# General puzzle categories and: Are there any emotional puzzles?

I'm not sure the title of this question is the best one - feel free to edit it - but I have a question on puzzles in general:

Most puzzles I know (and surely most puzzles on this site) fall into the category of

## rational puzzles

By this I mean, that one can use rational thinking and reasoning to find the answer.

As such, mathematics can act as puzzle-language and is most often an excellent tool for solving them. Where analytical maths can't help, numerical maths aka brute-force 'simulation' via programming comes to the rescue.

But there are surely also different categories of puzzles:
One, I can think of, are

## knowledge based puzzles

These puzzles require that the solver has a certain specific knowledge, and only in this context the puzzle becomes solvable. Without that knowledge, the puzzle appears arbitrary and ill-defined.

A lot of riddle-type puzzles with very specific, topological hints (i.e. certain music groups / actors /...) fall into this category. (Google to the rescue!)

But if you think of it, also any Chess-puzzle without specifying the rules of Chess would really be of this category. The same for most/all cryptographic puzzles. ( A Ceasar cipher is not logical in any way! )

Those two examples are generally accepted on this site, because the required knowledge (such as Chess rules or how to use Internet searches) are assumed to be general knowledge.

But this category would also accommodate more obscure examples, and I wonder of the fate of such puzzles on this site.

Example: Historic paintings. Those paintings often used symbols with very, very specific meaning which could encode a message or puzzle very nicely. People of that period and culture (or historians) would see, understand and appreciated the puzzle - and they would firmly believe there is a unique and clear solution to them.

There are, in fact, a lot of different expert-knowledge requiring puzzles, if you think of it.

This now leads me to my actual question:

## What other general categories of puzzles do exist?

In particular:

Are there any puzzles which are not based on rational (left brain) thinking, but on creative / associative / emotional (right brain) thinking?

Can you give an example?

If they exist, how can you proof the solution is correct? What does correct mean in this context?

If this all sounds a bit too philosophical, well maybe it is.
But it is a genuine question and interest of mine, and I hope I will get some good, thought-provoking answers.

The question somehow came to mind out of observation: I consider myself a "left-brain" thinker, i.e. when I see a problem, I first try to apply some logic/rational thinking to it. And I enjoy it.
But I know a lot of people who do neither enjoy, nor think about problems this way. But it's exactly this group of people, which in other types of "puzzles" (/riddles/associative guessing games...) quickly find answers/solutions I wouldn't have dreamt of.

I was hence wondering, how one would best build a puzzle customized for such people.

• Was [puzzle-logy] intentional, or was it a typo? – user20 Dec 30 '14 at 23:17
• It was intentional (sort of), as I was lacking a better suitable tag. I've suggest a tag-wiki, but I'm in no way 'attached' to this tag. If someone could came up with a better, it would be fine with me. ( puzzle-research seemed too academic and misleading in another way. ) – BmyGuest Dec 31 '14 at 8:50
• All questions on Puzzling.SE are, by definition, about puzzles. So that tag is completely unnecessary. – Doorknob Jan 1 '15 at 15:57
• @Doorknob冰 while the tag might not have been the best one, just removing it didn't do much good neither.This question is not primarily about puzzle-creation, so it is now clearly missing something. But I'm going to post this separately on meta... – BmyGuest Jan 1 '15 at 19:28
• @Doorknob冰 see this meta-post – BmyGuest Jan 1 '15 at 20:29