I posted 2 idiom puzzle games and asked for suggestions on improving the hints because I am a native Chinese speaker, some hints I feel are obvious may be too hard for non-native speakers. A user suggested it is opinion based question and should be closed. I agreed and closed them. The question is "if I just post a puzzle and ask people to solve it, would that be on-topic? Of course, if no one can solve it, I would post the answer myself
I'll give my opinion, although others may reasonably disagree...
I really like these puzzles!! I feel like these are a good opportunity to have some fun and promote the site (as I think you did here and here). We're allowed to have some fun studying Chinese, right? The existence of Puzzling.SE is proof of concept that these can work.
I would be happy seeing puzzles like this at Chinese.SE. That being said, there were/are some drawbacks to the crosswords in question:
The format is annoying: constantly flicking up and down for the clues. Also working with an image means it's difficult to type in an answer. It seems we need both formats: (a) an image for succinctness, and (b) a full transcript so we can edit and copy/paste.
I wonder if there is proper software we could use for this, or perhaps some way of exploiting markdown. Like this:
．．．．．．．．．．．．．． ．．．．．．．．．．．．．． ．．①＃＃②．．．．．．．． ．．馬前覆水．．．．．．．． ．．．．．＃．．．③＃＃＃． ．．．．．到．．．夜夜笙歌． ．．．．．＃④．．．＃．．． ．．．．．成背．．．涼．．． ．．．⑤＃＃＃．．．＃．．． ．．．眾志成城．．．如．．． ．．．．＃．＃．．⑥＃＃⑦． ．．．．同．借．．萬水千山． ．⑧．．＃．⑨＃＃＃．．＃． ．驚．．道．一鳴驚人．．窮． ．⑩＃＃＃．．．．＃．．＃． ．天作之合．．．．空．．水． ．＃．．．．⑪＃＃＃．．＃． ．動．．．．花街柳巷．．盡． ．＃．⑫＃＃＃．．．．．．． ．地．明日黃花．．．．．．． ．．．．．．⑬＃＃＃．．．． ．．．．．．世態炎涼．．．． ．．．⑭＃＃＃．．．．．⑮． ．．．楚河漢界．．．．．嵗． ．．．＃．．．．⑯＃＃＃＃． ．．．楚．．．．高處不勝寒． ．．．＃．．．．．＃．．＃． ．．．可．．．．．變．．三． ．．．⑰＃＃⑱．．＃．．＃． ．．．憐香惜玉．．不．．友． ．．．．．．⑲＃＃＃．．．． ．．．．．．石破天驚．．．． ．．．．⑳＃＃＃．．．．．． ．．．．萬念俱灰．．．．．． ．．．．．．＃．．．．．．． ．．．．．．焚．．．．．．． ．．．．．．．．．．．．．． ．．．．．．．．．．．．．．
Don't give the answer, it ruins the question! It's fine if noone answers a question for years. In fact, it's good to have some challenging, unanswered questions lying around.
There's no way to determine how difficult it is, and a chengyu-only crossword indicates it will be a punishing (not enjoyable) task. Many of these chengyu are not even in CC-CEDICT, so they're beyond anything I could conceivably do in the near future. Maybe limit the possibilities in some way (e.g. limit to the HSK chengyu) so we can gauge the difficulty.
Perhaps use cloze sentences (fill in the blank) instead of translations. For example: we know the answer to
is 雨伞 from understanding the context. In this way, there's more Chinese and less English. And we don't have to worry about translation errors if there is no translation.
As blackgreen points out, asking for crossword-writing advice is not really appropriate. A better approach is to create a "Draft question review" post here on meta:
- each answer to this meta post is a candidate question for the main site;
- it gets feedback in the comments, adjusted accordingly, and once we're happy, it can be posted as a question on the main site.
After re-reading @Mo.'s answer to the 2020 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire, I found this sentence, which managed to struck a chord with me:
A good m.o. is to lean towards generosity and stay far away from dogma.
He's right. There's no reason for shunning questions that deviate from the traditional StackOverflow format in a lower-traffic sub-site which is essentially about humanities.
I withdraw my excessively dogmatic stance that I had outlined below. I'll leave the original text for reference.
Thanks for asking this. I think it's an interesting discussion to have.
I'm going to give you my personal view of these two questions, and other similar questions, in three parts:
- explain why I voted to close
- try to find an on-topic'ness pattern
- examine the relevant tags we have relating to games
Why I voted to close
The first one, Idiom, common phrase crossword puzzle, I voted to close it because it's literally not a question:
I made this for fun, please try to solve it. I will post the answer later if no one can solve the whole puzzle.
Yes, the post also incidentally asks for suggestions on how to improve the puzzle, but that's kind of beside the point (and opinion-based).
The second one, Is it a solvable Idiom Crossword Puzzle? is worded slightly better, but it can be answered only in subjective ways:
Just want to know if the hints I give are too hard or too easy. And how long it take for you to solve it.
"Hard" and "easy" of course are going to have different meanings for different people, based on a wide variety of factors.
For more information about what "opinion-based" means, and why it is generally off-topic on Stack Exchange, see also this.
I'm afraid anything like "is this too easy/difficult for X" — where X is "you", "native speakers", "Chinese people", "kids/adults", etc. —, is going to be opinion-based.
Unfortunately, these kind of questions, regardless of how fun or interesting they may be, are not a very good fit for Stack Exchange.
Not all questions about games have to be off-topic though. Questions asking about the existence of some kind of game, like this one might be fine.
Also questions asking more explicitly about game-like resources, like this one might be on topic, as soon as we reach a much needed consensus about resource requests as a whole.
Questions about terminology or phrases used in games are likely always going to be on-topic.
Questions about the validity of a riddle in mandarin (only example is this) I think are on-topic, as they can be answered with some degree of objectivity. If a pun is valid or not in a language is an answerable question (regardless of how much that pun makes you laugh).
About the tags
Currently I can find three tags related to games.
- games, the broadest one, with 13 questions
- puzzle, with one controversial question, and your 2 closed questions
- riddle with 2 open questions.
My idea is that the term "games" covers the other two just fine, and my proposal is to merge the three tags into [games].