This "sandbox" is a place where Code Golf users can get feedback on prospective challenges they wish to post to main. This is useful because writing a clear and fully specified challenge on your first try can be difficult, and there is a much better chance of your challenge being well received if you post it in the sandbox first.

Sandbox FAQ


To post to the sandbox, scroll to the bottom of this page and click "Answer This Question". Click "OK" when it asks if you really want to add another answer.

Write your challenge just as you would when actually posting it, though you can optionally add a title at the top. You may also add some notes about specific things you would like to clarify before posting it. Other users will help you improve your challenge by rating and discussing it.

When you think your challenge is ready for the public, go ahead and post it, and replace the post here with a link to the challenge and delete the sandbox post.


The purpose of the sandbox is to give and receive feedback on posts. If you want to, feel free to give feedback to any posts you see here. Important things to comment about can include:

  • Parts of the challenge you found unclear
  • Comments addressing specific points mentioned in the proposal
  • Problems that could make the challenge uninteresting or unfit for the site

You don't need any qualifications to review sandbox posts. The target audience of most of these challenges is code golfers like you, so anything you find unclear will probably be unclear to others.

If you think one of your posts needs more feedback, but it's been ignored, you can ask for feedback in The Nineteenth Byte. It's not only allowed, but highly recommended!

It is recommended to leave your posts in the sandbox for at least several days, and until it receives upvotes and any feedback has been addressed.


Search the sandbox / Browse your pending proposals

The sandbox works best if you sort posts by active.

To add an inline tag to a proposal use shortcut link syntax with a prefix: [tag:king-of-the-hill]. To search for posts with a certain tag, include the name in quotes: "king-of-the-hill".

Get the Sandbox Viewer to view the sandbox more easily!


3660 Answers 3660

3 4
6 7

This is a proposal adopted by programmer5000. Any feedback before I post it?

Seven-segment usage

I have an old digital clock and I am concerned the individual segments of the digits might run out of magical binary energy or whatever powers them. To know which of the segments on the clock will fail first I want to know what is the percentage of time each segment is lit.

The challenge is to compute the percentage of time any segment on a digital clock is lit.


The input will be in the form X.L, where:

  • X is a number from 1 to 4. 1 is the left-most number of the clock, 4 the right-most
  • L is a letter from a to g or a number from 1 to 7
  • the separator can be changed to fit your needs (no separator is an option)

Disposition of segments, image source: Wikipedia Disposition of segments plus numbers image source: Wikipedia]


The output, is a percentage, given with at least 2 figures after the decimal point. It can be rounded or truncated to the closest value if you want to keep a limited number of digits.

Valid outputs: 0.74, 32.47, 7.5 (for 7.50)

Additional stuff

The clock is in 24 hours format (so 22:45 is a valid time).

We consider the clock started working at 0:00 so the challenge is effectively working out what percentage of a complete day a single segment is lit.

The first number is not lit when it is 0.

Lit segments for each number:

  • 1: b c
  • 2: a b d e g
  • 3: a b c d g
  • 4: b c f g
  • 5: a c d f g
  • 6: a c d e f g
  • 7: a b c
  • 8: a b c d e f g
  • 9: a b c d f g
  • 0: a b c d e f


  • 1.b => 58.33
  • 3.e => 33.33
  • 2.d => 70.83
  • 4.d => 70.00

Full list of outputs here


Code golf, most probably, though I am not sure yet this is the best format (I am not too interested in the input parsing and the output formatting, they might be an obstacle to golfing?)

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ AIUI there are 28 valid inputs, so you could provide a full list of test cases as a pastebin. I would remove "No hard coding of results": if hard-coding the 28 cases is shorter than the calculation, then IMO that's a flaw which makes the question not worth bothering with at all rather than something which can be worked around; and the issue of whether or not an answer "hard-codes the results" is likely to be grey rather than black or white. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3 '16 at 10:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ List of results added, I'll need to double check them. Hard coding removed, yes I don't see how "cheating" would be an issue. Any hard-coding would have to be quite constructive to be efficient. \$\endgroup\$
    – drolex
    Mar 3 '16 at 11:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am removing limitations on the output as well, I don't think it brings anything to the challenge. I have started to golf a solution in python, I think there are a few interesting possibilities to optimise the use of strings describing segments used for each digit. \$\endgroup\$
    – drolex
    Mar 3 '16 at 15:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can I post this abandoned proposal? \$\endgroup\$
    – user58826
    Jun 9 '17 at 13:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @programmer5000 certainly, just try to make it better :) \$\endgroup\$
    – drolex
    Jun 9 '17 at 13:05

A Game of Knights

In this King of the Hill, you control 10 Knights. You need to surround your enemy before they surround you.

Each Knight has 3 possible actions:

  • Dash: Move 3 squares in a cardinal direction. If there is a knight in your path, move as far as you can.
  • Leap: Move 2 squares in a cardinal direction. If there is a knight on your destination square, don't move at all.
  • Push: Move 1 square in a cardinal direction. If there is a knight on your destination square, and no knight or wall behind him, you both move 1 square.

Each round will have a Planning Phase and then an Action Phase.


During the planning phase, players will alternate creating a plan until both players have created 10 plans.

  • A plan consists of either an action type or a cardinal direction (not both).
  • A plan also includes the knight that will perform the action
  • All plans are revealed to both players


  • Actions occur in the same order that they were planned.
  • If you planned an action type, you will be able to choose the direction. If you planned a cardinal direction, you will be able to chose the action type you want.

After the action phase, if any knights are on the same location they started at (at the start of the round) are captured and removed from the game. You win by capturing all other knights.

Other info:

  • Cardinal means North, East, South, or West
  • The board is a 10x10 board. Your knights start as a line at the bottom of the board.
  • Walls block movement and cannot be pushed.
  • You don't have to plan an action for every knight, and a knight can take multiple actions.
  • There are a maximum of 1000 rounds. After those 1000 rounds, the winner is the player with the most knights. (A tie is allowed).
  • The starting player for a game is randomized, and that player starts every round.

You have won the game when you opponent cannot make any mobility actions.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Man, now I want to play this in person. \$\endgroup\$
    – DLosc
    Feb 18 '17 at 21:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Isn't it possible to form your knights into a solid 2×5 rectangle (thus immune to pushing), away from the starting squares, before the enemy can move and push it? That would guarantee you couldn't lose. Also you should clarify whether you can plan two actions for the same knight, and if you can, whether it gets to take both or only one. \$\endgroup\$
    – user62131
    Feb 18 '17 at 23:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ais523 movement is not simultaneous. You start as a 1x10 line. A knight could take 10 moves on a round \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '17 at 23:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be clear, as long as you have 10 knights, you need to move each of them every round or lose the ones you didn't move, assuming you don't push. Correct? \$\endgroup\$
    – isaacg
    Jun 23 '17 at 21:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the same player go first in each round, or does that alternate? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 23 '17 at 21:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @isaacg correct. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 23 '17 at 23:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I've debated about this, and I think the same player will go first in each round. The player that goes first will be randomized each game, but it will be consistent round to round. Otherwise, you end up with a player being able to move twice in a row. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 23 '17 at 23:52

The Chroma Key to Success

  • \$\begingroup\$ So essentially, for every pixel in the second image, if it's #00FF00, replace it with the corresponding pixel in the first image; otherwise, don't modify that pixel? \$\endgroup\$
    – hyper-neutrino Mod
    Jul 16 '17 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HyperNeutrino Yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – ckjbgames
    Jul 16 '17 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know image formats very well, but are we guaranteed that the image will be in 3-byte-RGB format? As in, is there transparency? \$\endgroup\$
    – hyper-neutrino Mod
    Jul 16 '17 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HyperNeutrino Assume the image is full opacity. \$\endgroup\$
    – ckjbgames
    Jul 16 '17 at 17:39
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Please delete this, now that it is posted. \$\endgroup\$
    – user58826
    Jul 17 '17 at 13:05


I am working as fast as I can to get this ready. Please be patient. I have a real job and will attempt to work on this on vacation to the northern states using mobile. I give no promises.

I challenged CR to a KotH challenge. So here is the specs.

Two sides in a arena. 1000x1000. Resources scattered about. A giant area in the center filled with resources. You must build a base and defend your ancient.

