### A string hash problem

Earlier this week I was looking through various software developer jobs and I came across this one by Fog Creek. They've posted the following interesting problem, which is the subject of this post.

Find a 9 letter string of characters that contains only letters from acdegilmnoprstuw such that the `hash(the_string)` is 945924806726376 if `hash` is defined by the following pseudo-code: Int64 hash (String s) { Int64 h = 7 String letters = "acdegilmnoprstuw" for (Int32 i = 0; i < s.length; i++) { h = (h * 37 + letters.indexOf(s[i])) } return h } I had no clue what to do when I first read this. In fact, my first attempt was to brute force my way through \({16}^{9}\sim 68\cdot {10}^9\) possibilities. Obviously we need a better method than that.

from typing import Optional from itertools import product alphabet = 'acdegilmnoprstuw' def hash(string: str) -> int: "&quo…

Find a 9 letter string of characters that contains only letters from acdegilmnoprstuw such that the `hash(the_string)` is 945924806726376 if `hash` is defined by the following pseudo-code: Int64 hash (String s) { Int64 h = 7 String letters = "acdegilmnoprstuw" for (Int32 i = 0; i < s.length; i++) { h = (h * 37 + letters.indexOf(s[i])) } return h } I had no clue what to do when I first read this. In fact, my first attempt was to brute force my way through \({16}^{9}\sim 68\cdot {10}^9\) possibilities. Obviously we need a better method than that.

from typing import Optional from itertools import product alphabet = 'acdegilmnoprstuw' def hash(string: str) -> int: "&quo…