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Google Labs Problem 3

Google likes to put cute math problems in their employment ads.The first time I saw this was when they took out an ad in the Cornell Daily Sun, and I thought it was amusing enough to clip and hang on the wall of my geek cave.

Photo of problem.

This weekend I caught the bug to solve it and see if I’m smart enough to work at Google. Apparently I’m not, because I ended up cheating when I checked my initial (and I thought correct) solution against what others had found. By the time I realized I had made a mistake, I also realized what I needed to do to correct it. I did independently fix my code (as evidenced by its extreme ugliness). Download it, smack it up, flip it, rub it down, oh no.