You have a few kinds of buildings:

  1. Wall: a simple wall that must be broken before walking through. It has 1/2/4/8 health (upgrades). It can be changed into a gate.
  2. Gate: a gate that lets the side that made it walk through. Health: 1/2/2/4
  3. Turret: Deals 1/1/2/4 damage to the lowest health enemy within a 1/2/4/4 block radius and has 1/1/4/8 health.
  4. Resource drop: a place that you can drop resources. Has 2/2/4/6 health.
  5. Tower of vision. Gives 10 sight radius with health of five. Costs two resources to build.

Upgrades are 1/2/3/4. The first upgrade is just buying the building.

Gates when transformed stay the same level as the wall they started as, can still be upgraded.

Every bot starts with five health, one damage, and three sight radius. They can upgrade each by four for the cost of 1/2/2/2.

All upgrades take one bot. It takes 1/2/2/3 turns to upgrade an item. The bot must upgrade the item all at once or it must restart and repay the cost. Building a item takes one resource.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ so, how does turn order work? is there a way to attack excluding turrets? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 29 '17 at 2:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Will the bots have knowledge of the entire 1000x1000 area or what is the line of sight? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 29 '17 at 8:48
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd recommend not making the challenge too complicated/complex. I'm not sure that skill points are necessary. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 29 '17 at 8:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ How does it work with the Q&A site format? Or is it an off-site challenge? \$\endgroup\$
    – ugoren
    Jul 29 '17 at 19:10
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ugoren King of the Hill challenges like this one are very much on-topic on PPCG, and in fact we even have a tag for challenges like these: koth. \$\endgroup\$
    – user41805
    Jul 29 '17 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cowsquack, You're right, it's OK. A bit strange for my taste, since the war happens off-site, but never mind. \$\endgroup\$
    – ugoren
    Jul 29 '17 at 20:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimonForsberg good point \$\endgroup\$ Jul 29 '17 at 23:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ This will not be a challenge between PPCG and CR. Challenge declined \$\endgroup\$ Aug 4 '17 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since this idea is dead now, consider developing it further as a normal KoTH or deleting and editing it down to a stub. \$\endgroup\$
    – hyper-neutrino Mod
    Oct 30 '17 at 2:24

Swap the frogs!

Given 2 integers N >= 1, representing left-side frogs, and M >= 1, representing right-side frogs, return all the steps required so that the frogs change sides with the minimum number of steps. The frogs start with one empty spot between the two sides. A frog can jump to the empty space if there is at most 1 frog from either side between the frog and the empty space. A frog can jump either forwards or backwards.

An example, with N = 3 and M = 2:


The corresponding output would be (1-indexed):

[3, 5, 6, 4, 2, 1, 3, 5, 4, 2, 3]

Each one is the index of the column that the frog that must jump is before jumping.


  • You may perform I/O in any reasonable format.
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe start with a small example, because now the main output specification is tucked under a huge block of text, which will be TL;DR for many people. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sanchises
    Aug 8 '17 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. The questions in the section headed "Sandbox" make no sense because their context has been deleted. Are they still relevant? 2. "What you have to print" should presumably be "What you have to output". 3. "A frog can jump either forwards or backwards" so there should be at least one test case where all optimal paths only involve jumping forwards and at least one where all optimal paths involve jumping backwards. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8 '17 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe a testcase where no steps are necessary, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sanchises
    Aug 8 '17 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor Please, don't be too meta :-) :p \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8 '17 at 16:46

Learning your strengths and weaknesses

  • Fighters have a unique, random Strength (between 1 and 1000)
  • When two fighters fight, the stronger one wins.
  • Your goal is to accurately guess your fighter's Strength.


  1. We start by randomly ordering all 1000 fighters.

  2. Each fighter fights his neighbor (The even fighters fight the fighter 1 above)

  3. The fighter is given two pieces of information: His opponent's last guess, and who won the fight. The fighter then guesses his strength.

  4. We perform a stable sort based on the guessed strength, and go back to step 2

  5. After 10 guesses, the fighter's score is (RealStrength - GuessedStrength)^2. Lower is better.

Other details:

  • There will be duplicate bots in a single game.

  • A stable sort is a sort that (effectively) uses the past ordering as a tiebreaker. In essence, if players [A,B,C,D] guessed [10,5,10,5] then the new order would be [B,D,A,C]

  • Bots aren't allowed to share information between each other, but are allowed to persist information within a single game.

  • I will run a large number of games. The exact number will be dependent on how much variation there is. Your final score will be all of your scores summed up.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I like this a lot. Sounds like a very interesting challenge. A couple thoughts though. 1) What's the point of squaring your score? If there was some kind of polynomial scoring I could see that, but it doesn't really have any purpose at the moment. 2) personally, I think it should be more than 10 rounds. \$\endgroup\$
    – DJMcMayhem
    Jan 29 '18 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DJMcMayhem I think 10 rounds is enough for good bots to get a reasonable score without providing so much information that many will get a perfect score. I do think the process should be repeated though. Maybe a terminology change: 10 guesses per round, each round scored as indicated, average of X rounds is the final score. Also, the squaring is a way of getting absolute value (result is always positive even if guess > real) and if averaging multiple results it weights wildly incorrect guesses to increase the score by a lot. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 29 '18 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DJMcMayhem Squaring means that being 50 off is far worse than being 25 off. I picked 10 rounds because log2(1000) is 9.97. This requires bots to be efficient with their time. If I make it much higher, then its going to be hard for me to differentiate the top bots. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 29 '18 at 18:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KamilDrakari Updated, thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 29 '18 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ In step 3, each fighter is provided "His opponent's last guess". What will be provided during the first round? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 29 '18 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ That'll be part of the API spec. Something like -1. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 29 '18 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ This will probably be my last suggestion (for now): a link and/or description for "stable sort" will probably be helpful; I certainly needed to look it up, and is quite useful for informing strategies, as well as answering a question I otherwise had about handling ties. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 29 '18 at 22:00

Can the robotic arm reach itself?

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) title is kinda sketch at the moment

A robotic arm is made up of a set of line segments, each with a positive integer length. Each joint on the robot has two possible positions: straight or 90 degrees clockwise.

Here is a robotic arm with 4 line segments of sizes 4, 2, 3, 2


Here is the same robot arm with one joint bent


(vertical scale is kinda messed up)

Right now, the robotic arm isn't reaching itself. By bending all of the segments, however, the arm can reach itself.

 |  |

So, a robotic arm of size [4,2,3,2] can reach itself.

Here is a robotic arm of size [3,1,4,3] that can't reach itself:



Whereas a robotic arm of size [1,1,2,2,3] can reach itself.


| |

A robotic arm of size [2,2,3,5,3,4] can also reach itself


|  |
|  |
|  g


Given list of numbers, such as [1,2,3,4,5], output a truthy value of the robotic arm can reach itself and a falsey value if it cannot.

  • \$\begingroup\$ s/touch/intersect/g? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17 '16 at 20:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ We've had some related challenges I think. At least codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/45059/8478 \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17 '16 at 21:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/49713/8478 \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17 '16 at 21:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The scenario reminds me of stretchy snakes kissing. Except, these snakes are unusually rigid ... you know what, never mind. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Feb 17 '16 at 21:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ The first few examples would be clearer if either you also used letters to distinguish the joints or if you at least marked one end of the chain in both the straight and the folded representation. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '16 at 7:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ You could probably also use more than one example where self-intersection only happens when not all joints are bent like the [1,1,2,2,3] example. If that's possible it would be good to have one where you need to bend joints on both sides of a straight joint to make the self-intersection happen, but I don't know if that can happen. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '16 at 12:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @El'endiaStarman s/touch/reach/g \$\endgroup\$
    – mbomb007
    Apr 7 '16 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is 4,2,3,3 truthy or falsy? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zgarb
    Feb 7 '18 at 8:12
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Can the robotic arm go through itself? The [2,2,3,5,3,4] case seems to indicate so. \$\endgroup\$
    – stanri
    Feb 7 '18 at 10:50

Efficient Tab Completion

Many tools that programmers use on a daily basis, like bash and Emacs, have tab completion.

