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I wanted to do a little cleanup in Gaming, and set off to search old closed questions other than exact duplicates, which would be candidates for deletion.

I was unable to find a way to specifically search for that, as searching for closed:1 doesn't let me exclude the duplicates which I don't want to delete.

The only option I had was to click on every result to see in the question what the close reason was.

Could we have an advanced search option, or a section in the mod tools, that would allow me to search all closed questions that are not duplicates?

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It is possible to see which questions were closed as duplicates because the first words shown in search page for the question are, "Possible Duplicate:" I agree; it would be preferable to have a list of questions that are not duplicates, rather than scanning the search page to avoid the questions I don't really want. – kiamlaluno Mar 21 '12 at 14:52
@lunboks, I realized I can sort to get the worst ones – juanformoso Mar 29 '12 at 13:03
@JuanManuel Well, if you're talking about a site with more than 5k closed questions, that won't really work, unless mods have a higher limit for search results. – a cat Mar 29 '12 at 13:04
@lunboks, I guess I can start from the bottom and then more will appear... anyway, be sure to cast your delete votes too! :) – juanformoso Mar 29 '12 at 13:20

The Data Explorer is perfect for a bit of spring cleaning. You can exclude duplicates, no trouble, and add as much complexity as you want. Of course, it's not really live data, and less convenient than an on-site tool, but whatcha gonna do.

I wrote a query for deletion candidates that sounds sorta like what you want. It lists all closed questions, sorted by score and post date, excluding duplicates and questions that will disappear on their own anyway (i.e., those at -1 or lower with no answers).

(It times out on SO, because SO's backlog of old closed questions is beyond the help of any mortal man.)

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Nice, will try it (though I'd prefer the filter built-in (the first question is one I deleted 5 days ago)) – juanformoso Mar 21 '12 at 15:11
@JuanManuel Well, the latest data dump happened just before the ITG purge, so those tend to get in the way a bit. – a cat Mar 21 '12 at 15:12
@lunboks you can get it to work for SO if you remove the magic [Post Link] and [User Link] fields. See my forked version – Some Helpful Commenter Mar 21 '12 at 15:32
This is a nice solution, unfortunately the Data Explorer is not available for beta sites. So there would still be a significant advantage to an internal solution. – Mad Scientist Mar 21 '12 at 15:43

This has been implemented at some point, we now have a duplicate:yes/no search operator.

E.g. closed:yes duplicate:no will give questions closed as off topic, but not as duplicates.

Example on MSE.

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