This question, while somewhat old, recently had a 250 point bounty placed upon it by David E. Speyer. However, as I remarked in the comments, it has already been answered by Harry West, but in the context of another question (the answer is here — specifically, the part of his answer that begins with “if we can find” and ends with “old joke”).

In my mind, this clearly means that Harry West should get the bounty. But I'm not sure whether or how this can be done. (I'm not really involved in this, being neither the asker, nor the bountier nor the answerer, but I think it's worth raising the issue here, especially since there's no real way to notify other people on MathOverflow.)

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    $\begingroup$ Moderators can cancel the bounty. This is done on a case-by-case basis and only for extraordinary circumstances (e.g. when a user has set a bounty to award a secondary account, or when the bounty was clearly used to stall closure). If this is indeed a duplicate, we can consider this as an extraordinary case, remove the bounty, close the question, and David can set and award the bounty to its correct owners. But I don't have time to look into this right now. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Feb 8, 2022 at 12:43
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    $\begingroup$ I posted a comment to Harry West's answer, since that seems to be the only way to try to notify him. But he doesn't seem to visit MathOverflow very regularly. This is not what I would call a duplicate question. In the course of answering one question, West just happened to provide an answer to another question. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2022 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ I want to read West's answer first to see if I understand it. Assuming I do, I'll make sure West gets the reputation regardless -- I can award a bounty on an answer to a different question -- and I'll think then about whether I want to also keep the bounty I started open or ask the mods to close it. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2022 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ And thanks to @Gro-Tsen for pointing this out! I did read through all questions tagged [set-theory] and [linear-algebra] before I posted my bounty, which I thought would capture any answers to this, but no search is as good as a knowledgeable human. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2022 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


I have now figured out how West's argument works and wrote it up on the bounty I started. I'll wait a day or so to see if there are any more developments and then give West a 250 bounty on his answer.

I don't really care what happens to the first bounty I started; the mods can cancel it if they like, or just let it age out.

  • $\begingroup$ I guess I should wait for the bounty to disappear before accepting your CW answer? Or does it not matter? $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2022 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ @TimothyChow I don’t think it matters, should it? Either way the bounty will just expire (unless a mod manually refunds it). The accepted answer is only considered for automatic award of the bounty after the bounty period is over, and an answer by the sponsor of the bounty cannot get it awarded anyway no matter which way. $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2022 at 17:14

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