00:00 - 03:0003:00 - 23:00

3:00 AM
It may be a part of an answer. But it's not an answer, which should be "yes, it's optimizable", or "no, it's not optimizable".

and that's a valid answer to the question. obviously, presuming reasoning is given, duh.

Yeah. If reasoning is given, then it's fine. If reasoning is not given, then it's not an answer.

Incidentally, all this is not purely hypothetical.
7

Here's an interesting puzzle. This is called "Rudenko's Disk" (Brainwright) — finding information or solves for it online isn't all that challenging, which would largely ruin the fun here, so don't go looking it up. Here's what the puzzle looks like: The puzzle consists of 7 movable Dots, co...

I asked this. I was pretty sure I knew the answer. I was wrong.
Someone gave a better answer than I was convinced was the right answer.

Ah, interesting!

Is that open-ended in this case though?

3:02 AM
Well, no, but... i mean ...
if the OP .. and hell, the original physical puzzle designer ... got "The Answer" wrong

You'd have to remove "don't go looking it up" from the question for it to be valid under these new rules.

Sorry, I'm trying to look at it from a third person POV

are we 100% positive even the new answer is well and truly provably optimal?
(I mean in this case, I think we are, but ... generalize a little and imagine)

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
not very good at that

Is there any consesus in agreement?

3:03 AM
@Deusovi the irony: looking it up would have gotten you the Hanoi solution.
unless you were really lucky and hit Jaap's page

@Rubio You could probably prove it by computer search.

I think that we are disagreeing on optimization puzzles.
and possibly splitting hairs
because no policy will be perfect

(Or is the possibility space too big for that?)

Did we ever get an answer from Rubio as to his stance on what is and is not too broad/open ended?

@Brandon_J I'm not really. I just thought this was an interesting personal case in point where even when you're sure, and have someone's "proof", it might not actually be a best case proof, so ... hehe

3:06 AM
Nah, I think we're in general agreement here now?
- Optimization puzzles must have a provably best answer.
- You can also ask questions *about* puzzles of the form "Does this have a provably best answer?", where the answer is "yes" or "no" (with reasoning).
- And regular questions about puzzle design that are open-ended (but not [tag:open-ended]) are perfectly fine.
3

and I thought Deusovi was the devious one......

Well looking at the tag description for open-ended, the description for open-ended is "Used when the tagged puzzle is open ended to all solvers and could be "bested" at any point, if a given solver has a better solution that fulfills the askers requirements." I think we can agree that is too broad for community requirements

Is that a reasonable summary?

@Deusovi I suspect it's provable by brute force, but you'd have to realize the possibility and code for it to actually get it

oh, definitely - you couldn't try to code it as Hanoi

Someone starred it

That was me
whoops
wasn't even supposed to come out that way

@North Not throwing wrenches here, just want to add a comment -

Yes?

he's gonna throw a wrench
* braces *

3:08 AM
Elsewhere in SE, it's pretty much always possible for people to come to a question later and, seeing an existing answer that is deficient due to new knowledge, changes in society, whatever - to find that there is now a better answer
That tag description kinda reads like that concept applied to puzzles
Of course, for puzzles, changing times shouldn't change the answer

I disagree
because there is always one correct answer

So the concept, while sound elsewhere, I don't think applies here.

it's just that which answer is correct changes

@Brandon_J I thought Rubio just disproved that point

"Elsewhere in SE, it's pretty much always possible for people to come to a question later and, seeing an existing answer that is deficient due to new knowledge, changes in society, whatever - to find that there is now a better answer" I don't think that this is the same as open-ended puzzles here.
That's what I was trying to say
sorta

3:11 AM
No, I see Rubio's point

he's not a decimal number though
nvm sorry

Eh. I would think that a typical open-ended puzzle - looking at many of the examples we have here under that tag -

the problem with finding a "best" answer is that the search space is ridiculous

3:11 AM
You're saying we should narrow that space

trouble is, to where?
0 is easier to define
so I'm in favor of it falling there I guess

Finding something nobody found before, that happens to have a better score, is probably possible just because there's so much space to look in to find it, and dictionaries get bigger and computers get faster all the time

simply because otherwise we choose an arbitrary boundary for search space

@Rubio But is probably possible?

