A maester can be recognized by the chain he wears around his neck. The links of the chain can be made of every metal known to man. Each metal is related to a subject - silver for medicine, iron for warcraft, etc. Can a maester's chain include multiple links of the same metal?
was recently closed by two users as a duplicate of How long does it take to forge a Maester's chain?:
How many links are needed to forge a chain? Are more links prestigious than others? How long does it typically take to earn a full chain?
(quoteblocks above are the entire text of the respective questions, just so we aren't going by titles).
I was somewhat surprised that a question had been closed as a duplicate of a completely different but tangentially related question (both questions are about maesters' chains in the GoT/aSoIaF universe, but beyond that they're not asking the same thing at all). Checking the revision history of the accepted answer to the older question, I discovered that one of the close-voters had edited the answer to the new question into an answer to the older question, while the other one had left a comment justifying the closure on the basis that the older answer mentions the answer to the newer question.
Current policy on duplicate closure based on answers says:
- Folks with specific, focused questions tend to not read massively broad FAQs even if they do find them.
- Finding specific information among multiple answers to massively broad FAQs is troublesome.
[...] normally the presence of identical answers is a pretty good indication that the questions themselves are the same (unless the answer itself is something trivial like the name of a character). But this doesn't hold if a question has managed to attract a lot of different answers [...]
To avoid looking silly then, I would strongly recommend using answers as more of a litmus test than as a policy: if you're already pretty sure the questions are duplicates, testing the answers of one against the other can easily confirm your suspicions. But don't close completely irrelevant questions as duplicates of one another simply because there's an animated gif that happens to apply to both...
Is it good practice to edit the answer to question B into a tangential remark in an existing answer to question A, then close B as a dupe of A, when A and B are asking different things?
(Under normal circumstances, I'd just vote to reopen. But I don't have non-binding reopen votes here, and since the accepted answer to the newer question is mine, it would be conflict of interest for me to just hammer it open.)