Monthly Archive


2015 December Scripting Games Puzzle

The December 2015 puzzle was based on the 12 Days of Christmas song.  Starting with this here-string.

$list = @"
1 Partridge in a pear tree
2 Turtle Doves
3 French Hens
4 Calling Birds
5 Golden Rings
6 Geese a laying
7 Swans a swimming
8 Maids a milking
9 Ladies dancing
10 Lords a leaping
11 Pipers piping
12 Drummers drumming


A here-string is a multiline string. It is NOT an array – its a single string. The first task is to  split into an array of individual lines:


## split into individual lines
$s = $list -split '\n'

Each line of the multiline here string ends with a new line – so that becomes the split point.


The array can be sorted by length of line. Ascending or descending wasn’t specified so here’s both options:

'Sort by length ascending'
$s | Sort-Object -Property Length


"`n "
'sort by length descending'
$s | Sort-Object -Property Length -Descending


Removing the numbers to give justthe text and sorting by length of text. I trmmed the strings as some empty spaces had appeared in the arrays. I think because I copied the here-string

"`n "
'remove numbers sort by length ascending'
$s.Trim() -replace '\d{1,2}\s', '' | Sort-Object -Property Length #| group length | ft -a -wrap


"`n "
'remove numbers sort by length descending'
$s.Trim() -replace '\d{1,2}\s', '' | Sort-Object -Property Length -Descending


Create objects. Split on white space and restrict output to 2 elements – number and text in this case. Create object using New-object

"`n "
#'create objects'
$items = @()
$s.Trim() | foreach {
    $item =  $psitem -split '\s',2
    $items += New-Object -TypeName PSObject -Property @{
        Count = $item[0] -as [int]
        Item = $item[1]


Count the number of birds

"`n "
'count of birds'
$birdcount = ($items -match '(Partridge|Doves|Hens|Birds|Geese|Swans)' | Measure-Object -Property Count -Sum).Sum


Count all items

"`n "
'count of items'
$itemcount = ($items | Measure-Object -Property Count -Sum).Sum


If you treat the song as stating the gifts are cumulative then how many gifts are given in total.  Each item is given (13 – the day on which its given) times i.e. 12 to 1 times respectively.  The total number of items can be calculated like this

"`n "
'cumulative count of items'
$total = 0
$items | foreach {$total += $psitem.Count * (13-$psitem.Count) }


As a bonus here’s how you calculate the cumulative number of each type of item.

"`n "
'cumulative number of each item'
$totalitems =@()
$items | foreach {
    $totalitems += New-Object -TypeName PSObject -Property @{
        Count = $psitem.Count * (13-$psitem.Count)
        Item = $psitem.Item

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