The danger - and I think we're correct to avoid it, and it's something Deus alluded to in an earlier comment - is that instead of a puzzle what we really have is a game: find the best thing you can come up with. (Ive even seen some that are: best solution in <n> days is the winner)
That's not a puzzle, it's a game, and I do think that's out of place here

3:15 AM
I think Deus believes that the tag insinuates such behaviour much more often, and any question posed as such becomes a game

And I think I agree

Yeah. I mean, most of the stuff in the tag today I'd not miss at all

not 100% sure

@Rubio Are you saying there's a possiblity of a good open-ended puzzle?

but like in our last conversation on this topic, I could think of (literally) a couple examples of stuff that felt open ended, that I'd not like to lose.

3:16 AM
@Rubio so do we not clean up the 99% to save the 1% when we can't even define the one percent?

Again, I'll note the box question. As it stands, it's I think a good puzzle.

I feel like trying to save the 1% is impractical

As it stands, I think it's not provable that the current answer is optimal

(For what it's worth, I disagree - I'm not so sure it's a good puzzle.)

@Brandon_J But valuable

3:17 AM
maybe we can lock it?

We can disagree. :)

Right now, I don't think there are any plans to delete the questions that have currently been posted under .

And that's where downvotes are used, no?

Deleting or deprecating the tag wouldn't delete the questions under it.
@North No, generally not. PSE members don't downvote nearly as often as they should, unfortunately.

Hmph

3:19 AM
@North There is value in doing it, but there's also more value in not doing it. Can't just analyze the benefit in a cost-benefit analysis

@Brandon_J And what's the cost, if I may ask?

hahahahahahahahhaha xkcd.com/1445

hehe

@North Allowing and encouraging the bad questions, which make up the majority of the tag?

@North Time. Ambiguity. Future disputes, and more time.
I just thought of that XKCD and I was laughing so hard
on the inside
because night time

3:22 AM
`yo`
Huh that's weird
My text changes when I put "``"

Yeah, that's how you format monospace text (for code blocks, e.g.)

`System.out.println("Hello, world!");`
for example

`Alright, I'll swallow my pride and admit that Deusovi makes a better point`
`Also I like that font better`

which point?

I.e. getting rid of the tag

3:25 AM
sweet
one more convert
XD

raises eyebrow
This ain't a competition

I know

(I've been writing up an answer to that meta question - I may copy in some quotes from this conversation)

OK, cool.
@North it just seemed like such a success, and then I realized that it wasn't, so I engaged in self-mockery

Uhhh okay...
Kind of confused but sure

3:29 AM
Hey, it's late here. My brain goes a little haywire

What's the time? It's only 8:30 pm here
I can go alll night

ooh, a West-coaster

yup
CALIFORNIA GIRLS, THERE SO UNFORGETTABLE

I'm a MidWesterner that needs more sleep than the average Joe
They're unforgettable all right.

Okay in all honesty though, I'm not exactly sure why people glamorize California
Hollywood is a complete sham, the best part is Universal Studios

3:32 AM
I'm just waiting for the big one, so we can be rid of California once and for all

but how would we know it's a sham? from a movie?

From actually going there
It's not as nice as all he movies make it out to be
L.A. is like New York except without all the cool stuff

haha funny

For example, L.A. has a terrible public transportation system

I have no ideas about these things

3:34 AM
@Brandon_J I wish that was a joke, but it's too true
And Beverly Hills? Unless you're super rich, don't even think about going there
Shops are overpriced

but still, perception is often pushed by pop culture, which is often driven by the film industry, which has a large base in Hollywood

Which is another thing I don't understand

so Caly glam perception is hard to break

Oh and the "wonderful beaches"

Humans are weird, man

3:35 AM
If you want beaches go to Hawaii or Maui

Not a beach guy anyway
too much screen glare XD
jk

Actually Crystal Cove is really nice, but most people don't know unless they live in California

I like forests and mountains and hikes better

85% of beaches in California are dirty
Actually California has really nice mountains

That's nothing. 85% of people from Arkansas have no teeth.

3:37 AM
The only thing with Yosemite is is that they have a horrible bathroom
Redwood Forest is also super nice, I wished I was as big as they were :(

@Brandon_J Bah. 92% of statistics you encounter online are made up, you know.

