11

If you missed the earlier posts, I originally proposed this here and some details were ironed out here.


Welcome to the first-ever Mi Yodeya answerathon!

The goal here is to answer as many unanswered, open, non-negative questions as possible and get your answers upvoted (i.e. a net +1). Once the contest starts, you must post every day1 and get an upvote within 24 hours of posting to remain in the contest.2 Once all but one person is knocked out, the contest is over!

What’s the prize for playing, you ask? Potentially, thousands of reputation points, from 10 points for every upvoted answer, plus submissions to our preexisting Best Answer Contest and bounty for old questions.3

How do you play? All you have to do is find a question from this list and post an answer. The more questions you answer, the better your chances of staying in (and the better your chances of gaining rep). In a previous draft, the link was to all unanswered questions, not just those which were from before the competition started. All existing posts are grandfathered in, but take note of this henceforth.

On each day of the competition, I will post an answer on this thread with the date at the top. Once you’ve gotten an upvote on an answer, add your name to the bottom of that post with a link to your answer.

The competition will start on this Sunday, January 20, Erev Tu BiShvat.

Have fun!


Congratulations to Alex on winning the Answerathon!

You all can go celebrate over here.


1”Day” starting and ending at midnight UTC.

2Friday and Saturday are counted as one day, and, by extension, any answers posted on Friday get 48 hours rather than 24 to get an upvote.

3What’s the prize for winning, you ask? Uh, um, uh, bragging rights?

  • 1
    This is your last chance to suggest changes! Speak now or forever hold your keyboard! – DonielF Jan 17 at 22:27
  • 2
    Umm... People generally use that keyboard for "answering" and stuff... – EKons Jan 19 at 9:04
  • If someone else answers a question in the competition, can other users answer it as well? Although it is no longer 'unanswered' – Yaabim Jan 19 at 22:07
  • 4
    @Yaabim There’s plenty of questions to go around - you can find your own. :) – DonielF Jan 20 at 0:34
  • 5
    Note that the list to draw from includes brand-new questions. – Isaac Moses Jan 20 at 22:38
  • 1
    @IsaacMoses I don’t know how to use SEDE so well and I don’t know of a search query to filter by date. Do you have a better link? – DonielF Jan 20 at 23:04
  • 4
    @DonielF probably better not to change the rules of this contest materially after it's gotten going. – Isaac Moses Jan 21 at 3:19
  • On the "not new questions" part, does that mean you want this query? – Monica Cellio Jan 23 at 15:34
  • @MonicaCellio Yes! Thank you! I had no idea that created: was actually a search query. – DonielF Jan 23 at 15:42
  • @DonielF it's tucked away in the advanced settings, so it's not surprising that a lot of people don't know it's there. I'm sorry for not realizing earlier that you were looking for that; I was traveling last week so mostly using a phone when a lot of the earlier discussion happened. – Monica Cellio Jan 23 at 15:46
  • 1
    I assume that during PTIJ session, such questions count? – msh210 Jan 30 at 4:45
  • 1
    @msh210 I figured we’d discuss PTIJ if it becomes an issue. Questions from after the competition starts are disqualified, and questions that are closed are obviously disqualified as well. So unless a future Answerathon is deliberately scheduled to begin during PTIJ it wouldn’t be an issue. – DonielF Jan 30 at 7:40
  • 5
    @msh210 If the Minchat Chinuch wrote Meta posts, he'd have at least one paragraph considering the application to PTIJ in each one. – Isaac Moses Jan 30 at 8:26
  • 2
    But we have a policy of reopening previous years' PTIJ Qs (that were closed only because of the end of the season) on request, @DonielF. – msh210 Jan 30 at 10:14
  • 1
    Just in case this contest does go that long, heads-up that there is a PTIJ question from a past year that I intend to reopen this year. (I asked it late in the season so it didn't have much of a chance.) – Monica Cellio Jan 31 at 2:23

30 Answers 30

7

Contest log

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALEX!


