Sometimes I take a look at questions over in the "related questions" area and see a puzzle from a while ago, and I was wondering what the site's policy is on answering old questions. If a puzzle hasn't been touched for multiple months, is it still okay to answer it? A lot of the time, the asker hasn't been active recently and it's possible they no longer check their SE or do so very infrequently, so wouldn't accept the answer even if it's correct (for a while at least). This would also draw attention from other people to comment/answer when the asker may no longer be active.

If we shouldn't answer these old questions, then how do we go about posing the question again? If I am asking a question, and see that it's a duplicate of an old question that was never answered, what should I do?

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    $\begingroup$ To your main question: definitely. You can even get badges (like Necromancer) for doing so! To your last question: the old question not having been answered isn't an excuse for posting a duplicate. If you want to draw attention to an old question but can't answer it yourself, you could put a bounty on it or post a partial answer to bump it. $\endgroup$ Aug 20, 2015 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ Absolutely! In fact, I (nowadays) tend to let my not-answered puzzles 'mature' in the back deliberately not 'pushing' them - as I feel that would be impolite. But I would be delighted to be able to close them as solved at one point. If you feel for it, check this one $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Aug 28, 2015 at 10:32

4 Answers 4


Why not?

We even have two badges specifically for this: Revival and Necromancer.

Just because the OP isn't around anymore doesn't mean that the question is worthless. Building a repository of high quality posts is as important, or in fact more important, than answering the OP specifically. From our Tour:

With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about the creation and solving of puzzles.


It's not just 'OK', it's actively encouraged. Go for it!


I'm not very experienced on this site, but i would say you can answer an old question, even if the OP seems to be away from the site. In this case if your answer is the right one it certainly will be upvoted.
If you can't answer this question, don't re-ask it. Even if it was never answered, it would be a duplicate.

As rand al'thor said, you can also put bounties or partial answers if you want the question to receive more attention.


If you find a diamond in the casket, you should polish it up.


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