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This "Sandbox" is a place where Code Golf users can get feedback on prospective challenges they wish to post to the main page. 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.

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3301 Answers 3301


“Simple” Programming Homework

Your friend has been caught sleeping in class again! As punishment, his computer science teacher has assigned him homework, knowing that he will not be able to solve it due to not having paid any attention.

The assignment seems deceiving simple at first; all that is required is to output the string:

John Doe

Unfortunately, the teacher is intent on making the simple assignment much more difficult. Since your friend was not listening when the teacher explained the concept of strings and numbers, the teacher forbids him from using any number character (0-9) or the quotes (", ', `).

Can you help your friend solve this problem with the shortest code possible, and save his computer science grade in the process?

Try to find the shortest code in each language!

Note: it is encouraged to try to solve this problem in languages where string/character literals exist but cannot be used due to the restrictions (most mainstream languages are like this, e.g. C++).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Better leaving it here for a while (and ask in chat often) to see if people mostly agree that what "literal" means is obvious. (see, bash have echo John Doe and BF has +++something+++., and most languages doesn't have a formal specification to define English names for the components of the language) \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Feb 27 at 12:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Other than that (huge) point it is clear enough. [please review other sandbox posts] \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Feb 27 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 Ask which chat? \$\endgroup\$ – user101295 Feb 27 at 22:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 I thought this would be interesting for most languages that do use quotes for string and character literals like C, but I do see how it might be too easy in some languages. \$\endgroup\$ – user101295 Feb 27 at 22:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/240/the-nineteenth-byte \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Feb 28 at 6:13

Output the number of lines of your code

Your task is to write a program that counts the number of its lines of code and outputs them.


  • The number mustn't be hardcoded into the program, nor in any other external resource;

  • Internet access is forbidden;

  • Your program's output must be the number of lines only;

  • Your program should not use any tool, macro, function, or similar device designed with the specific purpose of counting lines.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see much of a challenge here. wc -l $0? \$\endgroup\$ – ugoren Feb 23 '14 at 17:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It can be a nice question, but needs some work. Just add something like "it should not use any tool, macro, function, or similar device designed with the specific purpose of counting lines". \$\endgroup\$ – Victor Stafusa Feb 24 '14 at 2:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Victor Nice point, added. Thank you :) \$\endgroup\$ – Vereos Feb 24 '14 at 10:10
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ As long as you can read the program file, it's no challenge. E.g. print len(l for l in sys.argv[0]). But if you forbid reading the source, and forbid hard-coding the length, what's left? \$\endgroup\$ – ugoren Feb 24 '14 at 14:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ugoren I don't see where it says it can't read its source. \$\endgroup\$ – user10766 Feb 27 '14 at 22:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @user2509848, It doesn't. This is why the question is easy and uninteresting. \$\endgroup\$ – ugoren Feb 28 '14 at 5:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ugoren If you can't though, how will you tell, hardcode it? \$\endgroup\$ – user10766 Feb 28 '14 at 5:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @user2509848, Either way, not a good question. \$\endgroup\$ – ugoren Feb 28 '14 at 6:25
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This is one byte in any golfing language with implicit output: 1 \$\endgroup\$ – Fund Monica's Lawsuit May 9 '16 at 20:11

Here is my first attempt at a cops and robbers post (which is why I'm using the sandbox).

Cops - Golfed recursion

You must select a language that satisfies the following criteria:

  • Functions - It must be possible to create a function with any number of integer input values and a single integer output (or return) value. The function may also be a complete program in itself. (Your language may not call it a function, but that is ok)
  • Arithmetic operations - The integer operations +-*/% should all be possible, either in a simple or a complicated manner.
  • Data - You should be able to store one-byte or two-byte long integers (either signed or unsigned will do). You may do this also in an indirect manner.
  • Iteration - You must be able to create a loop that will keep running until a condition is satisfied. Therefore < > = <= >= ! & | should also be supported, either directly or indirectly.
  • Recursion - You should be able to call a function from within the function itself with a set of input values calculated by the main function.
  • Declaration - You should be able to declare new integer variables as needed from within the function.


You need to create a recursive function. Code will be scored by the number of characters in it, the shorter the better. A solved code cannot win the challenge. A post with less than 5 up-votes cannot win the challenge. There will be no overall winner, but a separate winner for each language.

Robbers - Golfed recursion

Your objective is to pick up a cop's post, and write a function in the same language but it should not use any recursion (can use iteration). The function may create any number of variables, loops, etc. but should be able to achieve the exact same end result (atleast, in theory) as the cop's one.

Your score will be the same as the cop's post's score at the time it was solved. His/her post is now invalid, and you get his/her score

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand how a cop can write an answer that isn't going to be cracked, unless the language of choice can only loop via recursion (which I think you're trying to rule out by requiring that "iteration" must be possible). Also, requiring 5 votes to be a winner is only encouraging tactical voting. Answers that are actually invalid will likely get downvoted and deleted anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Feb 10 '16 at 12:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MartinBüttner Maybe in some languages it is possible by exploiting both closure and recursion, but I mainly agree with your point: recursion and iteration are two ways to do the same thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Katenkyo Feb 10 '16 at 12:41

Your task is to create a program that outputs a random pizza recipe following this one rule:

No random number choosers, you may have random text choosers. All standard code-golf rules apply. A sample output:

A simple PEPPARONI pizza sprinkled with fish and sausages. Your program must have the following items:

  • Anchovies
  • Fish
  • An adjective for the pizza

The program written with the shortest code wins.


The winner shall be picked on April 3rd, 12AM on the time zone GMT+3.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I already had an answer to the question, albeit non-competing: Python3 print("Have a plain MARGHERITA without any",["fish.","anchovies."][len(input("What's your favourite pizza? "))%2]) \$\endgroup\$ – mIllIbyte Mar 31 '16 at 12:41
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Uh, this has a lot of problems with clarity. First, all "random text choosers" are implemented with "random number choosers" which makes this restriction feel a bit bizarre. Second, what counts as an adjective for pizza? And since this is code golf, people will always pick the shortest available. And third, what should an output look like? It's not clear from the spec. Also, sort of unrelated, but usually putting a time limit is unnecessary, even extremely popular challenges stop getting responses with any frequency after a month or so. \$\endgroup\$ – FryAmTheEggman Mar 31 '16 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you misspell it on purpose? \$\endgroup\$ – noɥʇʎԀʎzɐɹƆ Mar 31 '16 at 13:55

Mad lads!

Inspired by the paper calculator episode of Numberphile.

Your challenge in this puzzle is to take in two two-bit (0-3) numbers and output the sum of the two numbers... using ordinary household objects.

Some possibilities of how this can be done:
music box (+ some helpers..)


input must always be involving two sets of two-bit integers, which can be represented by anything you like, so long as the cardinality of the representations is the same.


The output should be a single 3-bit integer which represents the addition of the two inputs.


