Advent of Code, day 14: Chain Reaction

Even though Eric Wastl’s creativity is large enough to regularly surprise the people at #XebiaAoC, there are some puzzles in #AdventOfCode that bring back memories to challenges seen before. Upon reading today’s Advent of Code puzzle, it immediately brought back memories to one of the harder puzzles in 2015.

Today’s puzzle was about finding the required source materials to end up with a sufficient amount of fuel. The puzzle input was a list of formulas describing chemical reactions, transforming source materials into other materials. The challenge was to find the right amount of source material to produce one unit of fuel, following the transformation of that source material through a series of chain reactions. Not completely original, but it definitely added a fun twist by requiring specific amounts of materials.

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Advent of Code, day 10: Space cowboys shooting pixels in the sky

First, find the song “Dead Pixels in the Sky” by Nigel Stanford. You can find it on his latest album Automatica. Press Play, as it will be a nice 4:30 backdrop while reading this post of 1,100+ words.

If you’re a slow reader — and you become one when participating in Advent of Code, trying to carefully parse all instructions to swat a final (?) bug in your code — continue with “Space Cowboy” by Jamiroquai. At the end of this blog post, it’ll be clear why these songs are so fitting for today.

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Advent Of Code Day 5: S(a|i)nt(a|erkl(a){2}s)

Every season of Advent of Code so far featured a story around Santa, with the Easter Bunny sometimes making a cameo appearance. On December 5 in The Netherlands, another legendary figure makes an appearance: Sinterklaas. Actually, the modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas of Myra, on which the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas was also based. Anyway, especially on the evening of December 5, people in The Netherlands spend time with friends and family, write poems, wrap presents inside all kinds of handicrafts, and exchange gifts.

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