I'm just curious about any pure code golf questions (ie, not ones that build on other answers, just straight up, solve the problem with fewest bytes) where even the shortest golfed answers (especially in golf languages) are particularly long.

Do any problems stand out as ones that were particularly ungolfable? (Preferably not because they have large datasets which would need to be incorporated in the answers somehow...)

TL;DR: Of the pool of correct, shortest answers to a pure code golf non-kolmogorov-complexity problem, answered in a golf language, which are some of the longest?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Here's a JSON file with a bunch of vanilla code golf challenges, sorted by the average byte count of the shortest 50% of the answers (so things like a single Unary answer can't drag up the average). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 3:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, that's a useful start! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 3:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related. \$\endgroup\$
    – alephalpha
    Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 3:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's probably going to be a challenge where the only solution is in unary. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


I've found a couple of contenders depending on how you want to define things:

  • This answer1 2 by Conor O'Brien, is probably the longest "winner" of a code-golf challenge on the site, at 1354616599400377002855073561913010716386821416114463012 bytes of Lenguage. However this is probably because the question is closed and no more answers can be posted. So it feels a bit unfair.

  • This answer2 at 14716 bytes of Rust is the longest "winner" of an open code-golf challenge I (Bubbler) can remember right now. (It was at 38250 bytes before the answerer was told that the answer needs to show at least some effort to golf.)

  • This answer2 by JoKing at 1533 bytes of Lost is the longest well-golfed winner of an open-code-golf challenge that I could find that cannot be beaten by choosing to solve it in a golfier language. That's because the challenge is language restricted to Lost.

  • This answer1 by Dennis at 11682 bytes of Bash + sed is the longest well-golfed "winner" of an open code golf challenge I could find, where the challenge has multiple answers by other users.

  • This answer by Bubbler at 616 bytes of APL is the a "winner" of an open code-golf challenge. And if you consider APL to be a golfing language it is the longest "winner" in a golfing language found yet.

  • This answer1 by Dennis at 590 bytes of Pyth is the longest a "winner" of an open code-golf challenge in definitely a golfing language so far. Pyth is a 1st gen golfing language which tend to be a little longer than second and third gen languages.

  • This answer1 by Makonede at 428 bytes of 05AB1E is the longest "winner" of an open code-golf challenge in a second generation golfing language so far.

This is a community wiki, if you find better contenders in any of the categories or new cases, feel free to update the answer.

1: This answer is to a challenge.

2: This answer is the only answer on the challenge and wins simply by being valid.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks very much - I've done a bit of categorising and formatting \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 12:15

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