  • your device cannot have the capability to connect to the internet in any way (sorry, this also disqualifies carrier pigeons). Your device must also not be able to perform this function alone (eg a calculator).
  • It must be somewhat original. put your own twist on it!
  • though, your entry can be alive (does your dog add??), so long as your entry is not in discomfort.
  • Pictures are required for each entry to show how it works. videos would be better, but aren't required!
  • The sole function of your machine does not have to be adding, it can do other things as well. This means that older projects that may serve a slightly different function are welcome, so long as they meet the rules stated above.
  • Your device can be as simple or as complex as you like, so long as it doesn't get to a point where it's completely esoteric.


You will be judged based on ease of use, ease of understanding, as well as originality! This means that entries should be easily explained, used, and be unique in some way.

This is a , so the most upvotes wins! good luck!

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ In my opinion, this is not a programming challenge. Once we start leaving the realm of a computer-based programming paradigm, a challenge becomes more difficult to test, replicate, and verify. Plus, something done with Dominoes, for example, may not "run" to completion 100% of the time, and in my opinion that makes it non-deterministic. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Sep 26 '16 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related meta: meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/a/10151/34718. TLDR, if you want to program with dominoes, find or create a domino simulator where programs can be scored in bytes. Instead of marbles, use Marbelous. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Sep 26 '16 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 what about papers, and counting dogs? This isn't a code golf, it's a popularity contest \$\endgroup\$ – user56309 Sep 26 '16 at 19:20
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Popcons still require the use of programming languages. meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/2028/34718. See both linked meta questions. What you are trying to do is off-topic for this site. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Sep 26 '16 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 I'm not sure you linked the correct thing. I have found no reference of popularity contests in your recent link.. \$\endgroup\$ – user56309 Sep 26 '16 at 19:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rules and meta consensus apply to all challenges, not just code-golf. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Sep 26 '16 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Popcons should be held to a higher standard than other questions, not a lower one as your comments imply. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Sep 27 '16 at 7:33

What about one question on numeric solve?

Write one function that gets as one argument one function f(x), and one interval a..b and return the list of all element v such f(v)=0 in the interval a..b. In the interval a..b the f must be definite and can not be f(r) = +oo for r in a..b.

Win the one write the function with biggest set of right results. If two have the same set, win the one has less characters. You can not use solve() or nsolve() or fsolve() or one already written function that your sys offer that finds numerical x in f(x)=0

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Finding all zeros of an arbitrary function is impossible unless the domain is restricted. \$\endgroup\$ – user45941 Nov 29 '16 at 8:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok you are right \$\endgroup\$ – user58988 Nov 30 '16 at 10:04
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The edit doesn't do anything to fix the problem. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Nov 30 '16 at 14:48
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The bigger problem is that this post is incomprehensible. \$\endgroup\$ – user45941 Dec 2 '16 at 8:54

Beep. Boop. Maggot?

  1. Read input from STDIN until enter is pressed.
  2. If the input is "Beep", continue.
  3. Otherwise, print "Wrong!" and exit.
  4. Repeat steps one to three with "Boop" instead.
  5. Execute step one.
  6. If the input is "Maggot", output "Done".
    • Otherwise, output "Wrong.".

Remove punctuation (?.!'"), ignore capitalization (a-zA-Z only), and strip whitespace (\t and )

Notes: You must print the text word-for-word, character-for-character. Step 3 is Wrong!, while Step 6 is Wrong.


  • Notice how boop is just beep with the o's turned into e's.
  • There is lots of repetition here, but with many caveats.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically speaking, step 4 should repeat steps 1-3, shouldn't it? Anyway, apart from that, I don't see anything technically wrong with the challenge, but I'm not sure it's a very good challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – user62131 Jan 1 '17 at 0:07

Score Your Language

I believe that each language has a score. The way you find the score of a language is shown in the ungolfed Python program below

def scorer(lang):

    num = 0

    for i in str(lang):
        num += ord(i)

    return num

Basically the score is the total of the unicode values of the language name.

Now this seemed like a fairly trivial challange, so I thought I'd make it a bit more difficult. You aren't allowed to use your language name (case-sensitive) in the code. So this code in C++ would be invalid as I've used C++ in the code.

#include <iostream>

int main() {

    int total = 0;
    std::string s("C++");

    for (char & c : s) {
        total = total + (int)c;
        c = '*';

    std::cout << total;


Although this does output the required number (153) it is still invalid.


  • You aren't allowed to use the language name but are allowed to use it in a different case. E.g. Java isn't allowed but java is.
  • This is a code-golf so shortest answer in bytes wins
  • You are allowed to use hex/octal codes in strings e.g \150 can be used instead of h
  • Your program must take no input or function arguments
  • You cannot simply output the score. Theoretically the program should work for any language name when changed.
  • Languages where the only valid syntax is the name, such as Chicken are allowed to use said name.
  • Version shouldn't be included so Python is always Python not Python 2 or 3
  • The score is the value of the case-sensitive name

Correct Scores

Language              Score

ArnoldC                675
brainfuck              949
C                       67
C++                    153
Java                   386
Lua                    290
Mornington Crescent   1922
Python                 642
TrumpScript           1165
Vim                    300

Sandbox Questions

1) Why has this been downvoted?

2) I am thinking about putting a reputation limitation so that bosses like Dennis and Martin Büttner can't take answers from people who aren't as accomplished. Is this unfair? Should I not?

3) Is this a duplicate? I couldn't believe it wasn't already taken.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Terms like "you cannot use your language name" and "it must be calculated by the program" are not only unclear but will likely not be able to be made rigorous. \$\endgroup\$ – Wheat Wizard Feb 5 '17 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you suggesting that I remove those rules? \$\endgroup\$ – user63571 Feb 5 '17 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that the challenge is very interesting without the rules, but I don't think it is clear with them. I would suggest reworking the rules in some manner but exactly how I do not know. \$\endgroup\$ – Wheat Wizard Feb 5 '17 at 15:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. I would guess that it's mainly because it fails some of the tests in Things to avoid when writing challenges (X without Y, asking for different things in different languages, unnecessary fluff, explicitly disadvantaging certain languages, arguably one or two more), although it might also in part be because some people oppose trivial "challenges", and in part because the problems WW mentioned can't be fixed. 2. Very bad idea. 3. It's a multi-dupe: it combines two trivial tasks, each of which independently would clearly be a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Feb 6 '17 at 9:15

Popularly print the input


Write a program or function in a language of your choice that takes input and outputs that exact input.


  • Your program/function should output the exact input in any reasonable way.
  • Your program does not have to end after printing the input. It may end up in an infinite loop if you wish, as long as that loop doesn't output any extraneous characters.


