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Last updated: 18 July 2023 (complete changelog since 26 July 2020)

On 26 July 2020 it came to my attention that two of my 2020 IOCCC entries have won! I'm very very happy and incredibly proud. This brings my total to three now. This is the tweet that announced the entry winning:

tweet announcing my "Most enigmatic" 2020 IOCCC winning entry

Also the who won page on the official IOCCC website.

I am very very happy and very very proud and that's an understatement! I find it fitting that the award is 'Most enigmatic' because when I wrote this one (only after the crazy pandemic of 2020 had the judges reopen the contest - I didn't have time or energy or any inspiration for this before the contest closed the first time) I imagined that if it indeed won that it would be given that award exactly. The question wasn't the title but rather if it would win and I'm happy to say it did indeed win!

I found it fitting that I finished this entry on 30 April 2020, exactly 75 years after he who started the Second World War ended his life. At the end of the day he was another human being - yes he was just like all of us whatever we have done or not done - but he caused the world a great deal of sorrow and it seemed like an appropriate day to complete this, whatever he was and whatever he did, as if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have such a fascination with the Enigma machine.

I dedicated it to the millions of lives lost in the Second World War which was, like all other wars, a terrible waste of life and entirely pointless. Some of the people lost were never identified and many were never acknowledged for what they did or were not acknowledged enough. I also dedicated it to my wonderful mum and my dear friend Vicky.

The winning entry (Last updated: 21 Feb 2021)

The winning entry can be found here.

Some comments about the entry

One of the things that I am proud of but which I have absolutely no idea how I did it is that important strings in the code were encrypted with the default settings of the Enigma machine itself. This was done this way because anyone familiar with the Enigma machines would immediately recognise it otherwise. But like I said I have absolutely no clue how I pulled this one off.

Another thing that might be worth noting is the massive arrays of different data including strings that are interspersed in others. I also no longer know how I did it.

As for the chocolate cake recipe one will notice that the file is encrypted. This was done this way as a fun way to explore the entry. I gave a set of keys to try in the documentation for the supplementary program recode.c and left it that way. But of course my other entries I submitted did not have it encrypted. Although fun to explore the entry I would recommend that anyone interested in a delicious double-layered chocolate fudge cake look at the file in the Snake entry.

Yusuke Endoh's comments on my Enigma machine (New: 09 Jan 2021)

Yusuke Endoh - who's won more entries in the entire contest than anyone else - made me feel even better about my Enigma machine; he took my happiness and pride to another level and in ways that he could not possibly have known when doing so. I want to share it here because it really is something I am incredibly happy and proud about, and I want to extend my appreciation and thanks here too (even though he probably will never see it!). Too many years in my life would I hide in the shadows and not accept my abilities etc. and in recent years that's changed and so basically I'm sharing because I'm proud. Here's what he had to say with the comments I said in reply to that original email.

The context is that he asked the judges and me (since I mentioned the entry he inquired about in my remarks) about the 1992 Nathan entry that isn't the correct version due to a US government encryption restriction (see the entry in question for more details at 1992/nathan.hint (source file) (both open in a new tab/window). Anyway it has to do with encryption where he wrote that he thought it uses an Enigma style encryption (I clarified that the Enigma system is more complicated) and is a hello world program. To that this is what Yusuke said with my replies in between his:

To say I'm proud is a huge understatement, really, and the same can be said for the happiness he added to my then current pride and happiness, about the entry.

The testing procedure (New: 09 Jan 2021)

As I explain in the text file a single differing letter will change the outcome of the remainder of the text so I had to come up with a testing procedure to make sure that it works out okay. You can read all about that and see the script I wrote to test it here.