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Stephen Turner
August 8, 2002 00:32
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Well, first, congratulations to Juho, the new Flying Finn, for a really
clever solution. So, the empty regexp lets $` escape. How did you discover
that? Was it a brilliant insight, did you already know it, or was it (more
likely, in my experience) a fluke born out of desparation? :-)

Congratulations to Eugene too for managing to find a 46 out of relatively 
"normal" elements!

And of course, congratulations to Ton and the other referees for a
well-designed and well-run competition. Interesting holes, solutions always
judged promptly, exciting races until the end, and by far the best test
script we've ever seen!

I thought when I first read the problems that the factorial would be much
shorter than the postorder (like 35 vs 70 or something), and that it would
be the postorder that sorted people out. As it turned out, the factorial was
only just shorter, and it was the factorial that sorted people out. (In 
fact, I was one of two players with postorder shorter than factorial. When
I told Ton this he said "That's because your factorial is so long". Ouch!)

In some ways the postorder reminded me of the anagrams in TPR(0,2). Partly
it's because they have been my two best holes, but it's more than that. I
think it's also the way that in both of them you could do much shorter
solutions than you think by sticking all the information in one big string
and letting a regexp sort it out. MTV's Lemma again.

In fact, in some ways the whole course was reminiscent of TPR(0,2) too, in
that all the leaders converged on much the same score, except that someone
doing something completely different and radical sneaked up on the outside
and left us all wondering how he'd got there.

Stephen Turner, Cambridge, UK
"This is Henman's 8th Wimbledon, and he's only lost 7 matches." BBC, 2/Jul/01

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