The winning answer will be the one that has the highest score. Voters should look for answers that use an unique way to print the input, have a special source code or use neat language features.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Plain "do X in a creative way" popularity contests have fallen out of favour and will likely immediately get closed as being too broad or not having an objective winning criterion. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Apr 4 '17 at 18:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MartinEnder: Yeah, I noticed. How do you think I should change the challenge so that it won't be closed? \$\endgroup\$ – Luke Apr 4 '17 at 18:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Can't really help you there. If I knew of a good way to make popularity contests work, I'd write some myself. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Apr 4 '17 at 18:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Probably a duplicate of codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/62230/34718 \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Apr 4 '17 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007: No, this is not a code-golf challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – Luke Apr 4 '17 at 18:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ But there's nothing separating the answers this might receive. Please read this: codegolf.stackexchange.com/tags/popularity-contest/info \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Apr 4 '17 at 18:57

Make a Login Screen

Challenge: make code that asks the user to enter a username and password. The username and password should be hard coded, but they must not be visible: you cannot have the entire username or the entire password in plain text in the code. Both the username and the password must be 8 characters long. Upon the incorrect username or password, some error should be displayed. It would be good if there are multiple "accounts" that would display different text on login. The password field should not be visible (Only asterisks or something).

This is Code-Golf, Shortest answer wins.

Standard loopholes are forbidden.

  • \$\begingroup\$ you can't say that answer doing something "would be good" if the shortest answer wins \$\endgroup\$ – Destructible Lemon Apr 18 '17 at 7:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ underhanded challenges are off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer Apr 18 '17 at 8:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not underhanded. \$\endgroup\$ – Feldspar15523 Apr 18 '17 at 14:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sure this might be a dupe of an obfuscation challenge \$\endgroup\$ – Beta Decay Apr 18 '17 at 23:36

Of numbers of letters

there is something special the number 4. When spelled in English the word 'four' uses exactly 4 letters. I wonder whether there are further such numbers Your task is to identify whether there exist further such numbers and output them in any human readable format. To make this more of a challenge you can do the task in any regional Language of your choice (Say Russian or Portuguese or Spanish or Mandarin or Hindi etc.).

The Best entry will be selected by the most number of such numbers regardless of language used

Best of Luck


No strings code bowling

I created this challenege idea with @redwolfprograms. In the challenge, you would create the longest program possible (code-bowling) it can do anything, but it cannot:

  • Contain any strings, or quotation marks/apostrophes/backticks
  • Contain the same alphanumeric byte more than twice
  • Conatin the same non alphanumeric byte more than three times
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ What is the task we have to solve? Is it really alphanumeric character but non alphanumeric byte? \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Apr 17 '18 at 13:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you mix characters and bytes? \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Apr 17 '18 at 14:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like there are a lot of languages that would score the maximum (768) by not (strictly speaking) having alphanumeric characters, and then just wrapping everything in a string: "[3x each other byte value]"". \$\endgroup\$ – Kamil Drakari Apr 17 '18 at 14:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you got bytes and characters mixed up. Both should be bytes, and make sure you specify the program can do anything. \$\endgroup\$ – Redwolf Programs Apr 17 '18 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ People, the point of the sandbox is to add suggestions. This question has been downvoted several times. Why? \$\endgroup\$ – Redwolf Programs Apr 17 '18 at 22:39
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @RedwolfPrograms downvotes are a way for people to say that this challenge in the current state shouldn't be posted to main. If the challenge gets changed enough to make it viable and interesting the downvotes will be reverted (or upvotes from other people will outweigh them). \$\endgroup\$ – Leo Apr 18 '18 at 1:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe this challenge should have a "No strings" rule? \$\endgroup\$ – Redwolf Programs Apr 18 '18 at 1:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not being able to use e is not really that much of a big deal. Even in C you can get around it easily. (It would prevent you from returning values from functions, but you could just use pass by reference instead.) So that restriction wouldn't really add much to the challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathaniel Apr 18 '18 at 8:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now that strings are forbidden, one could just create a huge variable whose name is all the alphanumeric characters twice. This is the bane of any longes code that... challenge. Consider adding some more interesting restrictions. \$\endgroup\$ – Asone Tuhid Apr 18 '18 at 14:35

[Posted, but reference kept]

Given a function with boolean inputs a1, ..., an and a boolean output, output an array of numbers 0 to n satisfying:

For each item in the truth value, if (from the array you output, we repeatedly remove two adjacent numbers x and y satisfying that, for each integer n between x+0.5 and y+0.5, an=1), we can get an empty result array iff the given function's output is 1. You can assume the result exist.

Sample input:

a[1] a[2] result
0    0    0
0    1    0
1    0    0
1    1    1

Sample output: 0 2

Sample input:

a[1] a[2] result
0    0    0
0    1    1
1    0    1
1    1    1

Sample output: 0 1 2 0 1 2

Sample input:

a[1] a[2] result
0    0    1
0    1    1
1    0    1
1    1    1

Sample output: (empty)

shortest code win, but optimizing running time and result length is encouraged(I won't accept but I may upvote)

You may check your answer here

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The spec makes absolutely no sense to me. What does it mean to remove a number from a truth table? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Apr 25 '18 at 12:13
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Still makes no sense. Maybe if you give a detailed worked example I would be able to reverse engineer the spec and propose some changes to the wording. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Apr 25 '18 at 14:59

Write a function that takes compares each pair of adjacent items and swaps them if they are in the wrong order. The pass through the list is repeated until no swaps are needed, which indicates that the list is sorted.

Static visualization of bubble sort and a gif explanation.

Bubble sort explanation Bubble sort gif

The steps go from left to right. At each stage, an exchange is made. The darkest color has the most value and finds its final place (bottom) first.

The rules

  • The function must take a list of integers that shall be sorted (less than 20 elements)

  • The function must print each step of the sort.

  • Yes, built-in Bubble sort algorithms are permitted.

  • No, you can not assume only positive integers or unique integers.

  • It's so the shortest code wins!

Test cases

input list
5 4 3 1 2
1 2 3 5 4
11 4 2 1 5


Add an interpreter so the submission can be tested. It is allowed to write this interpreter yourself for a previously unimplemented language.


It's my first code-golf idea I'm fully open to improving it with more experienced users if I missed something.

This is not a duplicate of Bubble sorting in progress.

Thanks to @Erik the Outgolfer for encouraging me to post my idea in the sandbox.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you add one walked-through example? I.e. show each pass. \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Jun 20 '18 at 13:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ You note it isn't a duplicate of the in-progress bubble sort, but what distinguishes it from Golf me a bubble sort, which was closed as a dupe of that? \$\endgroup\$ – Geobits Jun 20 '18 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Geobits This was not a dup but unclear. \$\endgroup\$ – DIDIx13 Jun 20 '18 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here's my c# non-golfed solution : dotnetfiddle.net/ZFkl5y \$\endgroup\$ – DIDIx13 Jun 20 '18 at 14:01
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ You claim it's not a duplicate of codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/92753 but you don't adduce any argument to support that claim, and I can't see any significant difference. (The upper limit is a trivial difference IMO). \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jun 21 '18 at 6:14

Once, I thought of this. Rules:

1: You must make a fractal that looks like the specified thing.

