The tough first Cook-Off of 2017

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We are of the opinion that the shorter format of programming contests is where the real challenge resides. Requiring immaculate precision and faster thinking, the shorter contests leave a very thin margin of error for the participants. Throw in a tough problem set and you have all the ingredients to make any programmer in the world nervous. And it is exactly what we experienced in the first Cook-Off of the year 2017 – the January Cook-Off 2017.

Although, to be fair, didn’t think that the problem set is so though that one of the problems will remain unsolved. It was only after the contest we found out that despite about 150 submissions, no one was able to crack UNGAME. Not very often we have had contests with one or more problem unsolved. If truth be told, we can’t even remember the last time we saw a contest with one problem unsolved. If you know one, do let us know in the comment section.

Contrary to the conclusion, the January Cook-Off 2017 had a flying start with LISDIGIT attracting the early birds and rewarding them with the green tick of happiness. Some early birds also took their chance with DIGITLIS, however, not many found rejoice they were looking for. The similarity in the name of the two problems “Digit Longest Increasing Subsequences” proved to be an excellent decoy for the participants luring them into believing that the DIGITLIS will also be as easy as LISDIGIT. Many participants even fell into the trap; however, soon they realized their mistake and moved towards Matrix Transformation.

However, such was the nature of the contest that moving to other problems in search of solace was futile. Neither Matrix Transformation nor Xor Grid was able to console the participants looking to solve some problems and strengthen their positions on the rank table in their race against the fast ticking clock. As we neared the end of the contest, it all came down to the nerves of the participants and who could contain them better. And as in any other situation, experience played a major part as uwi, ptnk131627, al13n, dreamoon4, and iafir secured the top 5 positions respectively. On the Indian rank table, harshil7924, AnonymousBunny, uhateme, vignesh_m, and praran26 made up for the top 5. However, except for uwi they all had at least 1 penalty against their name, marring their clear green stats with a hint of red. But we think that red number is what helps you evolve as a programmer. So, there is nothing wrong to have some penalties every now and then, as long as you are ready to work to eradicate them in the future contests.

Now, it’s time to meet all our winners from January Cook-Off 2017:

So, let’s start with the ROW top 10:

Now, the Indian top 5, all of whom you already would have met above:

A big round of applause for all our table toppers and for you all who participated in the contest!

After every contest, the first thing the participants look for is the editorials and if the contest is even a tad bit difficult, the editorials take precedence even over the post contest bathroom break after the contest. And the January Cook-Off 2017 by no means can be called an easy contest, so, let us take you to the editorials of the contest. We hope you will enjoy them, as much as we did serving them

We are sure you already would have gone through them as soon as the contest ended, but if you missed out on them for some reason, here they are for you.

With that we move to the final section of the blog, where we say goodbye and move towards the next post for the month, which in this case is January LunchTime 2017. And, while we pen down the tale of that contest, you do let us know your thoughts on the first Cook-Off of the year, whether the contest was up to your taste or a tad too hot to handle. You can write to us at:

So, in anticipation of your feedback and suggestion, it’s time to sign off.

See you at the contests.

– Rudreshwar
Team CodeChef

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