A puzzle that involves figuring out what happened with regard to a certain incident.

Use this tag when a puzzle provides some information about a situation, and requires working through clues to arrive at an answer. Clues might be snippets of conversation, transcripts of letters, pictures of a scene, etc. These puzzles will generally be dressed up as a narrative/story, and the [story] tag will usually also apply. Some examples of situation puzzles include:

  • "Whodunnit" mysteries: Description of the crime scene and suspects, with the question being "Who did it?"
  • "What happened here?": Description of an unusual situation, with elements that seem to be incongruous or impossible, with the question being "How did this happen?" or "What happened?"
  • "Why did X do Y?": Description of the events surrounding a choice/action/event, with the question being "Why did X do Y?" (What was their motivation?)

On Puzzling Stack Exchange, we expect puzzles to have unique answers. If your situation puzzle has several solutions all equally compatible with the given information (perhaps the idea is that solvers will propose solutions and you will dole out new information little by little to lead them to the intended solution), it is not a good fit here. There should be just one solution that really fits the information you provide.