Recently I asked if it were possible to find questions with just one answer and as a result we got an awesome range feature. That's great, but if you give a user a cookie...

Is there a way to restrict the search to questions where that one answer isn't mine? That would help. :-)

It's certainly possible to search for your own posts, but it's not possible to exclude your own posts as far as I can tell:

  • -user:me searches for posts that don't have the string "user:me".
  • user:1-67 doesn't search for posts from user #1 to user #67, but searches for posts from user #167. (And I'm not sure that will help anyway since I don't think it would be possible to simultaneously exclude 69-max(userID).)
  • -Ericson searches for posts that don't include my last name, but since my last name is in the the metadata and not the searchable portion of posts: no joy.

And of course none of this will actually work to eliminate the questions that that I've answered already and want to ignore. In general, If I'm involved in a Q&A (or quan) the notification procedures do a good job of keeping me up-to-date with developments. But when I search, it's often to find questions I've not noticed before. So being able to eliminate questions I have already answered would be a generally useful feature for me.

  • 1
    "since my last name is in the the metadata and not the searchable portion of posts: no joy" — oops, so taglines do have some use after all ;-)
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 18:27
  • 5
    @Arjan: Does anyone really sign their posts with their full name? :)
    – user102937
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 19:55
  • 4
    @RobertHarvey I see what you did there.
    – casperOne
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 20:15
  • 1
    As an aside, @Robert, Google searches using just my first name and whatever I remember I've once commented on, often works well for Stack Exchange—if the comment is not hidden for the index.
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 21:09

2 Answers 2


Given that we now have all public sites (beta and graduated) in the Stack Exchange Data Explorer, it's possible to do searches like this via SQL:

with answered_by_me as (
  select q.Id PostId
  from Posts q
     join Posts a on q.Id = a.ParentId
  where q.Tags like '%##tags##%'
        and a.OwnerUserId = ##UserId##

select Id as [Post Link], Tags
from answered_by_me
     right outer join Posts on Id = PostId
where Tags like '%##tags##%'
      and PostId is null

So this query shows me all the questions I haven't answered. (Which turns out to be just 20 at the moment. I could totally do that.) In any case, the more complicated the search criteria, the more useful talking directly to the database will be. (Exception: full text searches of the body of posts will likely time out on sites like Stack Overflow with a lot of posts.)

  • When I asked a duplicate of this question I noted that while it would be doable in the Data Explorer, the data there lags behind the main site. Also, I'd be interested to see the number of users using advanced search features vs the number of users using the Data Explorer. My guess would be that using the Data Explorer is a bridge too far for most people.
    – SQB
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 7:15
  • 1
    @SQB: Good points. I'm still interested in having the search feature, since it fits well with the rest of our search options and is something people need on occasion. SEDE is a workaround. Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 15:08

What I'd like to see, is the option hasanswerby:user, where user can be me or any other user ID.

That way, we could include or exclude questions answered by ourselves or by any other user.

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