 Advent of Code is a CTF put on by Google every December, providing coding challenges, and it’s a favorite of mine to practice. There are 25 days to collect 50 stars. For Day 1, the puzzle was basically reading a list of numbers, and looking through them for a pair and a set of three that summed to 2020. For each part, I’ll multiple the identified numbers together to get the solution.

## Challenge

The puzzle can be found here. I’m given a text file with many lines, each with a single int. For part one, I’m asked to identify two numbers in the list that sum to 2020. For part two, I’m now asked to look for a set of three numbers that sum to 2020. In each case, I’m asked to return the product of the numbers.

## Solution

### Part 1

For part one, after reading in the file and converting each line to an int using map, I’ll loop over the list. For each int, I’ll check if 2020 - x is also in the list. This allows me to loop over the list just once.

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import sys

with open(sys.argv, "r") as f:

for x in nums:
if 2020 - x in nums:
break

print(f"Part 1: {x * (2020-x)}")


Of course I could make this faster by removing each number from the list once it’s been checked, but for data of this size, it’s not really necessary.

### Part 2

In part two, now I need to look for three numbers that total 2020. I’ll do it in the same loop, but this time, for each number, looping the list again checking all pairs of numbers to see if a third number is in the list:

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import sys

with open(sys.argv, "r") as f:

s1, s2x = None, None

for x in nums:
if 2020 - x in nums:
s1 = x
for y in nums:
if 2020 - (x + y) in nums:
s2x, s2y = x, y
break
if s1 and s2x:
break

print(f"Part 1: {s1 * (2020-s1)}")
print(f"Part 2: {s2x * s2y * (2020 - s2x - s2y )}")


Because I’m doing it in one loop, I’ll save the answers in variables, and if both are set, then break.

### Running It

I can run this and get both solutions instantly:

$time python3 day01.py 01-puzzle_input.txt Part 1: 1005459 Part 2: 92643264 real 0m0.088s user 0m0.085s sys 0m0.000s  For what it’s worth, if I remote the check to see if both solutions were found, it consistently come out a bit slower: $ time python3 day01-slow.py 01-puzzle_input.txt
Part 1: 1005459
Part 2: 92643264

real    0m0.143s
user    0m0.131s
sys     0m0.004s