  • Pressing Tab in certain situations will attempt to complete the text at the cursor, from a set of possibilities. The term is "completed" by filling in the remaining text.
  • For the aforementioned, if there are multiple candidates for completion, you will instead be shown a list of the candidates.
  • If there are multiple possibilities but they all start with the same substring/prefix, the rest of that substring will be filled in.

For example, to reach pydoc3, you only have to type


where Tab is shown as <TAB>. The tab key will insert oc, since all options starting with pyd also start with pydoc (in the set below).

a shot of bash tab completion options

The Challenge

Given a collection of strings called S and a target string called T, figure out the minimum number of keystrokes to reach T, assuming we're using tab completion and S is the set of possibilities.

  • Tab completion here is modeled after bash and Emacs, so it is case-sensitive.
  • The keystrokes/moves don't matter, only how many. A "keystroke" is:
    • Some character in the string
    • Tab
    • If S is [abc, ab] and T is ab, then either a<TAB> or ab will get there. Tab counts as one keystroke, so the method doesn't matter.
  • You may assume terms will only contain alphanumeric characters, underscore, and hyphen ([A-Za-z0-9]_-), for the purpose of this challenge.
  • You may assume no strings are empty.
  • You may assume S contains T (unsure about this one)
  • The input can be taken in whatever format is appropriate for your platform or language (array of strings, string with separators etc.) S and T are considered separate inputs.
    • I/O format is flexible and defaults apply (full program, function etc.)

This is , so shortest answer in bytes wins.

Test Cases

Set                                                 Target         Output
--------------------------------------------------  -------------  ------
[ab, abc]                                           ab             2
[lisp-mode, list-abbrevs, list-packages]            list-packages  5
[heck, hell, help_me, hello, goodbye, hello_world]  hello          5


  • Is anything vague or underspecified?
  • Is something too specific or cumbersome?
  • Is this too similar to an existing question?
  • Should we assume S will always contain T, or require a special case?
  • Should something be changed about case-sensitivity? Assume everything is lowercase?
  • Any tags I should use?
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm. wouldn't it be l<TAB>t-p<TAB> for #2? Also how to get hello in 4 keystrokes? \$\endgroup\$
    – ASCII-only
    May 2 '18 at 0:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right about list-packages, I'll fix it. And it looks like hello should be 5 keystrokes at hello. Good eye. \$\endgroup\$
    – snail_
    May 2 '18 at 0:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can get symbols for keys using <kbd> (<kbd>tab</kbd>) \$\endgroup\$
    – 12Me21
    May 2 '18 at 1:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like this challenge! A couple of questions: is it illegal to start typing with a TAB (could be useful when all the strings in S start with the same prefix)? Why is . not in the allowed characters, since it is present in your first example of pydoc? \$\endgroup\$
    – Leo
    May 3 '18 at 1:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can use <TAB> wherever you want as long as it produces the minimum keystrokes. The image is supposed to be illustrative and not necessarily representative of the challenge itself; I worry that requiring too large or too specific a subset of characters will make the challenge more complicated than it needs to be (or maybe it won't affect much at all?) \$\endgroup\$
    – snail_
    May 3 '18 at 1:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Assume S is [abcde] and T is abcdf. What should be the output? \$\endgroup\$
    May 4 '18 at 14:02

Existential Golf

  • \$\begingroup\$ Proofs could be simple: it supports NAND, and NAND is functionally complete. \$\endgroup\$
    – tsh
    Jul 5 '18 at 7:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @tsh Currently there is still no winning criteria. \$\endgroup\$
    Jul 5 '18 at 9:54
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ This is quite interesting (not sarcasm!), but what's the actual challenge? \$\endgroup\$
    – N. Virgo
    Jul 7 '18 at 7:02
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nathaniel When I actually finish it this will be the next installment of proof-golf. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard Mod
    Jul 8 '18 at 3:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's great to see an unfinished idea, ready for feedback until it's postable. I see this as an important purpose of the sandbox. \$\endgroup\$
    – trichoplax
    Jul 10 '18 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @trichoplax Not everyone think so. \$\endgroup\$
    Jul 11 '18 at 3:46
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I definitely disagree with having to make sandbox posts "finished". I agree with not being lazy though. I see this post as a great example of unlazy and unfinished (when posted). There was clearly effort made, and it was made available for feedback early, which can avoid going too far down a path that others already know won't work. Posting early prunes impossible or impractical challenges so challenge authors have more time for writing the challenges that will make it to main. \$\endgroup\$
    – trichoplax
    Jul 12 '18 at 19:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 For context, I said that in response to a 1-sentence sandbox post. I also said it bothers me when people "just post the bare minimum they can get by with and edit it later". The first revision of this challenge was clearly not the bare minimum to get by with. \$\endgroup\$
    – DJMcMayhem
    Jul 12 '18 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DJMcMayhem So you're measuring effort? That's usually not a good idea. \$\endgroup\$
    Jul 13 '18 at 2:48

Split and recombine a number

This challenge has two related parts. Your task is to write two functions/programs as per the below specifications. You may share code across your submissions, the submissions may call one another, and you may even submit a single submission which handles both conversions. In the latter case, conversion direction may be determined by whether the input is a single number vs a list, or by an additional consistent second value (not a function) input.

Part 1

Given a floating point number, return a list with one element per digit of its integer part, if any, and if the number is a non-integer, one additional part which is the fractional part. If the number is negative, negate all elements in the output. If the number is zero, return a 1-element list with a zero in it.

When the result list is recombined as per Part 2, it must be precise to within an absolute or relative error of 10⁻¹⁰, whichever is more permissive.

Part 2

Given a list generated as per Part 1, return the number which would have generated that list in Part 1.

When the result number is split as per Part 1, each element must be precise to within an absolute or relative error of 10⁻¹⁰, whichever is more permissive.


Part 1 <-> Part 2
-123       [-1,-2,-3]
2.71828    [2,0.71828]
-800.6     [-8,0,0,-0.6]
321.7001   [3,2,1,0.7001]
-0.01      [-0.01]
100        [1,0,0]
0          [0]

  • \$\begingroup\$ (1) Technically infinities are floating point numbers (or, at least, they're not NaNs). What should the output be for an infinity? (2) How about for 1E45? (3) For numbers which are small enough to have a fractional part, what restrictions are there on the precision of the output? E.g. to take the fourth test case, 321.7001 - 321 in IEEE 754 double format gives 0.7001000000000204. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 18 '18 at 21:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do we need the leading 0 in the list? Seems cleaner without it \$\endgroup\$
    – Quintec
    Nov 18 '18 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quintec What leading zero? \$\endgroup\$
    – Adám
    Nov 18 '18 at 22:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I'll exclude infinities. I'm not sure what do do about inexactness. I guess I could allow stopping at 16 digits of precision. Any ideas? \$\endgroup\$
    – Adám
    Nov 18 '18 at 22:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now that I think about it, string output for part one doesn’t make sense. But if it did, then I meant [2, .718] instead of [2, 0.718] \$\endgroup\$
    – Quintec
    Nov 18 '18 at 22:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't see any reason to reject 0 <-> [], given that 0.01 <-> [0.01]. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bubbler
    Nov 19 '18 at 1:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ For the precision, how about something in the line of "correct up to absolute/relative precision of 1e-16"? Partly because big numbers stored in double are not accurate even in the integer parts. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bubbler
    Nov 19 '18 at 1:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 Yes, I'll add that. Also, see tolerance text now. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adám
    Nov 19 '18 at 12:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bubbler Tolerance specs added. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adám
    Nov 19 '18 at 12:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Suggested test cases: 4.4 <-> [4,0.4] and 44.44 <-> [4,4,0.44]. Also, can we assume there will not be any unnecessary trailing zeros? I have a working solution, even with workaround for 0 <-> [0], but for 0.0 it outputs [0.0], but vice-versa for [0.0] it outputs 0 instead of 0.0. Hence the question that there won't be test cases like 0.0, 4.0 or 6.4000 with unnecessary trailing zeros. My programming language outputs 4.0 -> [4,0] -> 40 due to the implicit conversion of 0.0 to 0.. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 4 '18 at 10:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adám FWIW Composed a solution using JavaScript for the specification at this question, and a solution for the specification at the original question (that currently has a bug for two test cases at "Part 2" portion, though is not incapable of being fixed). \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17 '18 at 23:47

Progress: Updated the rules again, and also add the timed function to the bots.

