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Why does the late-answer review queue sometimes spike in size by over 5000?

I just reviewed some late answers and they were all posted 10 months ago. Why are old answers shown for review?

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marked as duplicate by animuson, Yi Jiang, jonsca, Toon Krijthe, ben is uǝq backwards Nov 4 '12 at 17:00

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Some answers don't get adequate review because the post is ignored by high-rep users. So there could still be non-answers on the post.

Your question presumes that, because the late answers are old, that they are no longer relevant. That's not necessarily true; some posts still get views a year later by folks who are looking for the answer to the same problem as the OP, and it's just as important to keep those posts clean and pristine as it is the new ones.

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