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Well, 2020's come to an end, and so that means: Best of 2020!

In this thread, we'll consolidate the categories for our Best Posts of 2020, and eventually we'll vote on which posts will win for each category. In this thread, we are looking for two things:

  • Categories to classify exceptional posts from 2020 (e.g. Best Mathematical Insight or Rookie of the Year)
  • Bounties offered to reward the winners in those categories

As answers below, please nominate categories. Each answer should contain a category for a challenge or answer to be rewarded. The top-voted categories will then receive separate nomination posts to find the actual winners. Like previous years, I'm not going to state a fixed number of categories that will make it, but it's probably going to be between 5 and 15. Last year was slightly complicated, but we've usually gone with between 5 and 15 in previous years.

Feel free to resubmit categories from last year, or previous years regardless of whether they were among the final selected categories or not.

Voting on categories should last around 2 weeks, but this is by no means a hard limit, and we'll be happy to extend it further if new category nominations are still incoming.


Offered bounties

Last year, to the best of my knowledge, we didn't offer bounties to the winners. Well, 2019/20 was a weird year for StackExchange us all, so we'll revert to tradition for this year. If you are willing to spend some of your rep to reward the eventual winners, please edit your username and the amount you are willing to spend below. Alternatively, leave a comment below, and I'll add your name to the list.

  • caird coinheringaahing. +1000 rep
  • HyperNeutrino. I'm not gonna set a min/max I'll give but I'm willing to give a good amount.
  • Giuseppe. 1000 rep.
  • user. 500 rep.
  • Redwolf Programs. 500 rep.
  • Bubbler. 1000-3000 rep.
  • Razetime. 500 rep.
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14 Answers 14

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Rookie of the Year - Challenges

Repost of 2019

For the best challenge written by a new user\${}^*\$ in 2020.

\${}^*\$Note that this doesn't have to be a user who created their account in 2020; rather, this is for any challenge posted by a user in 2020 where that challenge was that user's first challenge on the site

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Most Underappreciated Challenge

For the best challenge that didn't really get noticed. Sometimes a challenge, especially one that's tough or not vanilla code golf, only gets a few votes, maybe an answer, then disappears.

Solving a difficult challenge is rewarding; there's no reason we shouldn't reward the difficult challenges (that don't get noticed)!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This'll be an interesting category, but it might be worth defining what "few votes" is. Is it <10, <5, <?, does it depend on how old the challenge is, etc.? \$\endgroup\$ – user Jan 6 at 16:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user I made it purposely sort of vague, because I'm not sure. I don't think it should be a specific cutoff, just any challenge that is well written and didn't get much attention (with the winner being the one that is the best compared to its amount of votes/answers). \$\endgroup\$ – Redwolf Programs Jan 6 at 16:32
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Best mathematical insight

Repost of 2018 and 2019

On this site we often see answers in languages specifically designed for short code, or designed to be fast. Sometimes, a nice golfing trick or speed-up technique surprises us with its ingenuity, beyond the standard use of that language.

And occasionally an answer shows up that uses an unexpected approach to greatly simplify the problem, and makes us wonder how the author could ever think of that. This usually involves some far-from-obvious mathematical equivalence, or a particularly simple approach to the problem that was not evident at all (once revealed, other answers often follow the same approach).

This category is for the answer with the best mathematical insight or unexpected approach that led to greatly simplifying the problem, in any challenge type (code golf, fastest code, or others). The insight should have led to a significant improvement according to the challenge's metric (code length, run time, or whatever applicable).

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Wild card

Repost of 2019. Also somewhat related to Overall best challenge from 2017.

For a deserving challenge, answer, or user that isn't a good fit for any of the other categories.

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Underappreciated answer

Like this category, but for answers. Great answers sometimes slip through the cracks and don't get a chance in the spotlight. Sometimes it's an answer posted after activity has died down on a challenge. Other times it's one that's hard to appreciate without specific background or context.

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Most helpful commenter

One of the things that stands out about this community is that although it's highly competitive, there is nearly always someone on hand to offer advice both on improving challenges and improving answer scores. It's part of what made this site seem so welcoming to me.

In recognition of this, nominees should be people who have helped others improve and made them feel welcome, whether by direct comments on challenges and answers, or in comments in chat.

Repost of 2018

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you mean to make this CW? Answers to this doesn't have to (its the nomination posts that are best done as CW, not the categories) \$\endgroup\$ – caird coinheringaahing Jan 2 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know, I just preferred to make it so to encourage others to improve it. \$\endgroup\$ – user Jan 2 at 17:14
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Best Explanation

Repost from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016

This category is for the answer with the best explanation accompanying it. Ideally, the winner will be an answer with a very detailed explanation that is accessible to anyone, regardless of the amount of relevant knowledge already possessed.

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Best Non-Code-Golf Answer

Repost of 2019

Best answer to a challenge whose winning criteria did not include any code-golfing. King of the Hill, Fastest Code, etc. would be eligible. Proof Golf, atomic-code-golf, etc. are also included. Anything that's not the standard "shortest code length" is eligible.

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Most involvement in an answer/answers

Partial repost of 2019

For an answer or multiple answers where multiple people were involved. This could be multiple people helping out a user on a single answer, or a back-and-forth between two or more answers trying to outgolf each other.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Upvote this comment if you think the bounty for the winners should be split by awarding each a piece of it on different questions. Add your own comment if you have another suggestion. \$\endgroup\$ – user Jan 6 at 16:05
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Rookie of the Year - Answers

For the best answer written by a new user in 2020. This doesn't have to be a user who created their account in 2020; rather, this is for any answer posted by a user in 2020 where that challenge was that user's first answer on the site.

SEDE query modified from the one Giuseppe gave.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ SEDE query - may take some modification. \$\endgroup\$ – Giuseppe Jan 5 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Giuseppe Thank you, I will modify it for 2020. \$\endgroup\$ – user100177 Jan 7 at 15:13
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Most improved answer

Answer whose score improves the most from its initial posting. This doesn't have to be one with an objectively big increase/decrease (depending on the scoring system), but can be one with the most impressive change.

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Best Non-Code-Golf Challenge

Repost of 2019

Best challenge whose winning criteria did not include any code-golfing. King of the Hill, Fastest Code, etc. would be eligible. Proof Golf, atomic-code-golf, etc. are also included. Anything that's not the standard "shortest code length" is eligible.

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Best Tip

Repost from 2019, 2017 and 2016

For the best answer to a question tagged with , because this site isn't just about competing with one another, but also about helping each other improve our golfing skills

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Trickiest Challenge

repost from 2019

It should look simple and tempt you to start coding right away, but coming up with a good solution should be hard.

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