Sylver Coinage KotH

Sylver Coinage is a 2-player mathematical game that has the following rules:

  1. Two players take turns announcing a natural number each time.
  2. Each number announced must be unrepresentable as the sum of non-negative multiples of the numbers announced before.

    Eg. if the first three numbers announced are \$\{6, 11, 15\}\$, then you cannot announce any numbers representable as \$6n_1+11n_2+15n_3\$, where \$n_1,n_2,n_3\ge0\$. You can announce, for example, \$16\$, though.

  3. The player who announced a number not complying with Rule 2, or the number 1, loses.

Here is a twist -- R. L. Hutchings proved that announcing a prime number as the first play provides a winning strategy for the first player, although the detail of the strategy is not yet known. So I put a restriction here: the first player cannot announce a prime number in the first step. Now the first two numbers will be generated randomly by the driver at the beginning. No more restriction on prime numbers now.

Technical Information

A bot playing the game will have to implement a Python 3 class, extending TimedBot, with two methods: announce() and learn(). announce() should receive a list of numbers (possibly empty) and return a single integer, and learn() should receive two integers (id of the first move and second move) and the complete list of the numbers in the last game played.

Here is a sample implementation. Note: DO NOT use this as your submission -- this sample only serves as a demonstration, and it may announce numbers that violate Rule 2.

class SampleBot(TimedBot):     # must not be changed.
    def __init__(self, id):
        super().__init__()     # must not be changed.
        self.id = id

    def announce(self, list):
        import random
        return random.randint(1, 101)

    def learn(self, first, second, list):

Test Drive

class TimedBot:
    def __init__(self):
        self.time = 20.0

    def timed(func):
        def f(self, *args):
            import time
            a = time.time()
            b = func(self, *args)
            self.time -= (time.time() - a)
            return b
        return f

class SampleBot(TimedBot):
    def __init__(self, id):
        self.id = id

    def announce(self, list):
        import random
        return random.randint(1, 100001)

    def learn(self, first, second, list):

# very inefficient
def islinearcomb(n, l):
    if len(l):
        for i in range(0, n + 1, l[0]):
            if i == n:
                return [n // l[0]]
            elif len(l) > 1:
                isl = islinearcomb(n - i, l[1:])
                if isl:
                    return [i // l[0]] + isl
    return None

lose = -1
turn = 0
nums = []
bots = [SampleBot(0), SampleBot(1)] # replace with your bots here.

import random
while (len(nums) < 2):
    a, b, c, d = random.randint(1, 10), random.randint(1, 10), random.randint(1, 10), random.randint(1, 10)
    if 2**a * 3**b != 2**c * 3**d and 2**a * 3**b > 100000 and 2**c * 3**d > 100000 and 2**min(a,c) * 3**min(b,d) > 12:
        nums = [2**a * 3**b, 2**c * 3**d]
while lose < 0:
    v = bots[turn].announce(nums)
    print("{0}({1}) announced {2}".format(type(bots[turn]).__name__, bots[turn].id, v))
    w = islinearcomb(v, nums)
    if w:
        str = ""
        for i in range(0, len(nums)):
            if i:
                str += "+"
            str += "{0}*{1}".format(nums[i], w[i] if i < len(w) else 0)
        print("{0}({1}) announced {2} that is equal to {3}".format(type(bots[turn]).__name__, bots[turn].id, v, str))
        lose = turn
    elif v == 1:
        print("{0}({1}) announced 1".format(type(bots[turn]).__name__, bots[turn].id))
        lose = turn
    nums += [v]
    turn = 1 - turn
print("{0}({1}) wins".format(type(bots[1 - lose]).__name__, bots[1 - lose].id))


Each bot will have 20 seconds of time for deciding a move todo: adjustments. Running out time during the move results in a lose, and failing to finish a method within 20 seconds will lead to disqualification and rerun of all 100 rounds with the remaining bots.


Submissions will be open until todo: date here. After that 100 complete round-robin rounds will be done. Each pair of bots will compete twice in each round, one with the first bot announcing first, and one with the second bot announcing first. Each win brings 3 points, each draw brings 1 point, and each lose brings no points. The bot with the highest points after 100 rounds wins. The tiebreaker will be as follows:

  1. Points got
  2. Wins achieved
  3. Drawing lots
  • \$\begingroup\$ Probably needs some time limit for responses to prevent solutions which attempt to generate a full game tree. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17 '18 at 9:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor Oh yes I thought about the time limit but I turned out forgetting to put that ;p \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17 '18 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ "The player who announced a number not complying with Rule 2 ... loses." I've been thinking about this. I presume that your intention is that the controller will validate the responses. An alternative would be to say that you don't automatically lose, but to add a type of response where the bot can return a proof that the opponent broke rule 2. Then bot programmers have to make a decision as to how much time to spend trying to show that their opponent lost vs computing a valid response. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17 '18 at 20:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ What if a game goes on for a billion turns? \$\endgroup\$
    – isaacg
    Dec 18 '18 at 1:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor I'd say my intention is that the controller will validate the responses. (in the test drive there is the code doing exactly that) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18 '18 at 9:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @isaacg If the number does not start out too large a game should end quite quickly. It is because two coprime numbers already make the number of possible moves finite. But If I pose a criteria on how large a number can at most go, then I'm feared that there may be a problem that the game tree is restricted. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18 '18 at 9:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd say: don't restrict the highest move, but give each bot a 'chess clock': they start with (say) 10s, and gain 1 second per move (and pass their clock's time as a parameter). Running over time is an automatic loss, and some percentage of time losses is a disqualification. Playing high moves will quickly exhaust their stock of time if they attempt to calculate extensive game trees, which will force the bots to either play quickly or lower their numbers. Adding a decay function to the time per move will encourage smart bots to play smaller numbers to not run out of time to think. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24 '18 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Spitemaster That's a good idea, but what I concerned about on large numbers is that the validation may take too long (because we are solving Diophantine equations in many unknowns) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 25 '18 at 5:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you realise that guaranteeing that the first two numbers are coprime guarantees that the first player will win with correct play? If you want an interesting game then you should generate the first two numbers randomly as 3-smooth numbers with a GCD which is a multiple of 6 and greater than 12. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9 '19 at 11:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor Great catch! During discussion only the suggestion of giving two initial numbers was achieved, so I didn't realize that. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 10 '19 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would remove the submission deadline, why not keep it open and update once a new entry comes? Also you might be interested in this (I adapted the code originally written for another KoTH), the easiest thing will be to enforce a certain formatting on the first line and adapt code_matcher to that formatting, st. that it won't break because everyone is using different formatting. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 10 '19 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BMO Wow that's a good one! And I saw my code in the source lol BTW for the certain formatting part you mean the lines around class FooBar(TimedBot):? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 10 '19 at 15:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ShieruAsakoto: Yeah, I added the header to bots.py which will be used, all the users' code will be appended to that and written to auto_bots.py.. Basically you'll only need to checkout the few variables (lines 12-20) and the main (from line 117) to see how it works. About the formatting, yes, that's probably the most sane: Make sure every code starts with class NameOfBot(TimedBot):, all definitions are in that class and it's valid Python 3 code (I updated the code_matcher like this it should work fine). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 10 '19 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ If they/you use that bots.py you'll need to manually update the imports or do it inside the bot itself, atm. bots could use random and time, maybe add math too. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 10 '19 at 15:34

Interleave Invariance

There is an infinite sequence that does not change when interleaved with the natural numbers. Consider these few terms:

1 1 2 1 3 2 4 1

Interleave them with the naturals:

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8
  1   1   2   1   3   2   4   1
1 1 2 1 3 2 4 1 5 3 6 2 7 4 8 1

As you can see, there is no change in the initial eight. Now, this sequence can be extended indefinitely rather easily by repeating this interleave operation. Your task is to choose and implement one of three output formats:

  1. Take as input a nonnegative integer n and output the nth term of this sequence, zero- or one-indexed (your choice).

  2. Take as input a nonnegative integer n and output the first n terms of this sequence.

  3. Output terms in order forever, starting from the beginning.

For options 2 and 3, there must be no numeric characters and at least one non-numeric character between terms; this separator need not be consistent. 1+1=2 would be fine for input 3. Leading and trailing non-numeric characters are allowed.

