Questions like this, this, and this are very fun, exciting, and bring a lot of participation to PP&CG. I thoroughly enjoy participating in them, as well as just reading through them.

However, I can't help think that answers to these questions would be much more fun, and much harder to crack, if they were temporarily anonymous and it was unknown to the audience who the author of the answer was.

Many of these questions can be cracked by opening the users best answers and best questions and picking their top three languages they use. Typically, one of these will be the answer, drastically reducing the time it takes to crack these questions.

Would it be possible to have a "temporary anonymous" answer for these type of questions? Where users could answer these questions without their name visible at first, until either, the code is cracked, the time runs out, or admins make it publicly visible for any feasible reason?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are anonymous answers even possible anywhere on SE? \$\endgroup\$
    – user10766
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 19:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that's possible, given how SE works in general. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 19:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ One possibility is to make a new account, and later merge them. SE might not like that much, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – user10766
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 19:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is it such as bad thing that challenges ask you to learn a new, perhaps interesting language? Think of these challenges as a new opportunity to learn an obscure esolang lost in the corner of Try It Online!. There are over 440 languages there. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 20:02
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I never said it was bad to learn a new, perhaps interesting language. My participation in PP&CG is to do just that, however many times you want to answer these type of "Big" questions in a language you are experienced in. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 20:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say "Typically, one of these will be the answer", can you quantify that? It seems rather improbable to me, so I'd like to see the claim justified with statistics. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 17:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ osuka_'s answer is in Befunge-93. The top answer they have is in Befunge-93. caird coinheringaahing's amswer is in Commentator. The 3rd most recent answer they have used in in Commentator. I don't believe this is a fool-proof solution, nor do I believe it covers every scenario. I just thought, if it would be easy enough to make them anonymous until it is cracked, why not? Clearly from the answer below it is not easy or maybe not even possible to be anonymous. We will just to account that this is a possible way people will crack answers. More the reason to try to answer in a new language! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


Hmm… let's not give the community team a headache. This would be a good amount of effort on their part, and the only people in the entire network who would benefit would be a fairly small subset of an already relatively small site.

We have some site-specific code to stop automatic protection of the sandbox, but that only requires changing this…

if (the post is a question AND it has lots of deleted answers) {

…to this:

if (the post is a question AND it has lots of deleted answers AND the post ID is not 2140) {

In other words, one line of code.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! I was just interested if it would be an easy fix. We will just need to answer these challenges "On our honor" :P \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 20:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's not how they fixed the sandbox: codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8570/… In essence, the community will only protect answers on our meta if a question has 10,000 new users on it. I'm guessing it didn't involve writing a single line of code :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 22:16

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