For today’s puzzler, I thought of a simple little thing that would make you work your string parsing part of the brain. I started out in Perl and absolutely love mucking around with strings, so I thought, why not share this love with everyone else? (Remind me to tell you about the contract work I did for Netscape back in 98 or so that was - basically - one big perl script to update their web site.)
This puzzle is rather simple. Build a form that will accept math questions in English. So for example:
one plus two
You only need to support numbers from zero to ten. You can report the answer as either a number or a word. You need to support “plus”, “minus”, “multiply”, “divide”. Bonus points if you catch a division by zero error. Bonus points if you ignore, and don’t get tripped by, stuff at the end, like “is?”
As always, the prize is nothing, which is great since your tax burden on nothing will be roughly 33% of the value of nothing. You have 5 minutes to solve this, but if you spend more, I won’t tell anyone. If you get fired doing this, I need someone to help dig up a mail post so I’d be happy to give you a new job.