As I lack sufficient reputation to comment, I am creating a meta post. I am requesting the moderators to delete that post because they are cheating

Solving $(a+1)^{\log_a(x-2)} - a^{\log_{a+1}(x-1)} = 1$ for $x$

It is from Gazeta Matematica grade 10 and the solutions can be sent until April. In addition, this problem has the chance to be selected for the District Phase Mathematical Olympiad

One problema from Gazeta Matematica will be on the District Phase of Math Olympiad.This is why some people post the problems online to get solutions...

Edit: All the problems posted by the OP are from Gazeta Mathematica.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1211764223856738305/1211767453340934224/png2pdf_3.pdf?ex=65ef6562&is=65dcf062&hm=e50f602f8f64bcafe0d762dd83ca8633ead5c979fb3065503a8e9e15b582ac1c& Credit for catching this cheating goes to the person who answered my post, even though their answer has been deleted.

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    $\begingroup$ It seems the answers at least have been modified for now. From a quick google search, I couldn't find the questions. If the questions are available to the public, it would be good to link them here so that we can verify (and potentially keep a look out for other questions) $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Wizard it would be helpful if you post the link to the contest page (where the questionss are written) $\endgroup$
    – D S
    Commented Feb 26 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ I’m sorry, but I was out of town at that time. Here is the PDF cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1211764223856738305/… $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26 at 20:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Wizard Based on Xander's answer below, I believe you are still missing a public link to the rules of the contest, and a public link to the list of problems. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26 at 23:25
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    $\begingroup$ Anyway, since all the problems seem to have been answered already anyway, it's probably best to contact the organizers of the District Phase Mathematical Olympiad to make them aware of the problem (and ideally, they wouldn't choose any of the problems posted here for the olympiad). $\endgroup$
    – MaoWao
    Commented Feb 27 at 6:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Wizard kindly provide a source for the first page of your given document which states that the ssmr recommends the selection/use of problems from the mathematical gazette for district and county olympiads $\endgroup$
    – Ham Lemon
    Commented Feb 27 at 12:11
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    $\begingroup$ @ТymaGaidash math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/37293/… $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Mar 1 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ Similarly how jurors in court are not supposed to look up details about their case online or discuss case matters with others outside the court room. If you're writing in a competition you don't look at solutions nor hints, and if your "friends" always do, and clearly set your boundaries that you don't want to discuss active contest exam or in some class/cases, even homework problems. $\endgroup$
    – Snared
    Commented Mar 3 at 23:02
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    $\begingroup$ But for what it's worth, if a student from the competition WERE to look up this problem, a decent student could piece together the comments and answers from that Q to put together what I would consider a rigid argument, one which would probably be found quicker and more directly than someone taking the contest using only pen and paper. I won't speculate on what the rules of the contest are, because I don't know what it is, but if you are a competitor seeing the solution mid-contest, then I can't say whether or not your lack of integrity is going to bite you sometime. $\endgroup$
    – Snared
    Commented Mar 3 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ @ThisUser Deleted 2nd answerer’s display name. It would be good to know what to do with this question given that the post in question is also gone. Maybe someone has an idea about this and what to do? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13 at 22:30

1 Answer 1


For reference, the Contest Problem Policy.

In order take action, moderators need two things:

  1. A link to a publicly viewable list of problems.

  2. A link to a publicly viewable set of rules which indicates (a) when the contest is over, and (b) that obtaining outside help is against the policy of the contest writers.

In this case, no such evidence has yet been provided to the moderators, hence action is not possible under that policy. Until such evidence is provided, please do not vandalize the implicated question(s).

