THE POTM	(Programmer/Puzzle/Problem Of The Month)

The POTM presents a programming problem to the community at large and
 provides a set of criteria on which the entry will be judged.  A deadline
 is set and a winner is deduced from the entries sent.  An award is made
 and the winner becomes famous.

The competition is open to anyone who finds out about the contest.

	(have some fun for a change .....)

(For those of you who are new to POTM, we have found it necessary to be very
 explicit in the rules - people like to find loopholes and exploit them.
 Thus, the description below is inordinately long - at least read the first
 section to figure out if you think this would be fun!)

======================== POTM 93-1 ==================================

TASK:  You must provide a program that plays the following game:

	When provided with a number (say 257), your program may
	subtract one of the digits (either 2, 5, or 7) from that
	number and output the total (in this case 255, 252, or 250).

	Your objective is to avoid having to output zero (0) when
	competing with another similar program.  If you output a zero
	you will lose the game between the programs.

=================== End of simple description - read on for details!

SAMPLE COMPETITION:  Assume there are two entries a.out1 and a.out2.
	The game will be started with a random number, say 27.  The
	play might progress as follows:

	27 -> a.out1 -> 20 -> a.out2 -> 18 -> a.out1 -> 17 -> a.out2 -> 16
	   -> a.out1 -> 10 -> a.out2 ->  9 -> a.out1 ->  0

	In which case a.out1 loses (since it output a zero) and a.out2 wins.

FURTHER CLARIFICATION OF THE RULES OF PLAY:
	a) at each step the program must take the input, subtract a 
		non-zero digit (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, or 9), and output the result
	b) The digit subtracted MUST be a digit in the number presented
	c) All numbers and operations are decimal
	d) The starting number will be less than 100,000
	e) if the input is zero or negative, then the output should be zero
		(just to be complete - this should never occur)



JUDGING OF ENTRIES:
	a) all entries will be tested to insure rules are followed.  If
		errors are found, you get a second chance if there is
		time before the deadline
	b) one entry per person - entries may be improved upon but only
		the last submission is eligible for the POTM
	c) entries must be received at homxb by midnight of 01/31/93
		(no exceptions!)
	d) entries will play against one another in matches.  Each entry
		will play one match with every other entry.  A match
		consists of 2N games.  Each contestant in a match will get 
		to go first with each of the N starting numbers.
	e) entries will be judged by the number of games won (non-losses).
		The more wins the better.  All entries will play the same
		number of matches since everyone will play everyone else.
	f) In the event of a tie, the winner will be the shortest a.out
		as determined by an ls -l of the executable.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS:

	a) The entry is an executable file, executable on homxb.  The source
		may be anything - I don't want it.  (If you work from
		another machine, you may send me the source and instructions
		on how to compile it and I'll give it a try - but leave
		plenty of time before the deadline!)  You may submit
		shell programs.

	b) The entry, say a.out, must accept a number from standard input
		and generate a number on standard output.  In other words,
		you should be able to do the following:

		echo 12345 | a.out | a.out | a.out | a.out 

	c) DO NOT NAME THE FILE a.out - name it something clever, but make
		sure it contains your login.

	d) uuto me the file at homxb!fah and send me some mail telling me
		who you are and what your program is called.
		< uuto filename homxb!fah >

	e) uuto file must arrive before midnight on January 31, 1993

=Fred
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