Asked and Answered

'Asked and Answered' is a way of describing a puzzle whose flavortext poses a question or presents a problem requiring a solution, which is then answered by the puzzle's answer. While not by any means a required aspect of writing flavortext, it is commonly used by puzzle writers who want to add an extra sense of accomplishment upon solving the puzzle.

Puzzle Application[edit | edit source]

On the surface, posing a question in a puzzle's flavortext may appear to be just that: only flavor. However, if solvers are aware of this practice they may attempt to use puzzler's intuition to skip the puzzle itself, particularly if the puzzle is on the more difficult side. While this may be a fruitless attempt, depending on how literal or broad the puzzle writer chose to be with their answer, that will usually not deter a solver that is desperate to avoid solving a cryptic crossword.

This style of flavortext is also heavily used in metapuzzles, where a conclusion to a round's "plot" is usually needed. In these cases, the answer is often a pun or play on words that answers the posed question or problem, rather than a more literal interpretation used for other puzzles. This is exemplified with how many metas will pose the important question separately from the rest of the flavortext in order to show that it is relevant to the final answer.

Notable Examples[edit | edit source]

  • The Trebuchet (MITMH2020) - Does not directly ask for it, but mentions a "ruthless leader" leading the enemy forces.
  • Magic Words (The Puzzler Hunt) - "Where are these sounds coming from, anyway?"

See Also[edit | edit source]