This is definitely my issue too. Sometimes I don't have a pixel-level idea of what the environment is like. The two cliffs are 'over a person's reasonable running longjump'-distance apart, not a set number of meters apart. It is cold out, not exactly two degrees below freezing. Asking me specific just makes me make something up on the fly. It's one of my beefs with games with tables upon tables of modifiers to rolls -- usually right up until we break out those tables, half those parameters were undecided, so their inclusion didn't make the number you needed to roll any more 'true.'Yeah. In some cases I think it's because the player has had bad experiences with GMs in the past. I hate it when players try to lead me down a direction instead of just telling me what they want their character to accomplish. The absolute worst is when the PCs are interviewing people as part of an investigation, stuff like asking if they've seen Vinnie, what happened last night, etc., etc., where the PC speaks in such a circuitous manner that even I, the DM, am not sure what they're trying to communicate.
The most baffling that comes to mind is when I was running a 3rd edition game of Ravenloft in a mountainous area.
Player: What kind of trees are around?
Me: Uh, pine trees.
Player: <mutters under his breath> There'd be hardwood trees too.
Me: What the %#%# does it matter? If you want an oak tree or a birch or something just #%#%# tell me.
I tend to agree, but sometimes someone is just operating on a different framework. Completely unrelated to gaming, I've had a myriad of conversations with my wife where one of us finally has to stop the conversation and state something akin to, "you are burying the lead here, what happened(/what are you asking), and to what is it pertinent?"In my experience, the player is trying to outmaneuver an adversarial GM.
Whether that GM is actually present varies from table to table.