# Why is my earlier answer being outperformed by a later answer with the same solution?

I have a question about my Puzzling Stack Exchange post: What colour was the.... No,there's no damn bears here

Alright, what am I doing wrong here? I'm watching another answer with the same solution as mine get upvoted, while mine stays at zero. Mine was posted about 30 minutes prior to the other answer. Obviously, once I give an answer it's out there and someone can simply copy it. Not saying that's what happened here, but who knows.

How's this supposed to work? Am I failing to follow some convention, making my answer seem unappealing somehow?

Notice that the later answer gives no verbal explanation whatsoever, only a picture, and the poster never follows up with any of the concerns raised. So I find myself defending/explaining the ripoff answer, rather than my own, since my answer remains buried at the bottom and all the activity is on the ripoff answer.

Nevermind, my answer is now getting downvoted. I guess it's not a good answer. That or it's just the typical SE tactical downvote BS. Or someone who didn't like hearing that their own solution was completely broken. Who cares, right? I'll just delete it, the ripoff answer is still there with that solution if anyone needs it.

• Deleting an answer which you're asking a question about makes the question impossible to understand for anyone who doesn't have 20k rep and the concomitant ability to see deleted answers. – Peter Taylor Feb 19 '18 at 10:55
• @PeterTaylor, the answer suggested two solutions; a "unit" is $\frac{1}{100}$ of the circumference of the earth around the latitude at which they headed east, or a "unit" is very small; a millimeter, maybe. So they traveled 10cm in each direction, leaving them "exactly" where they started. That was essentially it, with some spoilers. Apparently the ripoff answer with a giant picture with no written explanation was a better fit for this site. When the second solution started getting ripped off as well, I pretty much gave up on taking this site seriously. – Guest Feb 19 '18 at 14:55

There are several reasons why the other answer might be getting more upvotes:

1. It contains a picture. The old adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words" is often true. When I was looking over the answers, I certainly understood that answer much more quickly than yours, because of the picture.
2. It is concise, and doesn't contain a number of different possible answers, as well as old hypothetical answers that have since been invalidated. If the question is updated to clarify some points, and that invalidates your answer, it makes the most sense to change or delete your answer. Keeping around solutions to a question that no longer exists (in that form) is useful to no one. (They can always see your old answer in the edit history if they're really that interested.)
3. Some of your suggested solutions are of the "lateral thinking" variety. They make assumptions that aren't given in the question or interpret the question very non-literally. Unless a question is tagged , this type of answer is generally frowned upon by the Puzzling community.

While there sometimes seems to be an expectation that the first person to answer is "deserving" of the checkmark and/or upvotes, in reality is usually the best-quality answer that ends up being the one accepted/upvoted.

Keep working at your answers, and always try to answer as completely, concisely, and cleary as possible, and you'll quickly be the one garnering all the votes.

• The question is tagged lateral-thinking. I thought this could, perhaps, be a pun related to latitude, rather than the more obvious meaning. I don't know, I'm not familiar with the conventions of this site. – Guest Feb 5 '18 at 22:19
• I've edited my answer to remove solutions that were later invalidated by a comment from the asker. Yes, I did expect that the first answer to give a particular solution would preempt others from giving the exact same answer in a different form, especially with so few answers to look through. Wouldn't the right course of action here be to add the picture to the answer that already gave that solution? In the future I'll hold off on answering until I have time to draw a nice picture or think of a clever joke. – Guest Feb 5 '18 at 22:27
• The problem with this, @GentlePurpleRain, is that I can't even use basic functionality of the site, like voting or leaving comments. "Work harder on your answers" is not really a satisfying response. We all know this used to happen all the time on SO; someone would come by and rip off another answer, hoping to get a few points of rep. That's what you get with an overly-gamified system like this, I get it. Most people have the etiquette not to do stuff like that, but here, it got heavily upvoted first (giant image catches the eye first) and now it looks like I'm the one ripping off answers. – Guest Feb 6 '18 at 7:19