Here are the first 64 terms. This is OEIS sequence A003602.

1 1 2 1 3 2 4 1 5 3 6 2 7 4 8 1 9 5 10 3 11 6 12 2 13 7 14 4 15 8 16 1 17 9 18 5 19 10 20 3 21 11 22 6 23 12 24 2 25 13 26 7 27 14 28 4 29 15 30 8 31 16 32 1

Your submission can be a program or a function; "input" and "output" are as defined by the community. Standard loopholes are forbidden.

As this is , the shortest solution (in bytes) wins! Good luck, and happy golfing!

Sandboxy Stuff

Am I clear enough on what the sequence is? Any suggestions for rewording?

Is this a duplicate? I've searched for "interleave" and "3602" and found nothing.

Anything else worth mentioning? What thoughts ya gots?

Thanks to Martin Ender for the output formats, taken almost straight from the Kolakoski challenge.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ related (not a dupe though) \$\endgroup\$
    – dzaima
    Feb 13 '19 at 19:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ You could consider removing the option to output just the n'th term, making answers output a sequence. Otherwise I think it will be shortest in most languages to take n, halve until non-whole, then add 1/2 (ceiling), rather than use the interleaving property which I think is cooler. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Feb 15 '19 at 0:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ It looks like n/(n&-n)/2+1 would work for a lot of languages such as Python. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Feb 15 '19 at 1:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor Do you think removing that option will help much? I can't really think of a case where the solution won't be to wrap your expression in a looping construct if the expression was the shortest. I don't think knowing the history of this function is that helpful to finding the future value. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25 '19 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FryAmTheEggman You're probably right, answers would mostly just do the expression in some loop. In Haskell I think the interleaving definition wins out (even with option 1 allowed), but maybe that's just Haskell. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Feb 26 '19 at 6:22

Evaluate C−− expression

Your goal is to a evaluate an expression in "C−−" (not this one) which uses only the characters are C and -. C is an variable holding an integer whose initial value you're given, and the - symbol is used in many ways including as a decrement operator:

  • C-- decrements the value stored in C, then evaluates to that value.
  • --C evaluates to C, then decrements the value stored in C.
  • -expr negates the value of the expression expr.
  • expr1-expr2 takes the difference of the two expressions.

Unfortunately, the C−− specification doesn't state how expressions are parsed or in what order parts are evaluated, saying these are "implementation dependent". So, it's up to you. For example, --C---C could be interpreted as -(-(C--)-C) or (--C)-(--C) or others, and each --C might be evaluated before or after other parts of the expression.

Input: A string consisting of C and -, and an integer initial value for C.

The string will be parseable in at least one way. You can take the string as a list of characters, but they must be exactly the characters C and -.

Output: A value this expression could evaluate to.

You don't need to worry about issues with overly large values like overflows or loss of precision.

TODO: test cases

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Can --C---C be parsed as -(-(C-(-(-C))))? \$\endgroup\$
    – H.PWiz
    Apr 13 '19 at 17:44
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @H.PWiz Yes. Unfortunately, it looks like as is --C, can always be interpreted as -(-C), which is golfier but more boring, so I'll probably restrict the parsing or removing the unary negation option. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Apr 13 '19 at 17:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @xnor Note: -C is the same as (C-C)-C, but there are no parentheses here so nobody can say it can't also be parsed as C-(C-C). An added rule can be "You can't parse --C as -(-C), as a double negation would be meaningless." \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 '19 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you want to include or exclude simple eval implementations? \$\endgroup\$
    – Phil H
    Apr 29 '19 at 15:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilH That's a good question. Eval-style solutions seems pretty boring for C-style languages, but I don't know if there's a clean way to even specify what would be disallowed. I don't have time to work on this challenge, so you're welcome to spruce it up and post it if you want. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Apr 30 '19 at 1:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ if the C-- in question is not the one linked, could you link the one you're referring to? You mentioned a C-- specification, so I assume there is one \$\endgroup\$
    – Mayube
    May 3 '19 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Skidsdev I meant it as a thing I'm making up for the challenge. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    May 3 '19 at 22:02

An Auction in St. Petersburg


Mysterious packages are up for auction today. These boxes are unique in that their values are not known until they are opened, and when they are opened, their values follow a unique distribution:

probability    value
0.5               $2
0.25              $4
0.125             $8
0.0625           $16
1/(2^n)       $(2^n)

In total, there are 100 such packages up for auction, to be sold sequentially. At the start, each bot arrives with $20 in their wallet, and the goal is to walk away with more money than anyone else.

During each round in the auction, each bot simultaneously submits a bid. The bot with the highest bid (ties broken randomly) must pay the value of the second-highest bid, after which that winning bot receives an amount of money corresponding to the value of the opened package. This money can then be "reinvested" in future rounds of the auction.

The auction day ends once all 100 packages have been sold, or when any bot's wallet value exceeds 2^31.

I/O format

As input, your bot receives the following info:

  • an array of everyone's current wallet amounts
  • the history of past sale prices (the amount paid, not highest amount bid) and winners

As output, your bot returns an integer between 0 and your current wallet amount.

Tournament format

There will be N=large number of game run according to the above format (100 auction rounds each), and the finishing position of the bots will be averaged across games.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you explain why it ends when someone reaches 2^31? \$\endgroup\$
    – Artemis
    Apr 16 '19 at 3:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ArtemisFowl It's mostly to prevent players from having to deal with numbers that don't fit into a 32-bit integer. There's only a 1 in 1 billion chance that a particular package will contain enough money to trigger this condition, I just wanted to clarify how I would handle the "infinite expected value" in practice. \$\endgroup\$
    – PhiNotPi
    Apr 16 '19 at 14:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This seems rather win-more. It just takes one big win to be able to guarantee that you can outbid everyone else for the rest of the game. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20 '19 at 21:40

Fix my stuttered words

Posted: Fix my stuttered words

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "You can assume that multiple valid sets of repeated stuttered words only happen from left to right, so fixing "op op op o o o open" would result in "op op op open"." Shouldn't this result in "op open" instead? In the first rule you mention "For example "ope" and "open" both can be a stuttered word for "open"." So since the entire word is valid as stutter, I would think "op op op o o o open" becomes "([op op] op) ([o o o] open)" (([this] ... ) being the stutter, and ([...] this) being the word), thus "op open". \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13 '19 at 9:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think you meant to give the example "... so fixing "op op o o o open" would result in "op op open"." (so one less op) instead? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13 '19 at 9:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KevinCruijssen: You are absolutely correct, I have updated the question. Thank you for reading with such a high precision. \$\endgroup\$
    – Night2
    Sep 13 '19 at 12:26

Add the quotes


There's a terrible problem in my console - the quotes never get included inside the arguments! So, when given this argument:


it says that the argument is like this:


It would be very nice if you can fix this problem!


Add double-quotes (") in order to surround a word (i.e. something that matches [a-z]+).

[[one, two, three],
[one, two, three],
[one, two, three],
[one, two, three]]

Test cases

[abc,def,ghi,jkl] -> ["abc","def","ghi","jkl"]
this is a test    -> "this" "is" "a" "test"
test              -> "test"
this "one" "contains' "quotations -> "this" ""one"" ""contains"' ""quotations"
But This One Is SpeciaL! -> B"ut" T"his" O"ne" I"s" S"pecia"L!

Rules for the input

  • The words are never capitalized.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Suggested test case: one that starts (and/or ends) with a word (i.e. this is a test -> "this" "is" "a" "test"). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '20 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another suggested test case: a single word without anything else (i.e. test -> "test"). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18 '20 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ An issue here is that since this I/O is strict, many languages can't actually execute it. GolfScript, for example, can't take in letters in any ways that isn't in quotations. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mathgeek
    Feb 19 '20 at 20:00
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mathgeek No you can - do you know that GolfScript takes the whole STDIN as a string? Example. \$\endgroup\$
    – user92069
    Feb 19 '20 at 22:55
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps some testcases that already contain quotes \$\endgroup\$
    – Jo King Mod
    Feb 20 '20 at 5:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have to escape them: [\"abc\",\"def\",\"ghi\",\"jkl\"] \$\endgroup\$
    – S.S. Anne
    Feb 23 '20 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this challenge not simply a regex substitution; 22 bytes in vim: :%s/\([a-z]\+\)/"\1"/g? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25 '20 at 1:11

Is the input Bl lu ur rr ry?

