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Something labeled as a question is understood to be a request for an answer, but a hint may be more beneficial to the person who asks the question, and also to many other people who are interested in the question. A hint may also be more quickly written than an answer.

Thus, if there were a button available "Ask for a hint" -- making it clear to users that they are still required to follow all of the rules and recommended to follow all of the guidelines for asking a question -- then people who are ready, willing and able to provide hints would be encouraged to do so.

Perhaps a more subtle approach would be for the question asker to include a tag such as "request-for-hint-rather-than-full-answer."

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    $\begingroup$ Related discussion from 2013: Suggestion for “Hint-Only” Tag. (Later in 2013, the tag called (hint-only) was created and removed.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 25 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ Why not just... write it that way in the question? $\endgroup$ – YiFan Oct 26 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ I'm thinking of clicking on "Answer" and posting a hint. I would be more comfortable doing that if I were informed that the question asker is seeking a hint. Otherwise it may seem to be a kind of fraudulent misrepresentation that I am posting a mere hint under the automatically inserted title "Answer." $\endgroup$ – Ren Eh Daycart Oct 26 at 3:42
  • $\begingroup$ On the other hand, I have discovered that a search for unanswered questions brings up questions that have enough information to satisfy the question asker in comments on the answer, so that hints or answers are posted under the title "Comments." So it would help others looking for truly unanswered questions if I posted my hint as an "Answer." $\endgroup$ – Ren Eh Daycart Oct 26 at 3:43
  • $\begingroup$ Hints can perfectly answer the question, and I do that all the time. If the question asker were only seeking a hint, all they need to do is write that in the question body, as a lot of people do. $\endgroup$ – YiFan Oct 26 at 3:52
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    $\begingroup$ A lot just say hint at the top of their answers. $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Oct 26 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Roddy MacPhee --> A simple tactic in communication! Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Ren Eh Daycart Oct 26 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Roddy MacPhee --> I was struggling with two related matters: (1) how to indicate that one welcomes or prefers hints when posting a question, and (2) how to post a mere hint, in response to a question, under the potentially misleading heading "Answer." You have resolved (2) for me. Your proposal would ideally be readily available to anybody who is struggling with those two questions. $\endgroup$ – Ren Eh Daycart Oct 26 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ The solution to (1) is also stating it, like any hint would be welcome. Though you'll likely want to show attempts if you're the asker. $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Oct 26 at 20:05

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