Consider Notorious & Difficult Number Theory Problem X (hereafter referred to as "The Problem"). Let's say The Problem has already been solved using “heavy machinery”, so that we can all agree upon the truth of the proposition. Let's now say I have an idea on a possible elementary method of attacking The Problem, and I've worked through some of it, but it's not anywhere near a complete proof. And let's assume, for argument's sake, that I'm not a total crank — call me "an optimistic amateur" instead, with perhaps even a few articles published in well-respected peer-reviewed number theory journals.
How best to start such a thread — with the intentional of rationally discussing the idea towards either a proof, a partial proof (or new partial result), or proving that the idea is a clear dead-end — without the thread spiralling either into total crank-dom on the one hand, or total crank-lynching-dom on the other?
Furthermore, should it immediately be declared community-wiki?