received +4/-3 and +5/-5 votes (currently) so it's possible that "Space Trivia" might not be a good tag, or at least need to be tabled. It might be hard to define or scope that to avoid absurdities.


My personal belief is that this site's user community is capable of curating, maintaining and sustaining a Puzzler question tag, as long as it had a well defined tag wiki and associated meta post that scoped it carefully so that poorly crafted questions with the tag could be quickly and unceremoniously closed.

1in reference to and homage of the Car Guys' weekly Puzzler (the Puzzler website), which was often science or physics-based as the Magliozzi brothers were in Cambridge, MA and both had degrees from MIT.

2in general there's no problem with asking questions in SE for which the OP knows the answer if asked for the purpose of generating helpful or interesting answers rather than "look how clever I am" type motives.

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    $\begingroup$ I am in favor of puzzler. I agree that it needs a good tag wiki. Some people might not like these types of questions, but they can ignore them and the tag helps them do that. $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Sep 25 '19 at 19:17

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