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"Surprise Me" mini-contest | Reply
My next blog post is an attempt at something new - a mini-contest which involves solving Qual 1 problem in a surprising way. Make sure to check it if your solutions to GCJ Qual are written in more than 4 different languages, or even if they are not ;-)

As usual this year, you can post discussion or ask for clarifications in this thread.
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
So, the contest is over, and I've received 6 entries for it. They are really nice, meaning I'll have a hard time picking the best one :-) The results will be up later this week (I just don't want you to think I've forgotten about this).
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
When exactly is "later this week"? I'm starting to get curious and would love to see al submissions :-)
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by jthread) | Reply
This particular instance of "later this week" is tomorrow, I promise.
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
The submissions and the results are up here.

Any comments on this contest? I have more Surprise Packs to give away, and at the moment I'm deciding whether I should run another similar contest or invent something completely different.
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
Wow, congratulations to bozzball, that's really a great way to solve the problem!
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
I enjoyed participating in this contest as well as seeing the variety of approaches people came up with. In general I would be happy with any contest that invites creativity and lateral thinking.

I imagine you could get some mileage out of running this particular type of contest again. For one thing, it would give bozzball a chance to defend his crown. It would also be interesting to see if the entries become more conservative or more outlandish on the second running of the experiment.
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
-- run another similar contest or invent something completely different

I vote for both.

Try as I might, I could not see how to make an FFT based solution for this problem (without presorting).
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
Perhaps next time you can allow everyone to vote for the winner.
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by dimkadimon) | Reply
Then we need more explanation, because it took me some time to understand and so appreciate some of the solutions.

I like to see another "surprise me". The various solutions are interesting to read.
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
The second contest of the series is up, this time with slightly different rules. Let's see if this one will be as surprising as the first one.
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
What is the definition of "letters" for this problem? Normally I think of only alphabetical characters as letters, but I suspect that you had more in mind.

What is included? digits? punctuation? white space?
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Rustyoldman) | Reply
I just assumed that in order to win one should interpret the rules in whatever manner makes it the most difficult to follow.
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Rustyoldman) | Reply
All non-whitespace characters (shame on me for not specifying this in the statement - evidently blogger part of me is more airy than problemsetter part).
Re: "Surprise Me" mini-contest (response to post by Nickolas) | Reply
The submission deadline is extended till June 20th (in your time zone), so as to include this weekend as well.
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