On Jun 10, 2005, at 8:17 AM, Gavin Kistner wrote:

> This looks like a fun problem and (as my past two quizzes have  
> shown) I'm not a great judge of time required for a problem,  
> but...is it really expected that the above should take 30-60  
> minutes for an average coder?

No, probably not.  The time "goal" is, and has always been, a rough  
guideline.  This time I'm probably stretching it a little, but we've  
also had quite a few easy quizzes lately, I think.  Last week's may  
have been the easiest one yet.

> Am I that slow to imagine that the above is 3-5 hours (at minimum)?

Your guess sounds a little high to me, but they may be because I'm a  
chess nut.

A chess game is basically defined by the moves of six pieces, many of  
which are trivial.  The King is the biggest challenge, because you  
need to look for check and checkmate, but that gives you the ending  
conditions as well.  Bishop and rook are no challenge at all and a  
queen is a bishop plus a rook, right?  A knight's movements are  
probably harder to teach a human than a computer.  The pawn is the  
only other piece that requires a little work, I think.  Do a little  
thinking before you code and my guess is that a good plan can be  
implemented a little faster than you think.

Beyond that, it's my opinion that this will be a really fun problem.   
You try to leave your solution open to next week's challenge and see  
how you fair.  I'm hoping that will entice someone to give it a  
chance...

However, the ultimate choice is naturally yours.  If you think it's  
too much of a time sink, skip this round.  You always have this  
option and it seems to me that many people take advantage of it  
regularly.

If you haven't noticed by now, I work every quiz that no one  
touches.  That's my way of telling you that I don't ask you to do  
anything I wouldn't do.  So if you really think it's ridiculous you  
can votes with your silence and "call my bluff".  I feel this did  
happen on the Yahtzee quiz and you guys were right that it was harder  
than I intended.  (You were dead wrong about not working the Code  
Cleaning quiz though and I'm still bitter about that!  <laughs>)

The moral is that I'm trying something a little different with this  
quiz.  We'll see if it flies...  ;)  I'm also listening though and I  
now know that at least one of you considers it over the top.

James Edward Gray II