This is based off this challenge.

Given an input string, check whether the string is blurry.

What's a blurry string?

Take a non-blurrified string abc as an example. You repeat every character of this twice:


And then insert spaces at every odd-even index.

a ab bc c

Then, remove the preceding 2 and succeeding 2 extra characters.

ab bc

As an example, all of these strings are blurry (the empty line stands for an empty string):

"a"   ->
"ab"  ->ab
"abc" ->ab bc
"abcd"->ab bc cd


  • The input string consists purely of printable ASCII characters. The only whitespace it will contain is the space character.
  • You don't have to remove extra characters before the check.
  • Your output can consist of any trailing whitespace, as long as it's possible to tell a truthy result from a falsy result.

Test cases

Here is a program I use to check my test cases.

""          -> True
"ab"        -> True
"ab bc"     -> True
"ab bc cd"  -> True
" b bc cd"  -> True
"ab bc c "  -> True
"a   c cd"  -> True

"a"         -> False
"abc"       -> False
"ab  bc  cd"-> False
"ab#bc#cd"  -> False
"abbccd"    -> False
"a ab bc cd"-> False
"a a ab b b"-> False
"ba cb dc"  -> False
"ba bc dc"  -> False
"FFaallssee"-> False
  • \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't the reverse version be "un-blur the string"? This is more like a decision-problem version of the blur challenge. \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Apr 28 '20 at 3:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ This Challenge to Blurry Vision is like Narcissist to Quine. \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Apr 28 '20 at 4:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HighlyRadioactive Uh-blur the string seems too easy, therefore I made it a decision problem. So can you find a duplicate for this? \$\endgroup\$
    – user92069
    Apr 28 '20 at 4:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you meant "un-blur". No, this is probably not a dupe. \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Apr 28 '20 at 4:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate: Is it double speak? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29 '20 at 0:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mathjunkie Not really. This challenge is about consecutive characters separated by consistent spaces. (The spaces may or may not be there.) \$\endgroup\$
    – user92069
    Apr 29 '20 at 0:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @petStorm Yeah, I guess it's different enough \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29 '20 at 0:57

Draw a Peano Curve with Slashes

Given a positive integer N, draw the Nth iteration of the Peano Curve, using only slashes and backslashes (and spaces). The curve will be rotated at a 45 degree angle from its usual depiction. Here's an example for the first 3 iterations:

N = 1

/ /
 / /

N = 2

      / /
     / / /\
    /  \/ /
   / /\  / /\
   \/ /  \/ /
 /\  / /\  / /\
/ / / / / / / /
 / / / / / / / /
 \/ /  \/ /  \/
   / /\  / /\
   \/ /  \/ /
     / /\  /
     \/ / /
       / /

N = 3

                        / /
                       / / /\
                      /  \/ /
                     / /\  / /\
                     \/ /  \/ /
                   /\  / /\  / /\
                  / / / / / / / /
                 / / / / / / / / /\
                /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /
               / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\
               \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /
             /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\
            / / / / /  \/ / / / / / / /
           / / / / / /\  / / / / / / / /\
          /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /
         / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\
         \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /
       /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\
      / /  \/ / / / / / / /  \/ / / / / / / / 
     / / /\  / / / / / / / /\  / / / / / / / /\
    /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /
   / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\
   \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /
 /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\
/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /
 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /
 \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/
   / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\
   \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /
     / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  /
     \/ / / / / / / /  \/ / / / / / / /  \/ / /
       / / / / / / / /\  / / / / / / / /\  / / 
       \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/  
         / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\    
         \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /    
           / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\  /     
           \/ / / / / / / /  \/ / / / / /      
             / / / / / / / /\  / / / / /       
             \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/        
               / /\  / /\  / /\  / /\          
               \/ /  \/ /  \/ /  \/ /         
                 / /\  / /\  / /\  /
                 \/ / / / / / / / /
                   / / / / / / / /
                   \/ /  \/ /  \/
                     / /\  / /\
                     \/ /  \/ /
                       / /\  /
                       \/ / /
                         / /

You may optionally mirror this horizontally, vertically, or both if you choose. Leading spaces are clearly required for this. Trailing spaces are optional. This is code-golf, so the shortest code wins.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this what you were looking for? It seems like a direct duplicate. \$\endgroup\$ May 22 '20 at 5:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dingledooper Ah, crud. I did a search and everything and that didn't come up. Maybe because it's too old or something. Oh well - should I just delete this then? Could switch it to the Peano or Gosper Curve, but I don't know if that would be appreciably different. \$\endgroup\$ May 22 '20 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Gosper curve is a duplicate of codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/50521/…. The Peano curve doesn't seem to be a duplicate, but I'm not sure whether it's a good idea. \$\endgroup\$ May 22 '20 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mypronounismonicareinstate I changed it to the Peano Curve, might still be interesting to do. \$\endgroup\$ May 22 '20 at 14:49

Score a 1 player game of Carcassonne

  • \$\begingroup\$ @dingledooper I'm not sure I understand? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8 '20 at 21:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I mean is, there are some tiles with roads going in more than one direction, so your scoring method seems to suggest that the same tile can be scored more than once. This is different than the official rules, which state that every tile may only be scored once. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8 '20 at 21:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dingledooper The rules state, when referring to scoring a road, "each tile of that road grants you 1 point" (emphasis mine). To me, that implies that a tile containing sections of multiple roads can be scored for each of those roads \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8 '20 at 21:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, thanks for clearing that up for me. The only reason I asked was because it contrasted from the way I played Carcassonne (or how it is normally played). \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8 '20 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ The scoring for incomplete road seems to have at least one incorrect word. Also, how are monasteries represented in your input format? \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil
    Jun 9 '20 at 9:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Or indeed villages. \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil
    Jun 9 '20 at 9:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Neil Yes, it does, thanks for spotting that. The monastery tiles are [0, 0, 0, 0, 0] and [0, 0, 1, 0, 0]. As no other tile can be described by these two, I didn’t think it would be necessary to add an additional value representing a monastery. It’s similar with villages; each of the tiles with a village on is unique without having to specify that it has a village on it. For instance, the tile [1, 2, 1, 1, 1] (a rotation of [2, 1, 1, 1, 1]) is guaranteed to have a village on it, so another value is unnecessary. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9 '20 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, so a tile with at least 3 roads always has a village, and a tile with no features apart from an optional single road always has a monastery? \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil
    Jun 9 '20 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Neil Yes exactly \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9 '20 at 16:29

Posted: Scoring Quantum Tic-Tac-Toe

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do cyclic entanglement always have len=3? \$\endgroup\$
    – l4m2
    Jun 17 '20 at 22:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @l4m2 A cyclic entanglement can have any length provided it fits on the board. For instance, in the case DE AB DE 1 AH CF CH CG BC 2, there is a loop of length 4 across A, B, C and H. I will make a note of this in the challenge. \$\endgroup\$
    – golf69
    Jun 17 '20 at 23:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @l4m2 In that same case, there is also a loop of length 2: DE .. DE \$\endgroup\$
    – golf69
    Jun 17 '20 at 23:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the description directly states that the other player chooses the state in all cases \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18 '20 at 3:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can describing what state was chosen be done in other ways? For example, writing the number of the mark that fills the cell of the last quantum mark placed might be useful instead of the lowest cell alphabetically. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18 '20 at 3:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fireflame241 Yes, you can choose to describe the state chosen in whatever way is convenient (I added your example to the "rules" section). And thanks for pointing that out about who chooses the state, it's clear now I hope \$\endgroup\$
    – golf69
    Jun 18 '20 at 4:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ In your illustration, does the position of the quantum marks in a single cell (e.g. in your second picture, the center cell has three marks arranged in a J shape) matter? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trebor
    Jun 18 '20 at 7:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trebor It does not, noted \$\endgroup\$
    – golf69
    Jun 18 '20 at 8:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible input go on there after result comes? \$\endgroup\$
    – l4m2
    Jun 19 '20 at 4:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @l4m2 No: "A game continues until at least one tic-tac-toe is formed or until the board is filled with classical marks." I will add that no more moves can be done after this and that multiple tic-tac-toes can only be formed simultaneously \$\endgroup\$
    – golf69
    Jun 19 '20 at 5:01

