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When I write the code, I realize two things:

When I write the code, I realize two things:

The first hint that I find is to use an array where the value at a given index is the next cup after the cup labelled with that index. This is actually so helpful that in the end I think I may have spoiled myself more than I wanted to.

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  • This is actually a sort of linked list in disguise, so actually my idea earlier was on the right track.
  • By storing the linked list elements contiguously in an array, you can eliminate the search for the destination cup altogether.

Since with this scheme, we do need to store the current cup as part of the state, I decide to make a struct. I also change the data type of the cups once more, to usize , since the cup numbers are going to be used as array indices.

I run the program and this time the progress bar suggests it will be done in 21 minutes. That’s still a long time, but I decide I will just wait. If I get the wrong answer at the end, then I’ll spend time to profile it and make it faster. But when it finishes, the website tells me the answer is correct, so I move on.

Day 20, Part 2 (Again)

Back to the difficult puzzle from Day 20! In the meantime, a plan is forming; the plan seems clunky enough that it makes me think I am probably missing a more elegant solution, but I have gotten tired of this puzzle by now and I want to be done with it! What I will try to do, is to separate the tiles into a group of four corner tiles with two connections each, a group of edge tiles with three connections each, and a group of center tiles with four connections each.