1. 26
  1.  

  2. 12

    This was a lot of fun last year, and I’m already enjoying it this year! Great way to test how fast you can get to an answer or try your hand at a new language.

    I like how the questions are designed. The examples aren’t there to give you a full spectrum of test cases at all, just to explain the idea of the question. This means you need to think about the edge cases and design from scratch. Then, when you finish, part 2 brings new requirements. This is a great test of the flexibility of your initial design to handle unexpected changes. Last year there were a couple of problems that I had to start over from scratch because my solution for the first part took some shortcuts or ended up just being too inflexible to build off of.

    1. 2

      Are you related to that Dykstra?

      1. 4

        No relation to any famous Dykstra/Dijkstra. Unfortunately in the case of the great Edswger, fortunately in the case of Lenny. It’s the most common Frisian surname, so there are a decent number of us. It’s not a single-origin surname, either, as there are many people “from the dyke” in Friesland.

    2. 12

      I’m happy to see this again. Last year, I used the puzzles to get more fluent in OCaml, and much more importantly, to take my mind off of a very stressful time – my six month old daughter needed to have open heart surgery over Christmas. This year, I’m going to use the puzzles to get more comfortable with basic Haskell, and give a million thanks that Rosemary’s prognosis from her cardiologist is “a long and happy life”.

      1. 3

        So happy for you that your daughter is doing well now!

        1. 3

          You’d never know that last year she was in the ICU. Medicine is astonishing, as is the ability of infants to heal.

          1. 1

            Beautiful kid, cheers to great doctors and good parents! :)

      2. 2

        There’s no way to see the puzzles without signing in?

        1. 2

          Yeah. Sorry man, I didn’t make it. :(

          1. 1

            It’s an awful UI. Try clicking on the slightly more bright text in the ASCII drawing, toward the bottom, with 1 on the far right.

            1. 2

              Oh, I got that far, to the point where there’s supposed to be a map to the easter bunny, but there’s only a link to a wikipedia page.

              I don’t care about high scores or the leaderboard or anything. But I get extremely hesitant to tying together online accounts. This is how my friends end up spamming me with “I listened to a song” posts on Facebook. It’s a security disaster.

              1. 2

                Upon logging in with something, you get to download an input file that’s formatted according to the directions shown in the problem. Each logged-in user gets their own generated input file (and therefore their own answer). There’s an option to hide your identity, so that you become (anonymous user #0123456789) instead of a link to your profile (such as if you manage to pop up on the leaderboard).

                And seeing as how reddit accounts are rather easily created and thrown away, you could make a reddit account (without an email address) for the sole purpose of this website… :P