Very short answers with links to other posts in them get counted as "trivial". They're almost always signposts. And while you might call this a loophole, it's not a very useful loophole for bad people.
There is also a mechanism to manually convert answers to comments.
Is this an acceptable way to circumvent that restriction?
Well hacking the automated version means posting linking to other posts. Suggesting a duplicate might be a better course of action but I guess you can't do that either. Yeah, that's okay. Why not. It'll help people close it as a duplicate if nothing else.
For longer comments (eg asking about their problem) it's a balance between being helpful and annoying the moderators and flaggers. A real person is going to have to come in and click stuff, pull levers, etc to turn your post into a comment.
Insightful and helpful comments will likely see most of the comments converted.
Inane banter will likely see them deleted with prejudice, leading to an automated answer ban.
Ideally a couple of hours grinding the review queue, and suggesting a small pile of good edits is enough to get people over the 50 rep line. Of course a good answer is gold but harder technically.
I guess my real question is whether this is a feature or a bug.
The automated "trivial answer" thing is definitely a feature. It cuts out the very laziest answers from all corners right off the bat. But the whole answer→comment system recognises that:
- Mature users post comments in the answer section occasionally.
- New users can still have worthwhile questions to ask OPs.
Essentially: Because humans are dirty, stupid meatbags that can't be predicted.