2: One thing per round.

3: Algorithms are rated by two scores: Resemblance and Compactness. The one that gets the highest scores wins!

4: Only I can tell what thing must be made.

5: Only one entry per user. Do not plagiarize.

6: One may code in anything they wish.

7: Have fun!

Round 1: Squidward's head!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Erchh! OK OK Remove the PM stufs. didnt know \$\endgroup\$ – Ikura Jul 31 '18 at 0:12
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ On this site, winning criteria has to be objectively defined. (by tradition, I have to admit... there is popularity-contest (read the tag info page for more details), but if you really want to make a pop-con, be careful) "Resemblance" is quite... subjective, unless you can define an objective formula. Also, what is a fractal exactly? \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Jul 31 '18 at 4:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ For example, how many points would I score if I just made the initial fractal look like the image and have it spiral inwards? What is the objective formula of Compactness/Resemblance \$\endgroup\$ – Jo King Jul 31 '18 at 6:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ A fractal is a shape that recurses. It has copies of itself in it. Analyze the Mandelbrot set, you'll see mandelbrots in mandelbrots. What is a pop-con? Sounds like a soda convention. I'd love to go there! JK \$\endgroup\$ – Ikura Jul 31 '18 at 14:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @user202729, experts are unable to agree on the definition of a fractal. That aside, this looks more like a forum game than a good fit for this site. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jul 31 '18 at 14:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, popularity? No. No voting. I will work on my formula, with a new parameter: Mandelbrottiness, which is more or less Goldilocks. \$\endgroup\$ – Ikura Jul 31 '18 at 14:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I attempted doing this on Encyclopedia Spongebobia, then went here. \$\endgroup\$ – Ikura Jul 31 '18 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then maybe a Stack Exchange for off-topic? \$\endgroup\$ – Ikura Jul 31 '18 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ikura There are no such SE site, because it would generate low-quality content. Try Quora or Reddit... \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Jul 31 '18 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ergo! Goin' to the Kongregate Off-topic forum! \$\endgroup\$ – Ikura Jul 31 '18 at 18:48

This question is a simplified description of the requirement described at Permutations to the nines

Given input integer (minimum) where the first digit is always 1 and the adjacent digits are increasing in value, e.g.,





with the ability to handle up to the integer


where the maximum integer is always the input integer in reverse order, e.g.,







Return a list (array) of each number between the input minimum and maximum integer which satisfies three conditions

  1. the resulting integer list item includes only the individual numbers comprising the input number
  2. the resulting integer list item does not contain any duplicate individual digits
  3. the resulting integer list item is greater than the preceding integer list item and not greater than a following integer in the list

Test cases

Valid list items

12 -> [21] // done

123 -> [132,213,231,213,312,321] // done

Invalid list items

12345 -> 12344 // contains duplicate digits in whole number

123456789 -> 13256789 // not the next integer by increasing numeric value order

123456789 -> 987654322 // greater than maximum integer and duplicate digits

Winning criteria

The algorithm which uses the least amount of operations to compute the complete resulting list of items.


123 -> 123+5+4=132 // two mathematical computations

123 -> 123+9=132 // one mathematical computation (winning criteria)

(@JoKing suggested fastest-algorithm tag; math and code-challenge tags are also applicable)

  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor Pared down version of the original question. \$\endgroup\$ – guest271314 Oct 8 '18 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Am not as yet well-versed in Big-O notation. If the phrase "the least amount of operations to compute the complete resulting list of items" can be translated into Big-O notation, kindly suggest and edit the language used in the question. We are not interested in code length (this is not a code-golf question), but rather, that the code produces the expected result in the fewest, or least amount of total computational operations. \$\endgroup\$ – guest271314 Oct 8 '18 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, so if I understand the challenge, you give me a number N. I need to generate a list of numbers between N and M, where M = reverse(N). Each number in the list cannot have duplicate digits, can only consist of digits in N, and must be in strictly increasing order. Is this correct? \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Oct 8 '18 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Assuming my above comment is correct: 1. Why is 123456789 -> 13256789 invalid, as the maximum is 987654321, which is bigger than 13256789? 2. You need a list of all possible operations. 3. Use the word digit when referring to the individual parts of a number. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Oct 8 '18 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill Yes. Originally included using only the number 9 within the prerequisite criteria, though that inclusion appears to be challenging in itself to explain how the single number 9 can be employed to derive all list items. You are correct about 123456789 -> 13256789 being invalid. Was attempting to include invalid examples and to indicate that 13256789 should not be the next integer in the list following 123456789; the list should be in order from least to greatest integers. Ok, will use the term digit. \$\endgroup\$ – guest271314 Oct 8 '18 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thinking about this more, there's a really simplified way to describe this: You want the all permutations of the digits of N in strictly increasing order. Permutation \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Oct 8 '18 at 19:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill Yes, that is one way to put it. From perspective here, we are trying to use a number - the indexes of the initial input as a whole number - to generate all lexicographic permutations by using only math and the initial number (the current number) to do so. No loops, swaps, recursion, etc. Which am able to achieve using the code at the linked question, though the approach used there adds 9 to the initial (current) number. The challenge is to reduce the mathematical operations necessary to achieve the result - is at all possible. \$\endgroup\$ – guest271314 Oct 8 '18 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think describing it that way will make this challenge much clearer. Also, to be a fastest-algorithm, you really need to list all possible operations. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Oct 8 '18 at 19:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill "I think describing it that way will make this challenge much clearer." Well, did that exhaustively in the linked question - with links to OEIS and previous inquiries which lead to here PPCG for context - which was closed due to "unclear what you are asking" votes codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/173145/31257, codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/16959. Posted this version of the question as users appear to not gather the original, more detailed question. Is this question codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/a/16961/31257 clear to you? \$\endgroup\$ – guest271314 Oct 8 '18 at 19:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ No. That question is much too long. I don't think it is the word "Permutation" killing you there, it's everything else. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Oct 8 '18 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill Well, here we are back to square 1. "too long" is a subjective measurement, though have been advised that users actually do have some means to time the "read" of a question, which will more than likely never do, here. This question is the bare minimum, and yet you suggest including more details. Cannot glean every individual users' idea about what is "too long" or does not include enough details. Perhaps somewhere in the middle that am as yet unable to reach. If a user takes the time to read the original question without protesting the length thereof - the details are there. \$\endgroup\$ – guest271314 Oct 8 '18 at 19:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill What edits to the original question or this question do you suggest? \$\endgroup\$ – guest271314 Oct 8 '18 at 19:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ All of the close reasons are subjective: "Unclear" is subjective, "Off-topic" is subjective, etc. I can give a full analysis of the other post, but I'd rather focus on this one. My first suggestion is to get rid of most of the requirements in favor of all permutations of the digits of N in strictly increasing order. The second thing you need to do is define what "operation" means. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Oct 8 '18 at 19:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "The requirement is to add, subtract, divide, multiply, or use other mathematical procedure, the number 9 to the current number to generate the next number" is (a) not anywhere that I can see in the text of the requirements; and (b) an non-observable requirement, as described in the link I posted of things to avoid when asking questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Oct 11 '18 at 7:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A requirement is only observable if you can verify it given a black box implementation, so I don't see how any code snippet can demonstrate that it is observable unless it's a test framework which verifies it by black-box testing. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Oct 11 '18 at 7:30

All numeric substrings

I like numbers. Really, really, like numbers. If you give me a string with numerals in it, I want to get all the numbers out of it that I can.


