This question emerges from a short chat with André Nicolas in the comments of his answer to this question.
I decided to downvote his answer because I considered that he should have given hints on how to solve the problem rather than providing the OP with a direct answer. He answered
Possibly, but my feeling is that it is difficult enough for OP to understand a direct answer.
If I read him well, his case is that, when the OP is having a hard time with understanding even a direct answer, hints might not be helpful.
My position was rather opposite
My case : it is not always the case that a difficulty to understand even direct answer implies that it it preferable to be presented a direct answer. Being walked through the process of solving the problem may be a better way to eventually understand the final answer rather than proceeding backward and trying to understand a direct answer after it has been presented.
Although, I recognize that this is a difficult question and to which there is no general answer. Still, when answering a question, one must decide between one of the two option (or something in between).
Can you think of specific circumstances in which would indicate that a hint will be more helpful than a full answer?
Do you that hints tend to benefit only sufficiently "advanced" OP and that it is better to provide struggling OP with complete answers? If so why?