@North You could use a tree, but I feel like you would be opposed to that somehow.
@Rubio Don't forget to cite Abraham Lincoln for that

@Brandon_J Yeah, I wonder why? I have dogs like Rubio who pee on me all the time

I beg your pardon. I'm a very civilized dog.

heck, he's on a diet
coke

3:39 AM
And then these humans give me literal shit saying it's "fertilizer"
bleh

A nerd, a tree, and a dog walked into a chat room. The nerd forgot the punchline.
bows

That means then that I'm very civilized for a dog, and WAY more civilized than those humans.

waits for applause

I'm a tree but I like books

@Brandon_J

3:41 AM
Am I endorsing dismemberment?
oh, dear
Mutilation for the win
I'm trying to move into E-books though
@Brandon_J Oh yeah, by the way. How come we don't have a Lorax for our species of trees?
"I speak for the trees" Yeah, he only speaks for truffula trees. This is discrimination

ok I'm off for a while. have a happy.

Be gruntled, mon ami.

Seeya as well. Bed time for me.

Au revoir. Bonne nuit!

3 hours later…
6:50 AM
-2

there once was a man with seven sons one of his sons was very smart four of his sons are of average intelligence the four sons that were average intelligence but much smarter than the one but there were two that were smarter than the one and then there was the other two that weren't smarter than ...

3 hours later…
10:04 AM
2

Fold this net into a cube and solve this 3D Masyu. The original Masyu rules apply. In addition, question mark '?' should be replaced by either a black or white circle. Side note: Yeah, it's almost a die... I'm adding '?' to make sure that the solution is unique. ><

3 hours later…
12:40 PM
0

I have tried to solve this sequence which, I suppose has been created from the combination of a,b,c,d,e. I've reposted the correct sequence The sequence: (a,c), ?, ?, ?, (a,e), ?, ?, (c,d), ?, (b,a) My logic: We just try to do all the possible combinations : (A,B) (A,C) (A,D) (A,E) (B,A)...

3 hours later…
3:45 PM
Happy Easter, folks.

And happy Pesach :)

4 hours later…
7:25 PM
... Is "happy" the right word there? Maybe it is, but it feels odd somehow. Something something bitter herbs something something tears something something angel of death something. I dunno, I'm not Jewish myself and don't really know what the typical mood is, but I had the idea there was a bit of bittersweetness to it.
Incidentally, I haven't forgotten that I owe all you fine folks a new C4. I had an idea for a clue but haven't been able to make it work, but can't quite bring myself to abandon it...

it is a festival, and a commemoration of liberation from slavery. The circumstances were pretty grim, but the thing being remembered seems like a reason for some celebration

Oh, for sure there's happiness there. It just feels like there's more going on there and "happy" isn't necessarily the right word to use. (The Christians are a bit more straightforward in this respect; there's a kinda-similar contrast of emotions but they separate the two, with Good Friday and Easter Sunday. "Happy Easter" seems fine, at least if you're saying it specifically on Easter Sunday.)

I've always found the "Good" of Good Friday to feel somewhat strange. I mean, yes, but ...
So yah, probably a similar thing here
anyway. Happy Easter, folks. :)

Happy Easter, everyone :D

7:42 PM
CCCC: At Passover, head off sin with smallest possible plague? (6)
(Not the clue I spent ages trying to construct, but it's nice to be seasonal.)

8:22 PM
@GarethMcCaughan Traditional greeting is "חג שמח" and "מועדים לשמחה", so.... yeah.
(both of which translate to "happy holidays")

Interesting. So am I just wrong to think there's an element of sadness there too, or is it more that the standard greeting doesn't capture all of it?
(note: mostly AFK for a bit; apologies for slow responses)

wait, hang on, I need to find a calendar
It's possible Gareth was actually wrong here, I need to make a note of it

8:35 PM
@GarethMcCaughan There is. During the Seder, there's a part where we remove part of our wine / grape juice while we talk about the plagues, so as not to take joy in the suffering of others.

Bah.
Foiled again.

@Rubio touché

2 hours later…
10:43 PM
0

Not sure if this is where this belongs, but hoping to solve this. I need to find six names of dinosaurs, and there's no word bank. So far, I've already found archaeopteryx, stegosaurus, velociraptor, and triceratops. Once I find those last two words, I then need to randomly choose a letter fro...

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