Is “cleverness” valid as the sole criteria for a puzzle?

This question was migrated in this morning. It was asked about a year ago on Stack Overflow, as a sort of alternative to the then-established Code Golf niche.

If you've never had a chance to read the answers, you should - some of 'em are pretty clever. Which... Was the purpose. The only purpose. There are no criteria other than raw cleverness. You can even cheat...

It was a fun diversion on SO, exactly the sort of question that's fun to see crop up every once in a while. And it accomplished that goal...

But is there any reason for it to live on? More importantly, is there any reason for it to live on here?

I understand there's a fair bit of "show off how clever you can be" to most programming puzzles, but shouldn't there also be... A puzzle? Solve in minimum length / run-time / memory... Something?

But I can't really tell, from the FAQ or discussions here, whether or not such a challenge is acceptable. Thoughts?

I personally think those questions have no place on this site. We need questions with at least some degree of objectivity when it comes to deciding which answer should "win".

Others have argued that as long as no answer is selected as "accepted", then subjective questions are okay. I'm a little iffy on that stance, but I also don't want my opinion to be the final word if most users decide that "cleverness as winning criterion" have some value.

• As a diamond, you should update the /faq to contain the phrase "We need questions with at least some degree of objectivity when it comes to deciding which answer should "win"." – Jeff Atwood Mar 29 '11 at 0:25
• The FAQ has now been updated with more details. Any suggestions for other things to cover are welcome! :-) – Chris Jester-Young Mar 29 '11 at 2:06
• -1. Why does it matter which answer "wins"? Unlike StackOverflow, where an accepted answer at the top is desired to help future users find the right answer, answers on CodeGolf are valuable for their entertainment and enlightenment value, which usually has very little to do with an objective metric. Although awarding a green check mark to the most optimal answer is icing on the cake, I don't think the entire site should revolve around that. – Joey Adams Mar 29 '11 at 20:59
• @Joey +1 Fully agree that in general an objective criteria shouldn't be required. How does someone win this question for example? Should it be considered OT? I do, however, think something needs to be done to prevent "cheat" answers like @Shog9 points out from scoring highly. Those answers mock the question without adding much. – marcog Mar 29 '11 at 21:48
• @marcog: It looks like that answer got deleted. – Joey Adams Mar 31 '11 at 1:33
• @Joey: Along with the user who posted it. :-P – Chris Jester-Young Mar 31 '11 at 1:43
• There's the "popularity contest" "objective" winning criterion. So, there's that. – John Dvorak Feb 25 '15 at 18:48