The final test problem is presented below. I won't apologize for the construction of the problem (nor listen to any complaints)! It could have been easier, or harder, or I could have run five different problems, or whatever. The problem was constructed before I ran any of the entries on it, so it was not "tuned" in any way - and it satisfied MY criteria of attempting to exercise many of the trickeries I became aware of through the competition. I'll provide SOME explanation before you are given the final problem.

Link to file containing ONLY the final problem


In general, I constructed a 19x72 letter grid by choosing smaller
rectangles of letters and pasting them together.  Then I filled
in some longer phrases, some smaller phrases, and finally filled
in the remaining open spaces with small words and random letters.

The following are ramblings about the individual sections ...

BBBBBBBBBBBBB
BANANAAANANAB
BANANANANANAB
BANANAAANANAB
BANANANANANAB
BANANAAANANAB
BBBBBBBBBBBBB
BANANA

11696 Bananas are in this bunch ...

BBBBBB   BBBBBB
       B
BANANA A ANANAB
BANANA N ANANAB
BANANA A ANANAB
BANANA N ANANAB
BANANA A ANANAB

BBBBBB B BBBBBB

A human could possibly pick 11 bananas out of
this bunch fairly quickly ... while a program
that attempts to look at every possible combination
may choke unless it worries about cases like this.

So, says I, might as well use a little section of the
final problem to REALLY create some havoc ... 

AAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAAAAA

there are 646468 possible "AAAAAA" strings in this nugget.
I figure I was very kind to only devote a small segment
of the final problem to this sort of ugliness.
The 91 A's can fairly easily create 15 "AAAAAA" strings,
and they will all score the same - so it really doesn't
matter which you pick.  Again - this might be easier for
a human than the average program!

(side problem ... n by m grid of "A"s ... how many different
	strings of length k can be found? )

After a bit of reflection, I decided that a simple block
like this might be too easy for the "use the first solution
I find" entries ... so I messed it up a bit.

Well, I started with a block    ABAAAAAAAAAAA
of all "A" but then I decided   AACAAAAAAAABA
to put in some other letters    AAADAAAAAACAA
to make it a little less clear  AAAAEAAAADAAA
where the strings of A's were.  AAAAAFGAEAAAA
Did this make it easier or      AAAAAHGFAAAAA
harder???  I don't know!        AAAAAAAHAAAAA

One more "block of letters to discuss ....

MAMMADQNACQQQ
QAMAAMAMIMAMQ
QQDADLIMANADA
QQQAPAADAAAMM
MQQQMAMMDLPAA
ADAMCINIMADAN
AMIAAPMAMAANA
ADNNLALAMAMMP
MAAAPDMIDADAL
MMNAANAPLACAN
AAAMAMAANAMAM

MADAMIMADAM
AMANAPLANACANALPANAMA

Woven deep within this section are phrases which are the same
when read backward as forward ... 
	"Madam, I'm Adam."	and
	"A man, a plan, a canal:  Panama"

After these three blocks I went ahead and put in a bunch of
phrases and words ... then I added some random words to the
wordlist and put everyone to work on it.  Was it good?  Was
it bad???   Who knows ... but it IS over!!!
=Fred

Link to file containing ONLY the final problem

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