Addendum from Monica: I have some small prizes, supplied by SE, for this contest. (The big prize, of course, is all the excellent answers we got!) If you participated in this contest and would like to receive a nice SE-branded notebook, please comment here giving me permission to use your email address on file or give a different way of reaching you. You can immediately delete the comment and only moderators will be able to see it.

I will use the information you supply only to communicate with you about getting you your prize.

  • 2
    We should plan a tie-breaker setup in case you three run out of eligible questions – Double AA Feb 13 at 22:01
  • 1
    Reaching Purim Torah season doesn't seem as unlikely now as it once did... – Monica Cellio Feb 13 at 22:06
  • @DoubleAA 3348 questions remain. If Isaac and Alex continue at one question per day, at this rate it'll take about four and a half years to exhaust the question pool. Average of two questions per day, the maximum for this entire competition thus far, and it'll just take about 26 months. For this to fully exhaust before PTIJ season, each of them would have to answer 80 questions per day. (Calendar day, not competition day.) Anyway, there's no actual prize for winning, so I guess if a day comes that neither of them can answer, they can split the bragging rights? – DonielF Feb 14 at 21:52
  • 1
    @Doniel #buzzkill – Double AA Feb 14 at 21:58
  • @DoubleAA I'm trying to get all my negativity out in preparation of Purim. – DonielF Feb 14 at 21:58
  • 1
    @Doniel Too late! mishe mishe mishe mishe mishe.... – Double AA Feb 14 at 22:00
  • @DoubleAA augh! make it stop! make it stop! – DonielF Feb 14 at 22:03
  • @Monica Nice going! Please put me down for a notebook with the email on file. – DonielF 2 days ago
  • 3
    @DonielF a big yasher koach to you for initiating the project, leading the way and getting us there. Wonderful initiative which I'm sure will see fruit for years to come – mbloch yesterday
8

DAY FIFTEEN: February 5 - 30 Shevat

Because you all insisted. Oh, and gut chodesh.

  • 3
    There can be only one! Go for it! :-) – Kazi bácsi Feb 5 at 10:56
  • 4
    @Kazibácsi Four continue to ride! – Isaac Moses Feb 5 at 19:14
7

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN: February 19 - 14 Adar I - 2 participants

A freilichen Purim Katan everyone!

  • @Alex thanks for the link. ;^D – Isaac Moses Feb 19 at 22:36
  • @IsaacMoses Same. (A bit ironic.) – Alex Feb 19 at 22:38
  • 4
    What achdus! (And in the nick of time, too.) – DonielF Feb 20 at 0:38
6

DAY EIGHTEEN: February 8-9 - 3-4 Adar I - 3 participants

6

DAY TWENTY-FOUR: February 15-16 - 10-11 Adar I - 3 participants

Once, I was shocked that we made it past the fourth day. Today we enter our fourth Shabbos. I'm absolutely floored by the response this competition has had.

  • BTW, based on the great success of this contest, shouldn't we do the same for (good) questions? – Kazi bácsi Feb 17 at 6:43
  • 1
    What do you mean by (good) questions? What sort of questions? How different from this contest? – mbloch Feb 17 at 14:32
  • 1
    @mbloch I think he means a Questionathon. I think that’s an absolutely terrible idea, TBH. The point here is to encourage people to attack old questions, which they have been doing. There’s no reason why we should encourage people to post new questions; they come in at a steady enough rate as it is. – DonielF Feb 17 at 15:51
  • @Kazibácsi ^^^^ – DonielF Feb 17 at 15:51
  • @DonielF Yepp, crappy questions are coming, good questions (score let's 2-3 and above in a day) quite few. – Kazi bácsi Feb 17 at 15:59
  • 1
    @Kazibácsi There are 86 new questions over this past week. 43 of them are open with a score of 2+, and 64 of them are open with a nonnegative score. I think 74.4% is a decent good question rate. The problem with a Questionathon is post quality. By questions, it’s much more difficult ahead of time, especially for new users, the quality of a question. Answers are much easier to gauge, since we require sources. If you can demonstrate that something like this is needed and can find a way to apply this without making the issue worse, I’d support such a project. – DonielF Feb 17 at 16:09
  • @DonielF Lately I had the impression that a few questioners are going for the quantity rather than the quality. That's why I thought somehow we might incentivise good questions. – Kazi bácsi Feb 17 at 16:12
  • 1
    @Kazibácsi Then go ahead and post a suggestion on Meta. I’ll dig up some statistics for you B”N; I’ve been doing that anyway recently to see how the Answerathon has affected other types of posts anyway. – DonielF Feb 17 at 16:13
  • @DonielF I'm just raising my concern. I don't know how to handle it precisely, my suggestion was just one of the possible solutions. – Kazi bácsi Feb 17 at 16:19
  • @Kazibácsi So Meta.MY proper is where you should raise it, and maybe discuss your potential solution while leaving open to other ones. – DonielF Feb 17 at 16:21
  • @Kazibácsi you are right that one user has a tendency to throw lots of questions which typically get little positive feedback. If you take his questions out of the calculation, I agree with Doniel that overall we have a nice flow of questions – mbloch Feb 17 at 18:17
5

DAY ONE: January 20 - 14 Shevat - 12 participants

The competition is on! Once you’ve gotten your first answer with the upvote, go ahead and add your name and the link to the list below.

  • 5
    I converted this to community wiki to make it easier for everybody to edit. – Monica Cellio Jan 20 at 2:49
5

DAY TWO: January 21 - 15 Shevat - 10 participants

A Freilichen Tu Bishvat to all!

  • Are we going after the Hebrew or English date or both? It is still Jan 20 where I’m at – Dr. Shmuel Jan 21 at 4:48
  • @Dr.Shmuel ”Day” starting and ending at midnight UTC. – Alex Jan 21 at 5:00
  • ah didn't catch that, too bad then – Dr. Shmuel Jan 21 at 5:15
  • Even if it doesn't "count" for the contest, I'd be happy to see a section for other participants who missed earlier days. DonielF, what do you think? – Monica Cellio Jan 21 at 5:54
  • 5
    Also, especially in the first few days, I wouldn't mind being a bit more relaxed with rules. This is a friendly contest amongst like-minded participants, not a legal battle. We want more participants, not less. @DonielF, would you agree to credit Dr. Shmuel and others with a bit of leeway in the beginning? – mbloch Jan 21 at 6:07
  • @Dr.Shmuel why don't you post the answer you had in mind while we sort out in parallel how we deal with it? – mbloch Jan 21 at 6:07
  • @Alex Thanks for editing me in! That was fast... – Joel K Jan 21 at 9:36
  • @JoelK Well as soon as I saw the question I wanted to post your answer but then I saw that you had posted it a minute prior. I figured I would show off my speed this way instead. – Alex Jan 21 at 9:37
  • 4
    @mbloch Sure, let’s do it. Dr. Shmuel, you’re officially in. – DonielF Jan 21 at 14:13
  • @MonicaCellio thanks for adding me; just came here to add myself... – רבות מחשבות Jan 21 at 16:57
  • 3
    thanks guys; well appreciated. – Dr. Shmuel Jan 21 at 18:04
5

DAY TEN: January 30 - 24 Shevat - 5 participants

5

DAY TWENTY-NINE: February 21 - 16 Adar I - 1 participant

  • 4
    "יָמִים עַל יְמֵי מֶלֶךְ תּוֹסִיף שְׁנוֹתָיו כְּמוֹ דֹר וָדֹר" Mazal tov and yeyasher kochacha to Alex, winner of the first Mi Yodeya Answerathon! – Isaac Moses 2 days ago
  • 4
    Mazal tov and yeyasher kochacha also to DonielF, on running such a successful contest. I, for one, learned a great deal of Torah that I wouldn't have otherwise. – Isaac Moses 2 days ago
  • 2
    Yasher Koach to all, and Mazel Tov to Alex. B”N I’ll post my contest summary later today. – DonielF 2 days ago
  • 5
    @IsaacMoses You know the day is still young - are you sure you want to tap out? – DonielF 2 days ago
  • 4
    Congratulations for the winner 🥇 and the runner up 🥈! Nice job! – Kazi bácsi 2 days ago
4

DAY THREE - January 22 - 16 Shevat - 9 participants

Day three and going strong! Keep it up everyone!

  • 1
    Thanks for the link, DonielF. – Isaac Moses Jan 22 at 18:56
  • 1
    @user15464 That’s what I call an eleventh-hour save :) – DonielF Jan 23 at 0:31
4

DAY FOUR: January 23 - 17 Shevat - 9 participants

I’ll be honest, I did not expect this to be going on for this long. I’m glad that this has gotten the feedback it did, and let’s see if we can push for a full week!

  • 4
    Challenge accepted. – Dr. Shmuel Jan 23 at 1:16
  • 2
    With the rules being what they are (possible to answer questions from the same day), this could go on forever. We might need one small adjustment to the rules to prevent this. I have not used this trick of course, but it technically would allow someone answering one fresh question a day to stay in the running forever cc: @DonielF – mbloch Jan 23 at 4:50
  • FYI, though, I don’t normally answer questions everyday. So maybe not forever – Dr. Shmuel Jan 23 at 11:49
  • @donielF thanks for adding me! – רבות מחשבות Jan 23 at 14:08
  • @mbloch Answering one question a day was exactly what I was concerned about coming into this. Let’s see how things progress and address that if it does become a concern - sooner or later it will fizzle out. – DonielF Jan 23 at 14:27
  • @mbloch Officially questions since this started don’t count. See my comments on the OP with Isaac. Editing again, much to my chagrin. – DonielF Jan 23 at 14:39
  • @DonielF Given that you've implicitly changed the rules, I recommend that you 1) make that clear in the main post, and 2) also make it clear that entries from before you made the rule change that are answers to new questions are grandfathered in, but future such entries won't be. – Isaac Moses Jan 23 at 17:12
  • @Isaac Are there any such entries that need to be grandfathered in? – DonielF Jan 23 at 17:30
  • @DonielF: At least one: shmu on Day One. – Isaac Moses Jan 23 at 17:39
  • 1
    I added shmu (and kouty) on day 1 when I saw their answers. I had misunderstood the comment discussion and didn't check question dates. I don't know if either of them has done anything directly to participate in the contest since I left them comments telling them about it (when I added them that day). Sorry if I contributed to complicating things. – Monica Cellio Jan 23 at 18:21
  • @MonicaCellio It’s just shmu who would be affected by this; kouty’s question was posted two days before the competition opened. For next time I really like the suggestions to limit it to questions from at least a week before, but that’s not for now to discuss. – DonielF Jan 23 at 18:27
  • 1
    @user15464 You really could post your answers throughout the day, you know. You don't have to post them within an hour before the day's up. – DonielF Jan 24 at 0:55
4

DAY FIVE - January 24 - 18 Shevat - 9 participants

  • 2
    @IsaacMoses How are we defining 'unanswered question' for the purposes of the competition? I note that the question to which you posted your answer had a pre-existing answer with a score of -1. – Joel K Jan 24 at 7:01
  • @JoelK Good point. I was thinking of the official definition of "Unanswered," while the implication of the contest is that any previous answers make the question not a valid target. DonielF, what's the din? If necessary, I'll do a different one for today. – Isaac Moses Jan 24 at 12:27
  • 3
    @IsaacMoses As mbloch noted I’ve been using unanswered in the literal sense, rather than the official one, for the entire competition. – DonielF Jan 24 at 14:21
  • 2
    @DonielF Alright. I'll do a different one for today. – Isaac Moses Jan 24 at 14:32
  • Thanks for the link, mbloch! – Isaac Moses Jan 24 at 18:19
  • @IsaacMoses ami still eledgible to join the list or is it too late? – user15464 Jan 25 at 2:22
  • 1
    @user15464 if you answered on the given day and got the vote within 24 hours of answering, that counts. You don't have to have gotten the vote on the day you answered. – Monica Cellio Jan 25 at 3:27
  • @user15464 Your answer from halachic yesterday has since gotten an upvote, so you’re still in. – DonielF Jan 25 at 4:37
4

DAY SEVEN: January 27 - 21 Shevat - 6 participants

One week in! The throngs ever dwindle, let’s see how far we can push this.

  • by the way, please know that "The throngs ever dwindle" must be a very American expression because I never heard of it, and am not sure I understand it :-> And Google isn't of much help. Yad Shvat was easier ! – mbloch Jan 27 at 16:47
  • @mbloch merriam-webster.com/dictionary/throng merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwindle You probably won’t hear the expression in day-to-day life, but it means that the crowd is slowly but steadily dispersing. – DonielF Jan 27 at 17:58
  • Many thanks !!! – mbloch Jan 27 at 18:23
4

DAY SIXTEEN: February 6 - 1 Adar I - 3 participants

Yeah, I know I’m slacking off. Sorry ‘bout that. In other news...that date looks weird.

4

DAY TWENTY-FIVE: February 17 - 12 Adar I - 2 participants

  • 4
    We have the bronze medalist! 🥉 A grayse skayach, @mbloch! – Kazi bácsi Feb 19 at 12:00
4

DAY TWENTY-SIX: February 18 - 13 Adar I - 2 participants

WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME I FORGOT TO POST THIS?!

  • 2
    Because you didn't ask. – Alex Feb 18 at 23:22
4

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT: February 20 - 15 Adar I - 2 participants

One month! (Technically yesterday, but now we’re yotzei the Gregorian calendar as well.)

  • 3
    And a freilichin Purim to those in walled cities! – Double AA Feb 20 at 2:06
  • 2
    @DoubleAA But only a small one. – DonielF Feb 20 at 3:03
  • Don't we have a badge for giving upvoted answers for 30 days in a row? – Kazi bácsi Feb 20 at 18:56
  • 2
    @Kazibácsi AFAICT nobody did it for 30 days in a row (because of Shabbos). – DonielF Feb 20 at 21:12
  • @DonielF You can post after motzaei shabbat – Kazi bácsi 2 days ago
  • @Kazibácsi Yes, but I don’t think anyone did – DonielF 2 days ago
3

DAY SIX: January 25-26 - 19-20 Shevat - 7 participants

A Freilichen Yat Shevat everyone! And I suppose I can wish you all a Good Shabbos while I’m at it.

  • 1
    The throngs seems to dwindle – Dr. Shmuel Jan 25 at 2:18
  • 2
    I'm having trouble finding eligible questions that I can answer. :-( – Monica Cellio Jan 25 at 3:28
  • This is where the challenge gets hard. I was feeling it back on day four, but especially now... – DonielF Jan 25 at 4:34
  • 4
    I wrote ahead six answers this week for next (esp. because next week will be intense travel and I won't be able to participate). Way I did it was to take a tag where I wanted to relearn halachot (in my case shabbat, aveilut and kashrut) and used the query above combined with the tag, then sorted questions by votes, then scanned them to find interesting questions to answer. Maybe this can help others – mbloch Jan 25 at 4:49
3

