If you have a project and there are questions that need answered regarding a specific part of it but answers are not coming back to you because of a reason such as: "The project is not in scope and as a side project we are not going to push for answers," is it appropriate to go outside/around your boss to get those answers. If so how? If not why?
My situation: In the next month we have a lot of projects slated for our team but currently we have a lot of down time and some side projects that I really want to participate in are coming to a screeching halt because of the lack of answers I have received regarding some of the specifications. My boss won't press for answers because he said since this is a side project we are not "supposed" to really be investing out full efforts into it, however, I go crazy at work with down time unless I find something constructive to do. Ie. learn a new language, take on a side project like this one.
How can I elicit the answers I need to start working on this project because chartered projects come up that require my full time and I have to toss this side project off to a student developer? Additionally, how can I do so without pissing off anyone above me?