Build an alphabetised polyglot


My smart phone

Posted here: My smartphone's phonebook

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I like this idea. Just to make sure I've understood the challenge correctly, given a phone number, are we to find all possible strings that match it within a database of strings? \$\endgroup\$
    – lyxal
    Jul 24 '20 at 11:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not quite. Given a database/list of strings, split these by space into words. Return all database entries that contain a word that matches the number. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 24 '20 at 13:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Duplicate? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 24 '20 at 19:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This question only asks return entries consisting of one word, while this asks to check for possibly multiple words per entry and then to return the complete entry. Also, this quesition had unusual and harsh restrictions. This aims to be much more simpler than that, making the puzzle more attractive. While the first reason may be splitting hairs, the second one, combined with the puzzle being ~6 yrs old, is a good reason to post this puzzle, imo. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26 '20 at 9:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Add my name in! \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Aug 2 '20 at 13:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ 'You may only take input in some form of list type, not a string.' Rigid I/O requirements are generally frowned upon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dingus
    Aug 5 '20 at 1:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, no idea why I insisted on that. I'd rather not have this challenge killed because of a probably useless constraint. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5 '20 at 12:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You've probably thought of this, but you could get more names from Users. (I'm chuffed to have already made the cut, by the way!) Is there a mistake in the 34 test case - wouldn't HighlyRadioactive appear under 44? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dingus
    Aug 5 '20 at 13:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ whoops... fixed. I'll add some more people from Users when posting, for the test cases I've just listed some people I see a lot off the top of my head. Also, if you gave some feedback, there's no reason not to put you in there. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 6 '20 at 6:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why is fireflame241 there twice? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 14 '20 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Third-Party 'Chef' is now called petStorm - update. \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Aug 20 '20 at 8:38

Implement the random Fibonacci sequence

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is -3 a valid output for f5? \$\endgroup\$
    – tsh
    Aug 31 '20 at 6:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ But it is possible that f3 = 2. It is also possible that f4 = -1. \$\endgroup\$
    – tsh
    Sep 1 '20 at 1:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tsh It is possible that f3 = 2 and it is possible that f4 = -1, but the two cannot be satisfied at once. So the challenge requires to record the previous results, I think (and therefore some short approaches like naive recursion can't be used). \$\endgroup\$
    – Bubbler
    Sep 1 '20 at 2:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It would be good to include the correct distributions of the first few entries, like f_3 to f_6, for testing purposes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zgarb
    Sep 1 '20 at 7:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @cairdcoinheringaahing f3 = f2 + f1 = 1 + 1 = 2; f4 = f3 - f2 = (f2 - f1) - f2 = (1 - 1) - 1 = -1; f5 = f4 - f3 = -1 - 2 = -3; If this is not what you want, you may need to update your description to avoid ambiguous. \$\endgroup\$
    – tsh
    Sep 2 '20 at 1:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tsh Took me a while, but I think I understand what you're getting at. Does my latest edit address that? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 8 '20 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zgarb Not the best when it comes to distributions, but I've added in a list of possible values for n = 1 ... 6 \$\endgroup\$ Sep 8 '20 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was going to edit in the distributions, but I don't believe your last case is correct. I don't think there is a way to reach 6 or -3. I decided to edit it in anyway since I wrote it on a scrap of paper, but of course feel free to change it if I am wrong. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9 '20 at 21:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ If given n we just output f_n, this voids the requirement that the sequence should remember previous values, doesn't it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Luis Mendo
    Sep 12 '20 at 16:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LuisMendo No, the requirement that the sequence "remembers" previous values is means that tsh's comment above would be an invalid way to construct the sequence. Because \$f_n\$ is constructed from previous terms, those terms cannot change partway through the construction of the sequence. For example, while constructing \$f_6\$, you'd have to first get the values for \$f_{1,\dots5}\$. Then, when constructing \$f_7\$, the values of \$f_{1,\dots5}\$ would be the same as when getting \$f_6\$, whether they were outputted or not. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 12 '20 at 16:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I see, So, "remember" means that in the construction of a given f7, every occurrence of f1 etc should have the same value. \$\endgroup\$
    – Luis Mendo
    Sep 12 '20 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LuisMendo Yes exactly. If you have a better wording, I'd love to hear it, I'm not too happy with "remember" \$\endgroup\$ Sep 12 '20 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @cairdcoinheringaahing Here's a suggestion: Each random realization of the sequence must use consistent values. For example, if [...] \$\endgroup\$
    – Luis Mendo
    Sep 12 '20 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, when you say is chosen at random, you probably mean is chosen at random independently of previous choices? This prevents the code from randomly choosing a sign and using it for all terms, for example \$\endgroup\$
    – Luis Mendo
    Sep 12 '20 at 20:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @LuisMendo That wording is nice, thanks! And yes, each choice should be independent, I'll edit that it \$\endgroup\$ Sep 12 '20 at 20:59

Minimise a bijection \$\mathbb{N}^n\to\mathbb{N}\$

  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems very possible. You can iterate the cantor pairing function \$\pi(\pi(\pi(a,b),c)\ldots)\$ \$\endgroup\$
    – Sisyphus
    Oct 17 '20 at 2:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sisyphus, yes, but can you iterate it \$n\$ times within \$n\$ bytes? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 17 '20 at 11:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, I like this scoring idea but I fear that the abstractness of the task will scare away potential golfers. Maybe it would be better to choose a simpler task that has n as a parameter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zgarb
    Oct 18 '20 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zgarb While I do agree that, because it's much harder with the self-referential part, a simpler challenge would probably do better (votes/answers wise), but I've got no issue with this going unanswered, and I think as is, it'll draw much more impressive answers with a more discriminating choice of bijections. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 18 '20 at 19:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Finally, you're missing the condition that every natural number must occur as an output. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zgarb
    Oct 18 '20 at 19:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Plus, because of the self-referential part, I think that this doesn't close the door on any future challenges that allow you to choose your own \$n\$, or take \$n\$ as a parameter, so I'm happy with this scoring criteria. Also, thanks for noticing that, edited in. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 18 '20 at 19:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't really see the point of the n-is-length idea. It seems like you just have to write code that works for any n, then plug in n equal to the length of the code (accounting for the replacement). Only perhaps an ultra-golfy language might be able to do something like n=2 in 2 bytes rather than writing a general solution. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Oct 18 '20 at 21:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor IMO, it adds an extra level of complexity/difficulty to the challenge, in that you have to modify the actual code as you modify code length. Also, I don't think the generic "take \$n\$ as a parameter" version is particularly interesting, whereas requiring answers to link \$n\$ and their code is \$\endgroup\$ Oct 18 '20 at 22:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @cairdcoinheringaahing Can you give an example of an interesting thing a program could do in linking its code length? I'm really not seeing it. The only extremely minor thing I could see is that if you have, say, a 76 byte program that works excepts it has a spot you need to put the number in, you need to put in 78 to account for the length of the code and number. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Oct 18 '20 at 22:10

Quickly! Group together!

