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A Holiday Puzzle from Primer

By John Bohannon
Posted December 20, 2021

It’s always an honor to be mentioned in MIT Tech Review. Even better when it is in the definitive story about Advent of Code, the annual holiday-themed programming puzzle contest. Like a traditional advent calendar, participants in the Advent of Code receive a daily gift—a programming puzzle which you race to solve—counting down the days to December 25th.

We’ve always had a puzzle-loving culture here at Primer. In the Before Times when we all worked together in a single office, a new mathematical puzzle would appear on the lunch table each week. It was always remarkable to see a group of people take a break from their busy days solving hard problems…to delight in solving another hard problem!

Here is a Primer puzzle we created for you to enjoy over the holiday.

Cheers from San Francisco!

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ACROSS
1: F-down honoree’s invention
5: Cat runme.py ⊢ print(open(__file__).read())
6: Second longest word in Moby Dick
B: K-down novel by J-across
C: Mighty source of coding solutions and failures
D: One god’s son’s mother’s famous singer namesake’s confirmation name
E: 3E8
H: The second S-across[::-1][1:]
I: GGGGAAGAAAAA translation, probably you
J: Author(BPM 37093 core + solar orbits since birth)
L: Chemical fear induced by 4-down
M: Given name of 5-across
O: Wikipedia’s founder’s wife’s former boss’s wife’s occupation’s South African equivalent
P: Total stopping time of collatz(21845)
Q: J-across’ Hackworth occupation
R: Third most common word in US constitution
S: “”.join([chr(i) for i in [80, 82, 73, 77, 69, 82]])
T: First-author affiliation of Erdős-Bacon 7’s arXiv paper


DOWN
2: Size of most famous set of 9-down
3: 700 THz
4: Another name for M-across[-4:]
7: Original L-across[-4:] of S-across
8: Today’s annoying version of Simpsons 2F05 NLP feature
9: Well-known canine of historical region south of Edison’s rival’s birthplace
A: Fearsome extinct member of N-down
E: Capital of “”.join([1-across(n) for n in [67, 60, 92, 88, 16]])
F: Name of actinide 1-across(2-down)
G: Most famous product of T-across
J: Vigenére(x, key = Q-across) ⊢ WBLBJEVV
K: Western cross street of J-across homophone Street in 7-down
N: Biden’s former boss’s wife’s alma mater’s mascot’s family