Most Python Coders Cannot Solve This Puzzle (IQ>120)

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The following Python code puzzle comprises of multiple Python tricks — in a single puzzle. Most Finxters cannot solve this puzzle on the Finxter app:

# List of books read by each member
books_read = [
    ["1984", "To Kill a Mockingbird", "The Great Gatsby"],
    ["The Catcher in the Rye", "1984", "To Kill a Mockingbird"],
    ["Pride and Prejudice", "1984"]

# Set comprehension
unique_books = {book for member in books_read for book in member}

# Ternary operator
popular_book = "1984" if all("1984" in member for member in books_read) else "Varies"

# Multiple assignment
total_books, members_count = sum(len(member) for member in books_read), len(books_read)

# What's The Answer?
x = len(unique_books)
x *= len(popular_book)
x += total_books * members_count - 2

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This code snippet is performing several operations on a list of books read by members of a book club. Let’s break down each part of the code and then analyze the final computation.

  1. List of books read by each member:
    books_read is a list of lists, where each sublist represents the books read by an individual member of the book club.
  2. Set Comprehension (unique_books):
    This line creates a set of unique books read by all members. Set comprehension is used to iterate over each member’s list and add each book to a set, automatically removing duplicates.
  3. Ternary Operator (popular_book):
    This line checks if “1984” is read by all members. The all() function checks if the condition "1984" in member is True for every sublist in books_read. If it is true for all members, popular_book is set to “1984”; otherwise, it is set to “Varies”.
  4. Multiple Assignment (total_books, members_count):
    Here, total_books is assigned the total number of books read by all members, calculated by summing the lengths of each member’s book list. members_count is assigned the total number of members, which is the length of the books_read list.
  5. Final Computation (x):
  • x = len(unique_books): Sets x to the number of unique books.
  • x *= len(popular_book): Multiplies x by the length of the string in popular_book (“1984” or “Varies”).
  • x += total_books * members_count - 2: Adds to x the product of total_books and members_count, then subtracts 2. Finally, x is printed.

Let’s calculate the value of x step by step. First, we need to determine the values of unique_books, popular_book, total_books, and members_count.

  • unique_books will be a set of all the unique books from the lists.
  • popular_book will be “1984” because it’s in every member’s list.
  • total_books will be the sum of the lengths of the sublists in books_read.
  • members_count will be the length of the books_read list.

Then, we’ll use these values to compute x.

The calculated value of x in the given code snippet is 42. This result is derived by first determining the unique books, the popularity of “1984” among the book club members, and then combining these with the total number of books and members to perform the final computation.