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1:28 AM
...so given that A) it seems like the "any pair goes" approach is the most popular, but B) there is still some concern over that being a little too broad/ill-defined, I wonder if we should work out some guidelines to create a clearer definition of what would be considered unconventional.
Here's my take:
<normal preamble> Note: This is a little different from the usual single tag challenges. Your goal is to use two tags which would not normally be seen together on a single puzzle. It's up to individual users to decide if their chosen tags are "unconventional" enough, however, the intent of the challenge is that the two tags should seem like an unlikely pairing to a casual reader.
In other words, whilst you may like to draw inspiration from tags which are rarely paired, having few tagged puzzles isn't necessarily in the spirit of the challenge.
For example, a pairing of and isn't really going to surprise anyone so shouldn't be considered "unconventional", even though there are currently no puzzles tagged that way. Better examples might include (but are certainly not limited to): <example pairings>
I don't think the last is a great example, because it "feels" like something that is just a technicality rather than a creative space (not that I'm saying someone couldn't post a puzzle with that pairing, just that it maybe shouldn't be one of the example pairs)
The others, yes.
Hmm. Now I'm trying to think of how one might make a puzzle tagged both and :-)
For reference, my examples from the initial proposal were: +, + (maybe not so good?), +, +, +, +
@Randal'Thor Excellent, that's the idea :)
...oh, forgot this sentiment from my original proposal as well, which should probably be included in the guidelines: "Ideally, this would involve the two tags being genuinely merged into a single puzzle, rather than just having a two step process of, applying tag A then tag B."
1:46 AM
@Alconja I think the last few of those make better examples than the first few. is essentially a stylistic tag - encipher a rhyming plaintext and you could slap and on it. And + is actually quite unconventional, given the way those tags are used, but it doesn't seem so to a casual user: "well, of course we use logical deduction to solve any rebus puzzle!"
2:18 AM
@Randal'Thor Fair point. So maybe four examples: +, +, +, and +
3 hours later…
5:33 AM
Very much looking forward to finding out how this frontier shakes out. Personal example of unconventional:
Q: The Mystery of the MathJax Lines

humnObserved from an old-timey spaceship1 and strewn across the Puzcle Plateau 2 lie 14 mysterious lines.          $ \rlap{\kern 0 pc\raise 0 pc\Rule{0.1pc}{3.1pc}{0pc}} \rlap{\kern 1 pc\raise 0 pc\Rule{0.1pc}{3.1pc}{0pc}} \rlap{\kern 2 pc\raise 0 pc\Rule{0.1pc}{3.1pc}{0pc}} % \rlap{\ker...

1 hour later…
6:39 AM
@humn :) hadn't seen that one. +1 ...my most "unconventional" would be:
Q: The Rube Wordberg Machine

AlconjaGah! I used to be the brilliant one at Verba Retorta University, but ever since that damned Professor Wordberg showed up, there's been nothing but trouble. And it's all his confounded machine's fault! He's a fraud – he has to be – I just needed enough evidence to prove it. So, last night, I... L...

Definitely, @Alconja, might even merit
1 hour later…
8:11 AM
I definitely think guidelines are a good idea. My biggest issue with this is that it's too subjective for my taste. Sure, you can also find loopholes in most tags if you search hard enough, but the definitions of them are mostly better defined than "unconventional".
E.g. your example + is unconventional for me, since it isn't used very often here. I think "Unconventional" has nothing to do with creativity/outlandishness, but more with "unusual". So in what context is "Unconventional" defined? If it's in the context of this site, then every combination that isn't used often could be valid, IMO.
I think a nice idea would be to create a "net" of some sort, where each cell (tag) is allowed to be combined with it's connected cells. For example:
Just an idea. Obviously the example image is not well thought out yet, and it could be difficult to make such a "net" in pure, clear text form if it gets too big. This would obviously give users some hard restrictions, which may also not be the best path, but it's a path of clear definitions IMO.
8:45 AM
This would also allow to make multiple unconventional tag fusions fortnights, each which different nets.
8:55 AM
@LukasRotter yeah, this is an important distinction (and part of what drove me to write me guidelines above). The aim is to go for surprising, unexpected pairings, not just ones that happen to rare on PSE (which is the main reason a list driven from data.se isn't very helpful).
I do like the net idea, but I personally think that it would be lots of work to define for likely very little additional benefit
Though I do think it would be fun as well with the right net... Sometimes restrictions can drive interesting creativity as well.
And perhaps that should be the next experiment.
@Alconja Yeah, maybe we should first give users as much freedom as possible to see if the idea works, although I do still have my concerns with that. :P It's just my personal preference that I'd like restrictions more than absolute freedom in this context, because of the point you were just addressing: It makes me more creative if I have specific topics (tags) I can think about. Maybe a poll should be started in order to determine what's the most popular idea?
I.e. all your options in your first post of this room and maybe the net idea.
2 hours later…
10:43 AM
@LukasRotter Consider yourself officially assigned + :)
1 hour later…
11:47 AM
@LukasRotter ^ This diagram was generated based on the usage patterns (including combinations) of our top 32 tags.
And here's one with our top 64 tags - more information, but might be harder to read:
12:04 PM
@Randal'Thor Nice! Which program did you use to calculate/make this? I don't think data.SE can do such things :P This is definitely a good graph to see which combination of tags are often used. I'm really surprised + is so common, most of them seem to be code-puzzles. I always thought a rebus must include an image.
"A visual puzzle that involves trying to figure out a word or phrase from an image that gives clues to parts of the word or phrase. "
@LukasRotter Have fun :-)
Anyway, going AFK for a while now.

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