Maybe "abusing" is the wrong word, but... like a lot of new users do, I come here and look around, if a new challenge is out, answer it as quickly as possible, only to find out that sometimes a challenge gets very high quality answers in a short time.

We all know how it works: that challenge has been in the sandbox for some time, a lot of "expert" users have had the time to prepare their answers, and post it as soon as the challenge is "promoted".

I think this can be unfair to new users, but actually I don't know how I would solve that. Any suggestion? Or maybe it's not a problem, and anybody should be free to do as they want?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Related problem: people that implement built-ins inspired by a sandbox post, and use it after it's posted. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fatalize
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 8:29
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Fatalize I think we've actually had a meta ruling on that (I can't find it though). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 15:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill Meta consensus \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


I have three points to make, but I'll stick to one answer even though I'm not sure how related they are too each other.

Firstly, you may be overestimating how often this happens. In my opinion, which I haven't tried to quantify, there's a trend to trivial questions which can be answered in 10 minutes, so possibly some of the answers you think were preprepared were not.

Secondly, there's a risk to preparing an answer while the question's still in the sandbox. It might change and force you to rewrite (or it might never be posted).

Thirdly, it's good that some people prepare answers because actually implementing the spec forces you to look at the detail and helps uncover ambiguities before the question is posted to main.


This isn't a problem to me. Sure the fastest gun in the west effect exists here, but earlier answers aren't correlated with more votes here. Often, those fast answers have room for significant improvement.

There's nothing we can do to keep people from developing answers while a challenge is sandboxed (and anything we would attempt would likely discourage the use of the Sandbox, which is the exact opposite of what we want).

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    \$\begingroup\$ "earlier answers aren't correlated with more votes here" I don't think that's true. And if it's true because fast answers also tend to be sloppy, this wouldn't apply to answers that took time to write before the challenge was posted. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 17:03

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