  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems like fun! I have one concern, though. The first is that keeping track of all of the restrictions that have already been used seems like an unnecessary headache. Testing if a language has been used is fairly easy using the SE search (you might want to add in some premade links to make it easier for people to do) and I think that will help the variety enough. This seems like it would become a headache faster than it is worth, even if you did something like updating the challenge each day. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13 '20 at 2:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FryAmTheEggman Yeah, that's my main concern is keeping track of everything. Maybe adding a Stack Snippet to the challenge body that extracts previously used restrictions could alleviate that (similar to what we did with my OEIS answer chaining for used sequences)? I'm hesitant to remove the rule about not reusing restrictions, because it could just lead to the challenge continuing ad infinitum with a couple of basic, repeated restrictions \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13 '20 at 13:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Trivial restrictions are so numerous that I don't believe this rule is doing anything relevant to end the challenge faster. I'd recommend dropping it and thinking about some other way to limit solutions if you really want that. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13 '20 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with @FryAmTheEggman about the restrictions. Your rule that languages can't be used on different days should be enough to ensure that the challenge ends eventually. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 22 '20 at 23:47

Is it a vampire number?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The old challenge certainly suffers from strict I/O, but I don't have a strong opinion as to whether it should be closed in favour of this one. If you do go ahead, I suggest clarifying that \$x\$ and \$y\$ must both have the same number of digits and only one of them may end with 0. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dingus
    Jan 20 '21 at 22:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dingus "strict I/O" is a bit of an understatement. I have a Jelly answer to this and the old one. This is 10 bytes, the only one is 45 bytes, and the difference in length comes entirely from having to format the output to meet the rules, which no-one likes doing. Good spot on the restrictions on \$x\$ and \$y\$ \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21 '21 at 9:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I definitely see your point. I'm not opposed to the repost, in case I wasn't clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dingus
    Jan 21 '21 at 21:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I vote for the repost \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22 '21 at 20:09

I decide to change the statement a little, so people who don't know the language can easily understand the challenge. (apparently there are many)


  • I'm thinking about scraping some BF programs on this site for the fastest-code (or approximation) version of the other challenge, and I figure out that I need to have this, and I post it here as a code-golf challenge since it's somewhat interesting (and also pretty easy).
  • It's possible to force programs to check if there are any extra characters too; however it might make the problem harder (only allow printable ASCII? Some scraped data might have non-ASCII characters, so it isn't really practical. Any Unicode characters as input? Most esoteric languages can't handle that.)

Does this BF program have a simple memory layout?

Given a string consisting of only the characters +-[]<>., check if:

  • All pairs of [] are matching (balanced), and
  • There's an equal number of < and > between every matching pair of [].

Background: the inputs that this program output true are exactly the valid inputs for the related challenge BF memory layout optimizer.

Reference implementation in Python 3.

Example input/output

Output true:


Output false:


Undefined behavior: (your program can do anything when given those as input)

  • \$\begingroup\$ can you please make the rules a list, some of us are bad at reading. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex bries
    Feb 4 '21 at 9:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Alexbries But there are only two of them... \$\endgroup\$
    Feb 4 '21 at 9:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I was worried for a bit this would delve into Rice's Theorem territory (the similar question "does this BF program have bounded memory consumption?" would). Seems plenty simple though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Beefster
    Feb 10 '21 at 23:18

Liars and Guessers

  • \$\begingroup\$ this looks like a very good challenge. I'd go with JS for the language. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 28 '21 at 14:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Be careful. If the minimax algorithm is not too hard, then people can just implement it and effectively block all the other answers. \$\endgroup\$
    Feb 28 '21 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't JavaScript very good for sandboxing? The browser is the sandbox. / Besides, you can ask people to explain suspicious code, obviously... \$\endgroup\$
    Feb 28 '21 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 Re sandboxing I was less worried about safety than clever people inspecting the program's memory/whatever. But I guess I can just forbid it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Artemis
    Feb 28 '21 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 Re minimax, I was worried that it might be too trivial to come up with a perfect solution. I'll look into it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Artemis
    Feb 28 '21 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ IMO, either Python or JS would be suitable to this question. You can chose any of them and it should work fine. As this question is asking about strategy of guessing instead of golfing in specified languages. People try to answer this question are not required to know very details of the language used. \$\endgroup\$
    – tsh
    Mar 9 '21 at 6:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ To my understanding, guesser_score = sum(times_guessed for number in ([0..255] repeat 10 times) for each liar), lower is better. (10 times repeating is required since most submission would relay on some random behaviors.) liar_score is defined similar but higher is better. Use liar_score - guesser_score or liar_score / guesser_score (I would prefer the div one) to get score for some answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – tsh
    Mar 9 '21 at 6:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wrote a Python implementation. It treats liars and guessers as separate submissions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Artemis
    Mar 9 '21 at 15:35

Self-Replicating Numbers

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Nice challenge, but I feel it would be more interesting if it took two inputs, m and n, and outputted either the first m n-order numbers or the mth n-order number. \$\endgroup\$
    – user
    Mar 5 '21 at 15:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user I do like that; my original concept for the challenge was similar (outputting the first n distinct orders). I think your concept is more interesting, but I do worry about the run time - I'll run some tests and see if there are enough reasonable test cases. Thanks for the feedback! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 5 '21 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ For the formatting thing, see math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5020/… -- replace $ with \$. \$\endgroup\$
    Mar 6 '21 at 10:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Add "exactly" (appear [...] exactly \$n\$ times [...]) in the definition too, if that's what you mean. \$\endgroup\$
    Mar 6 '21 at 10:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 nice challenge! I have no idea of how to verify that there are no 1st-order self-replicating numbers after 9. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7 '21 at 12:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SheikYerbouti Thanks! Think of it this way; since you're checking all multiples of a number up to their square, every number from 10 and up will have the multiple of itself and ten checked - any number times ten is guaranteed to have the original number as a substring. Numbers from 100 and up will have the multiple of itself and 100 checked, and so on. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7 '21 at 14:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh you are right! That's clever (or I am slow ahaha) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7 '21 at 15:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Allowing output of the infinite sequence of n-order numbers would be nice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Razetime
    Mar 9 '21 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Razetime I wanted to make it a little more challenging by requiring both inputs - would it make sense to allow outputting the infinite sequence of numbers that are either m or n order, or is that too complicated? I want there to be reasons to choose either output option, if I choose to add more, and I fear that the infinite series of n-order will be the easier choice for a majority of languages. Let me know if I'm just overthinking it, and thanks for the feedback! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9 '21 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ZaelinGoodman many recent sequence challenges allow output in 3 main ways: nth number, first n numbers or an infinite sequence. It is up to you to choose what you think suits the challenge best. \$\endgroup\$
    – Razetime
    Mar 9 '21 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Razetime Ohhh okay; I looked at a few other sequence challenges and pulled together a few options - I do think it rounded out the challenge a bit more, but now I'm not sure how better to format the test cases area to accommodate those additional output modes \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9 '21 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Minor things: can you change the wording and formatting of the "The CHallenge" section to make it more obvious that you need to do one of the things (see some existing sequence questions for more info)? Also can you clarify that you mean a substring in decimal? Can you clarify that "if the input is not valid" means "if no such number exists". Finally, what tags are you planning to use? code-golf sequence number ...? \$\endgroup\$
    – pxeger
    Mar 10 '21 at 17:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @pxeger Thanks, I have implemented all of your suggestions - let me know if you still feel any of those areas are lacking! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 '21 at 18:41

Minimally destroy CGCC in Game of Life

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to clarify, you get an integer \$n\$ as input and must kill all but \$n\$ cells from the initial state to produce the shortest lived automata? \$\endgroup\$
    – Beefster
    Mar 22 '21 at 17:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are there performance requirements? This problem is in EXPTIME. \$\endgroup\$
    – Beefster
    Mar 22 '21 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Beefster No time requirements. And no, you decide how many cells you want to make alive (call that \$n\$) and which cells they are. You then run the game with those cells and the initial CGCC being alive until it reaches a point where all cells on the board are dead. Lowest \$n\$ wins. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 22 '21 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I get it. You're supposed to add live cells around the initial CGCC so that the board eventually anihillates. The way you framed the challenge is a little confusing. You make it seem like you're supposed to remove cells from the initial configuration. \$\endgroup\$
    – Beefster
    Mar 22 '21 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Beefster I've edited the wording slightly, does it make more sense? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 22 '21 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ The wording is clearer now, but the issue is that "However, if we change the initial state to the following, by changing 13 cells, then, after 31 iterations, the board is empty" is sort of misleading because it prepares the reader to remove cells when you then say "And this is your task." I think it would be less confusing if you gave an example where adding cells to an initial state causes the pattern to eventually annihilate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Beefster
    Mar 22 '21 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Beefster The issue with that is that I don't actually have an example that fits the current rules :/ \$\endgroup\$ Mar 22 '21 at 19:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't necessarily need to create an example that fits the rules. You could instead give an example of a simpler pattern that, when a few additional cells are made live, leads to eventual annihilation. So the overall flow of the challenge description would be something like this: simple pattern, simple pattern + live cells --> annihilation, CGCC pattern creates still life + oscillators, description of the task and scoring. \$\endgroup\$
    – Beefster
    Mar 22 '21 at 20:02
3 4
6 7

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .