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In my own search for an answer I found two questions that are ultimately about the same problem. Neither question had an answer, so I was not able to flag either as a duplicate (side note: this was quite confusing since it just appeared that the question search was broken).

Is there a way to flag duplicates that have no answers?

I have since found the answer, and can't answer in both places without violating the rule against posting duplicate answers.

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    Why not answer one and flag the other as dupe?
    – Jenayah
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 18:23
  • @Jenayah Makes sense -- though the answer needs an upvote before I can flag as a dupe, which means I have to remember to come back (some day, assuming someone upvotes eventually)
    – slifty
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 18:23
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    I'd put that as a comment on the post if you think you're going to forget. "Note to self and others: this answer also answers [other question], which should probably be closed as dupe once the system allows it"
    – Jenayah
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 18:26
  • Excellent thank you so much!
    – slifty
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 18:41
  • Is there an actual rule against answering two questions with the same answer? I saw this, but nothing else: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/357021
    – tkruse
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 0:00
  • If you think the exact same answer works for both questions, one of them is clearly a duplex, so you should flag/vote to close, not just post again. One is good faith use of the system, one is rorting extra rep out of one post. @tkruse
    – Nij
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 0:08
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    Apologies if I misrepresented. I had answered twice originally (not to game but in an attempt to help both askers since i could not flag. I hadn't thought to comment). One answer was deleted by a moderator, citing this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/104227/…
    – slifty
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 4:51
  • There's a code of conduct and numerous rules about not doing things that are annoying or intended to circumvent or degrade the system. SE has been adamant about not making rules to ban every possible negative action exactly because someone will ask, as you did, where the rule banning negative action x+1 is, or lawyering how they didn't break the letter of the law, or some other silly thing intended to avoid moderation consequences. @tkruse in this case there happens to be, see slifty's link.
    – Nij
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 4:54

1 Answer 1

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In this very case, you found an answer. I see no problem with posting the answer to the best (clearly defined, narrow enough, etc) question, and once the answer has been upvoted, voting to close the other one. You answer the better question because this way, quality isn't scattered around.

If you think you're going to forget about the other one being a dupe, or going to be away etc, you can put a comment along the lines of:

Note to self and others: this answer also answers [other question], which should probably be closed as dupe once the system allows it (i.e. if it gets upvoted).

You don't have to, but I'd say it would be correct form, when flagging/voting to close/insta-closing the other one, to add a disclaimer that the answer is yours.

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    Turning my comments into an answer, since I didn't find a duplicate (which doesn't mean there isn't, though).
    – Jenayah
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 18:36
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    I like these tips a lot, enough that I've edited them into the FAQ on duplicates. Commented May 11, 2020 at 6:52

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