A string.


Every numeric substring, in any order, but only one of each. Numeric here means anything with Unicode General Category Nd (because I'm no xenophobe).


Any reasonable format. But languages that don't allow for multibyte-character I/O should use some numeric or other representation.

Test cases

(input → one ordering of the correct output)

  • 1212 → [1212, 121, 212, 12, 21, 1, 2]
  • 123٤٥6 ‪→ [1, 2, 3, ٤,‪ ٥, 6, 12, 23, 3٤,‪ ٤٥,‪ ٥6,‪ 123, 23٤,‪ 3٤٥,‪ ٤٥6,‪ 123٤,‪ 23٤٥,‪ 3٤٥6,‪ 123٤٥,‪ 23٤٥6,‪ 123٤٥6]‪
  • 12t45 → [1, 2, 4, 5, 12, 45]
  • abc → []
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoKing, thanks, done. \$\endgroup\$ – msh210 Feb 27 '19 at 5:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not convinced by this challenge. To me, it essentially boils down to filtering a unicode string on a character-by-character level, followed by generating all substrings of non-split substrings of the original string. Is ‪٥6 supposed to have any semantic meaning or are those simply two unicode characters? \$\endgroup\$ – Jonathan Frech Mar 2 '19 at 4:36

Fastest prime printer up to 500,000,000 with gapes

Write a program that takes no input and prints the first 26,355,867 prime numbers, from 2 to 499,999,993 inclusively. Or in other words, print all the prime numbers smaller the 500,000,000.

The fastest code wins!

Since it will take a long time to print all the numbers, print only every 26355 primes starting with 2 separated by a new line. So the output should look like this:


The output should not be hardcoded, or there is no fun in it.

The results will be tested on my machine, so please also output in the last line how long it took to run the program and give me some instructions about how to run it locally. I will then share the last line output with you that should contain the time it took to run.

Here is my machine system specs, note that it's Windows.

enter image description here

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Can be trivially hard coded. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Aug 4 '20 at 2:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Also it's going to be nearly instantaneous, and might be duplicate of some existing (not sure about this part) \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Aug 4 '20 at 2:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ tnx @user202729, I edited the question \$\endgroup\$ – Ilya Gazman Aug 4 '20 at 2:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A [kolmogorov-complexity] challenge won't work as [fastest-code]. The fastest solution will be a huge puts in C or C++. "The output should not be hardcoded" is not objective (for example, what stops me from storing 2p for each prime in the output?). \$\endgroup\$ – the default. Aug 4 '20 at 2:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mypronounismonicareinstate how about asking for the code size to be smaller than the output size? So such methods would not be possible? \$\endgroup\$ – Ilya Gazman Aug 4 '20 at 2:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @IlyaGazman okay, then I can do something like that but with the numbers stored in binary, or computed at compilation time. \$\endgroup\$ – the default. Aug 4 '20 at 2:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, how about that I ask your program or a library your program is using to have a code that checks for prime numbers? Something like: "You program can only print numbers that it tested to be primes" \$\endgroup\$ – Ilya Gazman Aug 4 '20 at 3:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Okay, then my program can also run a primality test on them before printing. I also wonder if the sieve of Eratosthenes counts. This requirement is unobservable. \$\endgroup\$ – the default. Aug 4 '20 at 5:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the idea of doing every k'th prime that programs would otherwise be limited on time printing for all the primes rather than computing them? \$\endgroup\$ – xnor Aug 4 '20 at 8:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor printing 26 million primes take a ridiculously long time \$\endgroup\$ – Ilya Gazman Aug 4 '20 at 10:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another issue is that the run time is so fast (the C++ sieve answer (I think) takes only less than a second to run) that it's going to be hard to accurately measure the runtime. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Aug 4 '20 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 that I would like to see! I bet you can't get it run below 2 seconds \$\endgroup\$ – Ilya Gazman Aug 4 '20 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is essentially a duplicate of your earlier challenge, with the rather trivial modification of introducing gaps. As for your sense of how long it takes to print 26 million primes, you are mistaken. My submission on your earlier challenge printed all 26 million of them in under a minute on my laptop. The (now-deleted) C++ answer was even faster. \$\endgroup\$ – Dingus Aug 5 '20 at 1:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is heavily downvoted and will require a great deal of work and specification to get to a point where it'd be considered on-topic on main. Furthermore, as other users have pointed out, this appears to be a duplicate of an existing challenge. If you don't intend to post this, would you mind editing this post down and deleting it in order to save space? \$\endgroup\$ – caird coinheringaahing Sep 25 '20 at 0:47

Mystery Numbers Challenge

Here are some sample inputs and outputs:


Test 1

Input: 102
Output: 10404 1061208 14002414191924244276669361796022272

Test 2

Input: 10
Output: 100 100000

Test 3

Input: 50
Output: 2500 312500000 312500000


If there are two inputs, here are the corresponding inputs and outputs:

Test B1



Output: 144 248832 248832

Test B1



Output: 81 729 59049 4782969 31381059609


If you pass all bonuses too, feel free to third your score. Also add a * to the end.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe you should add kolmogorov-complexity, as if you don't explain how those outputs are generated you need to find the shortest way to generate these. Also how does the program need to preform on stuff not defined? \$\endgroup\$ – Command Master Dec 31 '20 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems not to be a serious submission but if it is, 'I'm not outlining what the program should do' is problematic. How does one write any program without an outline of what it should do? \$\endgroup\$ – Dingus Dec 31 '20 at 22:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dingus There are sample inputs and outputs. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone Jan 1 at 20:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Questions involving hidden patterns and bonuses are discouraged here. If there's no hidden pattern and these are just random outputs, then the challenge is just compressing those output numbers and using the input as an index, which isn't very interesting. \$\endgroup\$ – water_ghosts Jan 1 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone Yes, I can see that. What should the code do for inputs of 1, -123456.789, or abcdefg? \$\endgroup\$ – Dingus Jan 1 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some kind of non-array-like output that indicates an error. I haven't thought of that. (Also, this is my first ever question, so it's likely garbage.) \$\endgroup\$ – Someone Jan 2 at 18:44

Make a search engine!


You are now the first employee of DuckDuckGoogle, a company founded by a Google employee and a DuckDuckGo employee! They have a new vision for search engine! But obviously, they need to make a search engine first! However, they are bad programmers (nobody knows how they were even hired at DuckDuckGo and Google!). So you are assigned the task of making a search engine.

Search engines

There are three parts to a search engine, a web crawler, an indexer, and a searcher.

The web crawler takes a link, and saves the page and stores the page data (the HTML code). It then looks for links in the page and visits those webpages and does the same. It will continue to do this until there are no more links left.

The web indexer will take the text from each page, take each word, and add it to a dictionary of words and the pages it is associated with. If the word is already in the dictionary, it adds the page as a value of that word that is found in the page. For example, lets say www.example.com/index.html contains the text "hello. thanks! goodbye." and the ww.example.com/index.html is linked to www.example.com/hello.html with the. text "hello. goodbye." The crawler would extract the text from the index.html, and find hello.html, and extract the text from hello.html. The indexer would make a dictionary like this:

dictionary ={"hello.": ["www.example.com/index.html","ww.example.com/hello.html"], "goodbye.":["www.example.com/index.html","ww.example.com/hello.html"], "thanks!": ["ww.example.com/index.html"]}

The simplest part of the search engine is the searcher, or retriever. It simply retrieves the value for the search term (i.e. the list of pages the search term is found in) and prints it. That is the final result of the program. So if the search term is "hello.", the program will print ["www.example.com/index.html","ww.example.com/hello.html"]

Now, here is the difficult part. You must take into account punctuation. So "hello" returns the same as "hello." Also the search engine should be case-insensitive. So "Hello" is the same as "hello", which, as we said, is the same as "hello." which was ["www.example.com/index.html","ww.example.com/hello.html"]


The challenge is to write a search engine in the least number of bytes as possible. Why? Because your bosses have decided to use 90% of the one hard drive they have (budget problems!) for the Holy Grail part of their project and you only get 10%.


  1. The input is the "seed", a url at which the crawler should start at, and also the search term.
  2. The output is a list of webpage urls where the search term is found.
  3. The program cannot use builtins for a search engine or even a crawler (or related, like a scraper or spider library).
  4. No need to worry about Javascript at all. Assume that the pages will not have Javascript.
  5. The webpages are assumed to have HTML 4.0.1 Strict.


I am pretty sure people know how search engines work. So I will only include two testcases. You can use the websites in the testcases for testing purposes as well.

> "https://www.udacity.com/cs101x/index.html" "crawl"

> "https://www.udacity.com/cs101x/urank/index.html" "hummus"
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The first bonus doesn't make sense, as the terms localhost and @PHASE COME BACK WE ARE YOUR FRIEEEEENDS, just themselves, are 49 bytes. The language would need to do string-delimiter/comparison/output all in one character. ... Separately, how many iterations does the search need to travel? Meaning, if index1.html has a link to index2.html which has a link to index3.html which ... has a link to indexN.html, what's the limit on N? \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork Jan 13 '16 at 13:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ 1. I don't even understand what the second bonus is trying to say. 2. What syntax should we assume? Do we need to handle tag soup, or can we refuse to index pages which aren't valid XHTML? Do we need to support JS execution which affects the page content, web components, etc.? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jan 13 '16 at 14:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ What counts as "visible text"? If there is white text on a white background, is that considered invisible? If there is another element stacked on top of the text, is that invisible? What if it is only visible on odd days of the month (because of some JavaScript)? If I have to scroll inside of a scroll pane in order to see it, is that considered visible? \$\endgroup\$ – Rainbolt Jan 13 '16 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can we assume that all links on the page will be valid links? If not, how should we handle errors like HTTP 404 (Not Found)? \$\endgroup\$ – Rainbolt Jan 13 '16 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rainbolt all links are assumed to be valid. \$\endgroup\$ – TanMath Jan 13 '16 at 20:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TimmyD I didn't take "localhost" into account and now the bonus will be -75 bytes. Also, do you really think a limit on N is needed? \$\endgroup\$ – TanMath Jan 13 '16 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor syntax will be regular HTML.No need to handle JS. What I am saying in thr second bonus is that you would need to build a search engine that only puts text within the paragraph element (i.e. no tags will be counted as words) in the index. Also, other tags like <b> cannot be counted as words although it is part of the paragraph element. \$\endgroup\$ – TanMath Jan 13 '16 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rainbolt visible text, for the sake of simplicity will be anything in the paragraph element. \$\endgroup\$ – TanMath Jan 13 '16 at 20:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ So only text in <p> elements should be counted? Text in titles etc should be ignored? (And what is "regular" HTML?) \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jan 13 '16 at 20:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor HTML 4 will be "regular" HTML (since HTML5 has to still work dominating the world!) although thst reslly wouldn't affect the crawling that much. The paragraph, preformatted text, and header will be counted as visible text. \$\endgroup\$ – TanMath Jan 13 '16 at 20:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ "HTML 4" still isn't very precise. Can answers require input to be conforming HTML 4.01 Strict? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jan 13 '16 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor ok. \$\endgroup\$ – TanMath Jan 13 '16 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ This sandbox post has had little activity in a while and little positive reception from the community. Please improve / edit it or delete it to help us clean up the sandbox. \$\endgroup\$ – programmer5000 Jun 9 '17 at 14:13

Calculate Hello World!

Your goal is to calculate the simple string "hello world" or any other variant.


  • You may not use the characters in this set (inside your code): hHeElLoOwW rRdD!, in any form (character codes, hex codes, etc. not allowed) [only applies for direct use].
  • Your program may not take any input from any source.
  • Your program may only print hello world or any other variant to standard output (for your language). Again, it may not print anything else.
  • Standard loopholes apply (to clarify, they are not forbidden).
  • This challenge is underhanded.
  • Your program may not use any built-in string of printable characters (for example, string.printable in Python).
  • I recommend you be creative.

Remember, this is ! Have fun!

