In the past few weeks, I suddenly recalled of an interesting problem I faced during my days in Competitive Programming world. It was called “Make*me-an+[integer!]“, a problem posted in Internet Problem Solving Contest 2015 problemset (link to problem)
The gist of the problem statement is as such:
Output a list of valid ECMA-262 expression of the number 0 to 1000 (inclusive) using only the characters !, [, ], +, –, and/or *, in which the correctness is determined by the value and the type of the expression itself.
For example, !! evaluates to the number 0 (this is a valid output), and +!!+[+] evaluates to string “10” (this is invalid, as the output type need to be evaluated as type number too).
The problem has two subtasks: the easy subtask is to produce the outputs where each expression uses no more than 200 characters; and the hard subtask limits the expression to use no more than 75 characters.
During the competition itself, I solved the easy subtask, but now I was quite interested in solving the hard subtask because … why not? Hahaha. In total, I spents around 2 weeks (including the many off days in between as I wasn’t in the mood for coding).
So, let’s get into the problem.