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I'm new to Puzzling Stack Exchange and have found I can learn a lot by reading old puzzles and seeing how they were solved. I took an interest in one and posted an answer which was different to the previous answers but of course everyone finished debating it over a year ago. Is there a way to re-genetate interest so I can get some feedback on my answer? (As a newbie, my logic is probably flawed but if someone could point out how and why, I can learn for next time)...

The puzzle in question is: Are there eighteen or twenty bars in my castle?

Other advice on good ways to gain skills also appreciated!

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The Puzzling.SE home page list all questions with recent activity, regardless of the age of the question. If you recently answered an old question, it will show up on this list. The list does get updated fairly frequently, though, so it is possible that it still won't be seen by a lot of people.

Other options for drawing attention to a question/answer:

  • Mention it in the Sphinx's Lair (the main chat room for Puzzling.SE)
  • Put a bounty on the question (this is more relevant for questions than answers)
  • Promote it elsewhere on the internet and link to it.

Note that blatantly spamming chat to generate attention is a bad idea. But a post like "Hello, everyone. I've come up with a new answer to an old puzzle. Please tell me what you think about it" would be well-received.

In the end, there might be a limited amount you can do. The Stack Exchange format isn't really ideally suited to what we do here, because it's based on finding answers to questions rather than posting and solving puzzles. If you have the same question as someone did five years ago, it's easy to search and find the answer (assuming it was answered), but puzzles don't really work the same way, and older puzzles tend to get lost in the mists of time.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, I'll try the chat room đź‘Ť $\endgroup$ – SeaMonkey Jul 2 '19 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ Bounty is possibly best, as it is long-lasting and shows that you care plus puts some reward out. However, it's not suitable for beginners having low rep. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jul 24 '19 at 9:23
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For what it’s worth, I saw your answer and was intrigued, though not yet convinced, by the argument there.

People who watch the home page will see when an answer has been added, removed, or edited to a question regardless of its age (unless the question is downvoted to oblivion, at which point it no longer shows up). That’s how I saw your answer.

The original asker will also be notified directly when someone adds/removes/changes an answer, and - if they are still active on the site - will often respond to new posts. In particular, they may notice and react to better answers by commenting and perhaps even changing their accepted answer to the new one.

Beyond that, the other suggestions GentlePurpleRain offered are applicable. Note that anyone with enough reputation can put a bounty on a question which tends to draw attention to the whole page, including any answers on it; while it’s usually used by someone other than an answerer to draw attention to a question or reward an exemplary answer, nothing says an answerer couldn’t use it to draw attention to the question themselves.

I do want to point out that if your goal in seeking attention for an old question is more about seeking reputation for a new answer, I would caution you to temper expectations. It’s not particularly common for old questions with already accepted answers to get a lot of fresh attention (the presumption, and often the reality, is that the asker considers the question solved and is unlikely to change their mind unless a truly novel and better answer is offered; and if it isn’t good enough for the asker it will tend to be ignored by other visitors). Chasing reputation isn’t ideal anyway, but if you’re trying to earn it, answering current questions is a much better bet. So, too, is asking a question of your own - or, even, suggesting edits to posts that can be improved.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. It's not a reputation thing, more a 'learning by trying' thing. I'm not expecting my answer to be right, just hoping to learn from it. $\endgroup$ – SeaMonkey Jul 2 '19 at 17:38

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