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Is there a word that is equivalent to the phrase 'intellectual challenge'?

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  • What's wrong with intellectual challenge? In what context would something different be used? Can you provide an example sentence with an empty space for the word? – Jason Bassford Aug 27 '18 at 6:43
  • Nothing wrong with it, I'm just picky :). An example sentence would be, "I enjoy mathematics and its intellectual challenges" – Dean Yang Aug 27 '18 at 6:46
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    You just used intellectual challenges in a sentence. That doesn't help in any way in terms of some kind of replacement. If there's nothing wrong with intellectual challenges, then just use it. If you don't have some reason for not using it, then I can't understand your question. This is not a discussion site but one where specific objective answers can be provided . . . – Jason Bassford Aug 27 '18 at 6:59
  • Beware, though. The phrase has been coined as a politically correct expression and is not to be substituted in general writing. – Kris Aug 27 '18 at 10:08
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There are many that go around this idea (paradox, theory, riddle, quandary, etc...)

However, for the aspect of "challenge," specifically, I would propose:

conundrum

1a : an intricate and difficult problem

1b : a question or problem having only a conjectural answer

This especially hits on the "intellectual" nature, since conjectural means that whatever answer you come up with cannot be 'physically' proven or tested: you just have to be right.

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