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I found this math question: How to make 21?. I wanted to answer, but I found out that a copy of this riddle was on another question site, precisely here.

Apart from any wonder of plagiarism, If I were the question author, I would like to award people who really spent time trying to figure out how to solve this riddle, instead of people who simply made a Google search.

how can I treat the answer I would get in a similar question? Would you anyway accept the first correct one, or give no correct answer at all (explaining why in a question edit)?

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    $\begingroup$ I think there is no rule that says you must accept the "first" answer. You are entitled to accept whichever answer you like best - and you don't even have to explain your reasoning. The community may disagree - they will show their opinion by upvoting other answers. $\endgroup$ – Floris Nov 7 '14 at 5:38
  • $\begingroup$ I know I don't have to accept the first answer, but in this case, where there is only one possible answer, I tend to accept the first one because the user who answered was the fastest. If a question is anywhere online, I would find a problem accepting an answer, because i would give rep points to a person that potentially made a little effort to answer, simply googling it, when maybe the fastest user that is calculating the answer in the proper way is still working on it. $\endgroup$ – Andrea Gottardi Nov 7 '14 at 8:10
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    $\begingroup$ Then I think you should award the answer with the best explanation of how to solve... $\endgroup$ – Floris Nov 7 '14 at 12:39
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    $\begingroup$ @AndreaGottardi, accepting an answer isn't about giving reputation to the person who deserves it most, it is about marking the answer that you think is the best as it is. If an answer is the best, it doesn't matter how it was obtained. $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Nov 8 '14 at 2:16
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The primary goal for accepting an answer isn't to give reputation to the person who deserves it most by putting in the most effort, but rather it is about marking the answer that you think best answers the question. Don't think of it as rewarding the answerer, but rather letting everyone know this is the answer you were looking for so that other users know your question has now been answered.

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Is there a way to differentiate answers that are googled verses derived? If so I would suggest you award the answer which provides the best explanation as to how the answer if found. I believe you should reward the best answer, not necessarily the people you feel put more work into their answer. Solving the problem alone, however, does not make it a good answer.

In my case (the only answerer at this time to the referenced question) I just remembered what the answer should look like having seen/answered the question before. If someone rigorously shows this is the only solution or shows how to find it, that would be a better answer. I personally don't feel that posting a well known problem like this is an appropriate use of this site and wanted to shut it down quickly. It is definitely different if the person has a question about the well known problem, has a variation on this problem, or reasonably expects (and states as such) that there are more answers than the traditional one. None of these apply to this question.

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    $\begingroup$ I might argue that "a well known question" should be on this site. Then we'll have a foundation of classics as well as a collection of original content. $\endgroup$ – TheRubberDuck Nov 8 '14 at 2:05
  • $\begingroup$ @EnvisionAndDevelop It depends on what you want the site to be. I am biased by what was planned and discussed in the even earlier stages of the beta where becoming a dump for existing puzzles was a bad thing. I want to be more questions about puzzles or places to try out your own new puzzles than a place where you post any puzzles ypu heard. $\endgroup$ – kaine Nov 8 '14 at 2:18

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