The challenge in question.

I have discussed this in the comments of the challenge and in the chat room for that challenge where I was told that TNB was the place to discuss it. I brought it up in TNB and I was told to discuss it here.

This is the current consensus on what on is makes a challenge a duplicate.

I also feel that it is worth noting that a total of seven close votes and seven reopen votes were cast for this challenge. It was closed twice by members with "dupe hammers" and the two most recent repoen votes have "aged out" and expired.


2 Answers 2


Yes, they are duplicates

My position on this should be obvious, as I was one of the aforementioned dupe hammers, but I'll spell out my reasoning here for discussion purposes.

The relevant portion of the current consensus is

"Can answers from one question be copied over to the other with little or no modification and still be competitive?"

From my perspective, a sizable chunk of answers from the 1/N challenge can be trivially modified to fix the "input" to 2 and still be competitive or reasonably competitive on the Coin Flip challenge. Hence, my dupe hammer vote.


No, they are not duplicates

My position on this should also be obvious, as I voted to re-open the challenge and have linked to two discussions I've had about this.

I would argue that the answers on the coin flipping challenge are not trivial modifications from the 1/N challenge. Looking at the answers to the coin flipping challenge, many of those languages were used in the 1/N challenge and few of those answers are a trivial modification. (Coin 1, 1/N 1; Coin 2, 1/N 2; Coin 3, 1/N 3; Coin 4, 1/N 4; Coin 5, 1/N 5; Coin 6, 1/N 6; Coin 7, 1/N 7; Coin 8, 1/N 8; Coin 9, 1/N 9) Many of the answers are very different and required golfing beyond just a hard-coded 2 to be competitive.

From my perspective, the change from taking input and feeding it in to a hard-coded 2 is just as trivial a change as between any two countdown challenges (1 2 3) or between the vanilla "Hello, World! challenge and almost any challenge that came before it (1 2 3). If this coin flipping challenge is a duplicate, then there are a lot of other "duplicate challenges" on here that need cleaning up. I do not see why this coin-flipping challenge is an exception when all of these other challenges have set a precedent that minor variations in answers are acceptable and in the case of hello world, heavily rewarded.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "there are a lot of other "duplicate challenges" on here that need cleaning up": indubitably. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 20:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I don't really think that stuff like what I linked too is a duplicate, but now that we've changed the precedent I guess we should all go vote to close them. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 14:11

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