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ This is a trivial variant on stuff which has been done to death. It's also a Do X without Y question with obvious loopholes. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jun 12 '16 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Peter, I wrote this for creativity. I wanted to see the community's creative answers. \$\endgroup\$ – user36215 Jun 12 '16 at 21:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is not creative even remotely. I would even go as far as saying this is a duplicate of antoher challenge \$\endgroup\$ – Bálint Jun 12 '16 at 22:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Underhanded contests are off topic by community consensus. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Jun 14 '16 at 3:19

Letter Grade Challenge

Create a program that allows the user to input an int between 1 and 100, then grades that number based on standard US letter grades, printing the grade character as a result. Please use Java for this challenge, and like usual code golf challenges, the smallest answer (bytes) wins. For example, if input is 90, then you display A.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to PPCG and thank you for sandboxing. Please include the exact cut-off points. Is the input an integer or a floating point? Are the extremes included or excluded. We generally frown on language-specific challenges. Do you have any particular reason for restricting answers to Java? \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Feb 28 '18 at 23:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't restrict which languages you can use. All it does is keep people who don't know Java from answering your past. Also, you should include the definition of the letter grade scale in your challenge, rather than along readers to look it up. \$\endgroup\$ – Pavel Feb 28 '18 at 23:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't need to include the clause about multiple files. At PPCG, we include all necessary code in the byte-count. \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Feb 28 '18 at 23:13
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ What are "standard US letter grades"? \$\endgroup\$ – Shaggy Feb 28 '18 at 23:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ 90-100: A; 89-80: B; 79-70: C; 69-60: D; 59-0: F \$\endgroup\$ – OCDkirby Mar 1 '18 at 0:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pavel Sorry about that. I saw a few people posting python only challenges a while back, so I assumed specific languages are the norm. \$\endgroup\$ – OCDkirby Mar 1 '18 at 0:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @OCDkirby >_> Because people did that more often "A while back" doesn't mean it's still the norm, just look at the questions on the main page \$\endgroup\$ – ASCII-only Mar 1 '18 at 0:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's several years back. What was on-topic several years back can be off-topic now. Remember to see the timestamp. /// Stack Overflow has the same problem: see this (first revision). Now the title is not valid. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Mar 1 '18 at 3:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please edit necessary information into the post. / Some example I/O please? \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Mar 1 '18 at 3:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Probable dupe \$\endgroup\$ – Jo King Mar 1 '18 at 5:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoKing They use different letter grades. There is no 'E' in this grading system, and the number value requirements are different. \$\endgroup\$ – OCDkirby Mar 1 '18 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OCDkirby But still, if the algorthm on the other question can be adapted for this question with small modification, it's considered a dupe. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Mar 2 '18 at 7:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 Is editing every condition in an if statement and removing one condition considered a "small modification"? \$\endgroup\$ – OCDkirby Mar 2 '18 at 14:37

Shortest Possible 240 Sided Die Program: Using No Constant Greater than 6

Have you ever played Yahtzee with a 240-sided die? No, probably not. Anyway, I came up with the idea of a 240-sided die program, but to make it hard, you cannot use a constant with an absolute value greater than 6. For example, randInt(1,240) wouldn't work. The chances of any number 1-240 must be completely equal, and using expressions that represent numbers with an absolute value larger than 240 is not allowed. For example, randInt(1,4*6*2*5) is against the rules, since 4*6*2*5 evaluates to 240. Standard loopholes prohibited, and you're code golfing.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – James Apr 27 '18 at 20:19

I recently made a language called bit, and your challenge is to create a valid program that takes 2 numbers from STDIN, and outputs the sum of them. You may assume the numbers are no more than 5 digits, and your output doesn't need to be more than 5 digits long

Bit Specification

You can find the specification and an interpreter at the GitHub repo

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a reference interpreter or compiler? How can we test a solution? \$\endgroup\$ – qwr Sep 7 '18 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @qwr I do, in Java, should I add it to the question? \$\endgroup\$ – FireCubez Sep 7 '18 at 21:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes it's very helpful \$\endgroup\$ – qwr Sep 7 '18 at 22:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @qwr Actually how am I going to do that, the file isn't online anywhere \$\endgroup\$ – FireCubez Sep 7 '18 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ You may just paste the java code in your question, or even better link a TIO script (tio.run/#java-openjdk) so people can run it online \$\endgroup\$ – qwr Sep 9 '18 at 5:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @qwr It's much more than 1k lines of code, and multiple classes, however I have a GitHub now, added to question \$\endgroup\$ – FireCubez Sep 9 '18 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok that suggests to me the problem may be too long. Others may feel differently \$\endgroup\$ – qwr Sep 9 '18 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @qwr Not really, Java code tends to be long, there's no problem in that \$\endgroup\$ – FireCubez Sep 10 '18 at 18:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well the meta here is for challenges that don't feel arbitrary, and to me this is leaning towards an arbitrary list of commands for your own personal language. \$\endgroup\$ – qwr Sep 10 '18 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @qwr So you think the idea is bad? \$\endgroup\$ – FireCubez Sep 10 '18 at 21:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't call it bad, which is a pretty broad term, but challenges that are easy to understand and conceptualize are generally better received and get more responses (if that is what you want) \$\endgroup\$ – qwr Sep 11 '18 at 20:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unrelated: Github is generally for hosting source code and packages/binaries like .jar (these can be included in releases) \$\endgroup\$ – qwr Sep 11 '18 at 20:11
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If you posted this it would likely get closed as a dupe of Add two numbers. Instead of posting this, I'd recommend just submitting solutions in Bit yourself and seeing if anyone else is interested \$\endgroup\$ – Jo King Sep 13 '18 at 8:02

Count up to N without math or inbuilds


The challenge is the following: count from 0 up to N without using mathematical operations or other (counting, list or whatever) inbuilds. You handle the incoming number N as a string on which you can't apply mathematical operations like addition or substraction for example. Also don't use list things like print [0..N] or something other inbuilt of your language. Counting inside arrays, for example at index x+1 or something like that to get position after another is allowed. But you must not apply any (mathematical) operations on the numbers between 0 and N itself.

Think that you are like a small child and don't know anything about maths. You only know: after 0 comes 1, after 1 comes 2 ... after 8 comes 9 and after 9 comes 0 and you have to "increment" the number in front of it.


  • So after the number 9 (with leading, but not outwritten zero) comes, you write zero and place the number 1 in front of it for 10.
  • For 19 you write 0 and "increment" the number in front to the next one, making it 20.
  • For 399 you do: last 9 goes to zero, 9 in front goes to 0 too and the 3 goes to 4, making it 400.


Write a function or program which takes N via the way you want to as its input.
Output the numbers from 0 up to N (element after element or once as a list)
Important: use a seperator as 01234567891011 will become unreadable with larger numbers

Test Case:

Taking a string of seperated numbers and your seperator, you can check your answer here.

Ah, and also don't forget that this is code-golf, so shortest answer in bytes will win. Also, all standard loophole rules and so on apply (you should know from all the other challenges!)


I hope this challenge has never been here, I did not found it while searching trough the already asked challenges (maybe I did not found it because I did not knew the correct english words to search for because english is not my first language). Thank you already in advance for helping to improve this challenge.


counting, code-golf

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for putting your first challenge into the Sandbox! Know that do-X-without-Y [are difficult to get right], and generally discouraged for those that do not have a lot of challenge writing experience. If all built-in language features are prohibited, then the challenge is obviously impossible, and if not, how will you decide what is and what isn't allowed for all languages. Please do not make assumptions about language features — there are odd languages out there. \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Jul 24 '19 at 6:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adám I see what you mean with built ins, but dont know how to specify it in other terms. i mean things like inbuild methods that automatically output from [0..N] wihtout doing anything as a programmer. What I want to see, is the numbers from 0 to N, each seen as a string with no mathematical operations on it. The counting should happen in a way of the "algorithm" of how small children (with no knowledge about mathematics) count, pattern matching stlye. A child sees the 1, takes the next known value 2 and that it is.,Is it understandable what I mean? \$\endgroup\$ – pixma140 Jul 24 '19 at 7:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sure it is clear what you want, but challenges must be unambiguous, and it must be possible to objectively judge if an answer is allowed or not. \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Jul 24 '19 at 7:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe instead you rephrase the challenge as: Given a list of digits, increment the number that they represent in base-10. This way, you can require that solutions handle inputs that are way too wide for normal integer representations. Of course, some languages have "infinite-precision" integers, but such solutions then just don't deserve upvotes for cleverness. \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Jul 24 '19 at 7:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adám - or is it possible to write it like: "'count' from 0 to N, but not by interpreting 0 to N as numbers, they are strings. you are a small child, you know nothing about arithmetics and you only know the word representations of numbers and what number comes after another by following rules. [...]". or does this still opens the possibility to use the numbers as integers for example? \$\endgroup\$ – pixma140 Jul 25 '19 at 5:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ That doesn't help, we'll just evaluate the string, find the range, then stringify the numbers. Also, if you prohibit arithmetic, how are we to add digits? With a lookup table? \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Jul 25 '19 at 6:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah that is what I want to achieve. The one solving the task needs to lookup what number comes after the one he is looking at (without doing calculus on the number itself). something like having a string all="01234567890" and with that you search for s in all and look at the next symbol (next symbol can be fetched with +1, this is allowed, but you are not allowed to add +1 to s directly). e.g. you have the number 5, you lookup the next number in all, which is 6, and so on. the "next" operation is something the child does intuitive, without knowing that this is an mathematical operation. \$\endgroup\$ – pixma140 Jul 25 '19 at 7:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ on top of that, there is one special case when going from most significant position of the number beeing a 9 to a 0 and adding a new 1 as most significant position. (9->10, 99->100, 999->1000 and so on ...). is that too simple? guess it can be interesting what kind of solution people come up on the lookup thing and special case optimization - @Adám \$\endgroup\$ – pixma140 Jul 25 '19 at 7:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Jul 25 '19 at 8:41

Smallest code to import in G++

Given some head files that need to import, return the shortest code to do so.

  1. You are allowed to access include/
  2. You should consider both #include <xxx> and #include "xxx"(used in e.g. backward/hash_set #include "backward_warning.h"), but not #import (std don't use #import)

Sample input ['string']

Sample output #import<map>


  1. What more assumption necessary? (#if don't effect imported heads?)
  2. Time limit necessary?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand what is the challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Apr 21 '18 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think tips questions have to go through the sandbox \$\endgroup\$ – Jo King Apr 24 '18 at 2:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 I do. C++ header files may include other header files. It's mostly implementation-specific. This person's <map> header happens to include <string> so if you want <string> it's shorter to include <map> instead. \$\endgroup\$ – user253751 Aug 24 '20 at 17:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user253751 ... that comment was made two years ago. I don't remember what it's about now. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Aug 25 '20 at 7:25

Merge two code in two languages into a polyglot.

E.g. If you choose C & Python 3, you can merge





#define print(x) main(){puts("a");}

(for it's hard to have a score on language difficulty, optimizy, etc.)

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This is way too broad as it is currently written. "Do X Creatively" is out of scope, even for popularity-contests. \$\endgroup\$ – AdmBorkBork May 17 '18 at 18:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AdmBorkBork It seems not a creatively challenge? though I don't vote it that high either \$\endgroup\$ – l4m2 May 17 '18 at 18:20

Delete or a file disapear as fast as possible!

Requirements to participate:

  • have a HDD hard drive, witch you will use to compete
  • Use Windows (version 7 or more recent) for this challenge.

Assume that you already know the file path. no input needed.

You can use any language you want for this challenge, but you will need to explain the logic in your code.

You will delete a 2GB file.

How do you win?

You win this challenge by creating a piece of code that can delete a file in the OS as fast as possible, the winner is the one with less time to delete a file.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This is a) too wide open to interpretation; b) far more dependent on the hardware than on the software. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor May 23 '17 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ so what? I say in the begining what the requirements to participate are, only the ones that match the requirements can participate, else the results will be so diferent i cant even evaluate @PeterTaylor \$\endgroup\$ – jeyejow May 23 '17 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ And what do you mean "wide open to interpretation?" @PeterTaylor \$\endgroup\$ – jeyejow May 23 '17 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ What does it mean to "make a file disappear"? If I unmount the disk, does that count? How about if I format the index block? Change the permissions so that I can no longer see it? Rename it? Toggle the disk header so that it seems to be a different filesystem and won't mount? Is rm acceptable, or do I need to shred? Can I insist on a filesystem of my choice (probably FAT)? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor May 23 '17 at 14:40

Worst language Ever

Let's find out the worst language.

Make a program that does anything that is shortest.

The worst language would be the longest of all.

I'll go with C first.

C (gcc), 15 bytes


Try it online!

It prints 1.

It does print something and it is the shortest code.

Swift 4, 8 bytes


Try it online!

It prints 2. It does print something that is shortest.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How would you define "does anything"? \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Jan 9 '18 at 4:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also it's nontrivial to verify whether a program is the shortest possible, unless you tried all programs shorter than that. \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Jan 9 '18 at 4:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Print anything except nothing. You can have an input \$\endgroup\$ – buttercrab Jan 9 '18 at 4:06
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ So this is a code-golf challenge which ask users to output anything? Isn't this too broad? I will let others to judge... \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Jan 9 '18 at 4:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Doing all of that, we can find the worst language. \$\endgroup\$ – buttercrab Jan 9 '18 at 4:13

Write the worst Hello World program you can [popularity-contest] [super rough]

Who needs conventions? Write the most terrible Hello World program you can think of. Inefficiency, spaghetti code, you name it. Add a few gotos here and there to spice it up. Write code that has gone against everything you've ever been taught.

Be creative. This isn't about obfuscation: it's about bad code quality. Try making up your own ways of writing inefficient or unadaptable code. Have fun!

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ VTC because of no winning criterion, objective or not. Needs some work. \$\endgroup\$ – Rɪᴋᴇʀ Feb 28 '16 at 2:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I suggest a code-bowling criterion, but this is still way too broad. \$\endgroup\$ – Addison Crump Feb 28 '16 at 2:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ As I said, it's super rough and needs a lot of work. \$\endgroup\$ – TheInitializer Feb 28 '16 at 2:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is essentially code trolling, which was deemed off topic a few years ago. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Mar 9 '16 at 1:13

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