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There are several questions that are officially "unanswered," but which were effectively answered in the comments. For example, this one was answered by Russell Impagliazzo in the comments. It's been a long time (~5 years), and no better answer is forthcoming. It's a little annoying that this question still appears as "Unanswered." Yet I don't feel comfortable just posting Russell's answer, because then any upvotes it received would go to me instead of Russell. I could of course post a CW answer to avoid getting upvotes myself, but then it precludes Russell from ever posting an answer and getting upvotes. Is there an established norm here?

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You can ping the author in the comments, if the person doesn't post an answer in some reasonable amount of time I think it is fine to post a CW answer, making question/answer useful outweighs votes and reputation.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree with this. But I would add: it is better for the original asker (rather than someone else) to post an answer from the comments, unless they don't understand how to flesh it out into a full answer. However, it is reasonable for someone else to bring up this suggestion like "I think this question has been answered in the comments: are @-tag-of-answerer (or OP after some time) interested in converting this comment into an answer?" $\endgroup$ – Artem Kaznatcheev Jan 23 '17 at 10:14

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