Yesterday, I asked a question that was almost immediately closed as "not a real question". I don't really agree with that assessment, but I'm also not an expert on what qualifies as a real question here.

Anyway, since then I've done some more research and have found a few answers. I'd like to be able to add them for posterity so that others with a similar question could find them, but it seems one can't answer a closed question. Is there a way around that?

I also wondered if closed questions are "hidden" from search engines, in which case there'd be no sense in adding answers for posterity, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

  • Improve your question then try asking help in chat room, people with proper privileges may willing to review it and cast an reopen vote.
    – yorkw
    Feb 20, 2013 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot answer questions that are closed. It doesn't matter if they are your own or not.

Closed questions are not hidden from search engines, nor is there any attempt to demote them in search results.

Please do keep questions on SO to practical problems, preferably focusing on code. Asking for an algorithm or ready-made solution is not a practical problem in this sense, I'm afraid.

  • Okay. Would it also be inappropriate for me to edit the original question to include the answers I've found so far? Feb 20, 2013 at 13:21
  • 1
    @Parker yes, it would.
    – Doorknob
    Feb 20, 2013 at 13:22
  • 2
    @Parker: "Closed" isn't an end state. If it's possible for you to edit the question to make it "SO-worthy" it can be re-opened.
    – ale
    Feb 20, 2013 at 13:24
  • So while looking for examples of similar but "SO-worthy" algorithm questions I found this question, which is an almost exact duplicate of mine. (I asked a couple more questions than it did.) Other than the "What have you got?" bit, what makes this request for an algorithm more appropriate than mine? Feb 20, 2013 at 13:37
  • It's a lot better worded, but still borderline NARQ. Finding older questions that are still open does not necessarily mean that the type of question is a good one, in any case. It just means that question managed to get away with it for longer (the OP got lucky). Feb 20, 2013 at 13:39
  • @MartijnPieters Thanks. I guess it's just not my week on StackOverflow. Even my questions about questions are getting downvoted. ;) Is it possible to request that my original question be closed as a duplicate of the one I linked to above? That way at least someone coming across my question would be directed to useful answers. Feb 20, 2013 at 13:47
  • That'd require re-opening then closing it as a dupe again. It could be the moderators would do that for you, but you also just post the link as a comment. Feb 20, 2013 at 13:48
  • @MartijnPieters Thanks. I'll just go with the comment approach. Feb 20, 2013 at 13:51

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