DAY EIGHT: January 28 - 22 Shevat - 6 participants

3

DAY TWELVE: February 1-2 - 26-27 Shevat - 4 participants

3

DAY THIRTEEN: February 3 - 28 Shevat - 4 participants

  • 1
    Question for you all at this point: Are you still interested in the competition, or are you just posting as long as it’s going on? Do you all want to cut it short at Rosh Chodesh, or press on until we’re down to one? – DonielF Feb 3 at 18:23
  • 1
    I vote to stop earlier rather than later. Feels a bit contrived to me at this stage, less fun and a bit forced. At least for me. I have 5 questions written up but don't plan to write more. Thanks for checking in – mbloch Feb 3 at 20:14
  • 1
    @mbloch Hence why I suggest just one more day, if everyone who's left agrees. – DonielF Feb 3 at 20:15
  • 1
    I'm happy to continue until I run out of questions to answer. But if others want to end it I won't object. – Alex Feb 4 at 1:58
  • 3
    I am riding a wave of קנאת סופרים and using it to motivate myself to keep exposing more of R' Hirsch's insights each day. I don't want to drop off until I have to. – Isaac Moses Feb 4 at 2:30
  • 4
    @DonielF what's the advantage of declaring an early end? If people are tired they will stop posting – Double AA Feb 4 at 3:25
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Rate of posting answers is slowing. Thought I’d offer. – DonielF Feb 4 at 7:32
  • @DonielF isn't that the point of the contest? No one needs you to stop it. If they don't want to post they won't. – Double AA Feb 4 at 12:12
  • @DoubleAA Of course. Just wanted to make sure they knew that and weren’t feeling forced. If they’re still enjoying, certainly we’ll let them enjoy. – DonielF Feb 4 at 14:27
3

DAY SEVENTEEN: February 7 - 2 Adar I - 3 participants

Another day, another set of old questions getting answers.

  • Okay, I’m not that late. But now it’s my turn to ask you about the Community Wiki button. :) – DonielF Feb 7 at 1:24
  • 3
    Oops, thanks. And it wasn't a criticism; I was here, I noticed, I figured I could help too. Feel free to change the text. – Monica Cellio Feb 7 at 1:25
  • Certainly not complaining about an extra set of hands. Especially after I told everyone to forever hold their keyboards. I guess that’s my own fault, then. :) – DonielF Feb 7 at 1:27
  • 6
    It was fun while it lasted, but I’m out. Good luck to the remaining competitors. May the best man (or woman or dog) win. – Joel K Feb 7 at 4:35
3

DAY NINETEEN: February 10 - 5 Adar I

  • 8
    koll Hakavod for being on top of this competition for so long without taking a Break for a day! From users of this website thanks for your dedication! – user15464 Feb 10 at 14:29
3

DAY TWENTY: February 11 - 6 Adar I - 3 participants

3

DAY TWENTY-ONE: February 12 - 7 Adar I - 3 participants

  • 1
    If I count correctly, until now the participants answered 118 questions! You're fantastic! – Kazi bácsi Feb 13 at 7:51
  • 1
    @Kazibácsi I count even more - those are just the questions that qualify their posters for the competition, but many of us posted several a day for a good chunk of this. – DonielF Feb 13 at 14:23
3

DAY TWENTY-TWO: February 13 - 8 Adar I - 3 participants

2

DAY NINE: January 29 - 23 Shevat - 6 participants

2

DAY ELEVEN: January 31 - 25 Shevat - 5 participants

2

DAY TWENTY-THREE: February 14 - 9 Adar I - 3 participants

-4

DAY FOURTEEN: February 4 - 29 Shevat - 4 participants

If everyone left agrees, this will be the last day of the competition.

  • 2
    I voted against ending it early - let it go on until someone wins! – רבות מחשבות Feb 4 at 2:01
  • What do upvotes and downvotes here represent? – Isaac Moses Feb 4 at 2:32
  • 1
    @IsaacMoses Well apparently it represents people wanting to keep this going or not. Not quite my intention, but sure, why not. – DonielF Feb 4 at 2:33
  • @DonielF but which is which? – Isaac Moses Feb 4 at 2:34
  • @IsaacMoses I dunno. Hey רבות which way did you vote? – DonielF Feb 4 at 2:35
  • 1
    Just logged on and saw this. I’m fairly indifferent at this point. Happy to go with whatever the other remaining competitors want. I’m feeling like I may end up droppping out quite soon anyway... – Joel K Feb 4 at 16:38
  • 3
    @DonielF The post says it will be the last day. I disagree with that, so I downvoted the post. – רבות מחשבות Feb 4 at 19:24
  • 2
    "If everyone left agrees" -- it looks like at least one participant doesn't agree. – Monica Cellio Feb 4 at 20:35
  • @MonicaCellio Correct – DonielF Feb 4 at 20:36

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