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    $\begingroup$ I’m sorry, but I was out of town at that time. Here is the PDF cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1211764223856738305/… $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Wizard That doesn't really cut the mustard. A .pdf document on some random Discord server is not a publicly viewable list of problems or a ruleset giving a contest end date, nor prohibiting outside help. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Feb 27 at 1:05
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    $\begingroup$ Please understand that Math SE is not set up to prevent cheating, and it is simply not something which we can generally do. Imagine, for a moment, if a particular user decided that they didn't like another user and started accusing them of cheating on exams or competitions or some such. It would be very hard for us to adjudicate the truth of such claims. As such, we have very stringent rules governing when we will temporarily remove contest content. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Feb 27 at 1:06
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    $\begingroup$ I do not know how much I am helping, but I did find regulations for the Mathematics Gazette and Viitori Olimpici Contest, these questions are indeed from the current version of Gazeta Matematica which is used as a source to provide questions to students. The regulations clearly state the person should not be using any other solution except for his own and will be disqualified if found to break that rule : i.sstatic.net/JzSnb.jpg. also the other rules can be found here : gmb.ssmr.ro/concurs/regulament. $\endgroup$
    – Ham Lemon
    Commented Feb 27 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ The end date and other information required to confirm that this is a contest is also given in the aforementioned site. The book Gazeta Matematica is used as a source for district Olympiad problems too as the OP has provided in his document (you can ask the source from him) and these contests are also used to select students for the national mathematics Olympiad of Romania. The current version can be downloaded or purchased on official sites (can be directed from Gazeta Matematica Facebook page) and you can find that all the problems that the OP mentioned have been asked by the OOP $\endgroup$
    – Ham Lemon
    Commented Feb 27 at 12:09
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    $\begingroup$ @HamLemon That seems to give the rules, but I am having trouble finding a publicly viewable list of problems on that site. I will ping the other moderators, and see what they think. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Feb 28 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ Oh yes that is true, I did not consider that, you would have to buy the mathematical gazette series A and B and then translate it to find the problems, they are not distributing it for free right now. Sorry😅 $\endgroup$
    – Ham Lemon
    Commented Feb 29 at 11:18
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    $\begingroup$ What the hell? We have reasonable questions being closed left, right and centre because commenters say they "lack context" and therefore might be cheating, but when a question very clearly is cheating on a known, specific text, the mods are all like "oh, our hands are tied, we can't do anything." This site's policies are completely twisted around so as to produce the least optimal outcome in every situation. $\endgroup$
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Mar 5 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ @N.Virgo I think that you misunderstand (a) the purpose of the "context" requirements, and (b) the role of moderators in this. (a) The context requirements do not exist to prevent cheating---the SE network is not designed to prevent students from attempting to gain aid that they are not supposed to have access to. Indeed, even in the case of competition problems, our policy is very restrictive (we cannot, as moderators, delete a competition question unless we can publicly verify that the problem is from an active contest). $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Mar 5 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ The context requirements exist as an attempt to protect the integrity of the site as a repository of high quality questions and answers. It is about trying to ensure that the questions asked here are broadly interesting (rather than giving individualized aid, the goal is that any question asked here will be useful to future readers) and searchable (more context makes it easier for future readers to find a question). $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Mar 5 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ (b) As moderators, we are typically relatively hands off when it comes to deleting posts. Remember that moderator deletions cannot be undone by anyone except another moderator or SE staff. A mod deletion is about as permanent as anything which happens on the site. So it is a power we use sparingly, and typically only to destroy spam and other nonsense. However, the fact that the moderators won't act here does not prevent the community from acting. If the someone looks at that question and says "Oh, hey, that question is a poor fit for the site," they are free to cast a close/delete vote. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Mar 5 at 12:27
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    $\begingroup$ What we will not tolerate, as moderators, is users vandalizing their posts, deleting questions immediately after receiving answers, or playing games like this ("Oh, no! Someone posted an unverifiable contest problem!"). There is no way for us to verify that this question is, actually, part of an attempt to cheat, so we can't let it enter into the decision making process in terms of whether or not a permanent moderator decision should be made. If you think it is a bad question, vote to close. Do not expect the moderators to do everything. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Mar 5 at 12:29

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