Sometimes we get questions that are "not good enough", as anyone individual might think; and as opinions differ: on quite a few questions. So much so that we do not reach a consensus on "badness".
Sometimes an ambiguous phrase or a background difference between asker and answerer invites different readings of 'what the question actually is', or 'how it should this be answered' become visible.
Ideally, if a question is problematic, it should be edited. But this doesn't always happen and is even less likely if it already attracted answers.
Read the question carefully. What, specifically, is the question asking for? Make sure your answer provides that – or a viable alternative. The answer can be “don’t do that”, but it should also include “try this instead”. Any answer that gets the asker going in the right direction is helpful, but do try to mention any limitations, assumptions or simplifications in your answer. Brevity is acceptable, but fuller explanations are better.
This "don't do that" could in our case to be interpreted as "if you understand the question to mean…". That is one example of thinking outside the box or leaving the frame of reference.
Questions have to be framed by the original poster, and we demand of them to do that as narrowly as they can to enable us to post specific answers. Sometimes this too narrow, sometimes the questions contains material others find under-referenced or even a bit pushy, not quite right or otherwise objectionable; slightly.
Framing in this context means limiting how people view a topic; challenging the frame means breaking out of those limits to look at the problem from a different perspective. Challenging the frame is usually appropriate when the asker has the XY problem (when you have problem X, and identify potential solution Y, and ask for help implementing Y instead of just asking for help with X).
Oblivious Sage in a comment
A frame challenge is where an author answers a question in a wholly different way the querent never asked for, or potentially expressly forbade — but in a way which, the answerer feels, will actually solve their problem (or generally improve their life quality or prevent them from making a terrible mistake).
The “frame” being challenged here is specifically the way the question was framed — the way they put it forward, the parameters they offered, the kinds of answers they're driving for.
Frame challenges are risky; sometimes they're a good idea and sometimes you just cop a whole lot of downvotes. We advise you also answer the question at face value, though you may prefer not to do so (and sometimes, it's a very good idea to not do so).
Doppelgreener on rpg:SE
These kind of answers can be found frequently on History:SE, but we have not discussed this before. Sometimes they have been challenged as "this does not answer the question", sometimes they just fly.
Since recently quite a few people got quite angry if they found such a frame challenge we might have to discuss this a bit better.
What is our general stance on this?
What are the pitfalls?
How can we give guidance as how to avoid the pitfalls?
A few examples:
How did native North Americans conceive of property rights?
("Lanape … didn't Indians"?)
How would ancient Sumerian astronomers predict length of the next lunar month?
("How did they…" assuming they did, although it looks like 'no')
Does any country have an official celebration for the annexation of foreign territory?
("Annexation" is defined or means in common parlance what?)
("near War-zone" "reasonably safe" "only commercial plants")
Why did the ancient Romans use groups of eight?
("Why did…" did they?)
Why wasn't sauerkraut used to combat scurvy?
("Why wasn't…" without the timeframe…)
This answer to speed limits.
Another answer heavy in re-framing.