Mavrk is the king of DevLand. His queen StarDog is upset because he has spent a lot in the colonization of the GSOC region. After a successful colonization, Mavrk now wants to make it up to StarDog. He decides to give her a googol sunflowers.

Unfortunately, the only place that sunflowers can be found in the whole Programmingverse is in CodeLand, and Traw, its king, holds a grudge against Mavrk for stealing StarDog away. Luckily, Traw has told Mavrk that he may win the flowers if he can correctly identify a certain string. Because they were once friends, Traw decides to give Mavrk a few hints to get him started.

The hints are:

  1. The string consists of only numbers.
  2. ( length $+ \,2$ ) will be relevant in Mavrk's identification.
  3. The string's usage was first proposed in Italy.
  • $\begingroup$ This seems like it obviously has to be something to do with the Fibonacci numbers (sunflowers, numbers, length+2, Italy). But the question as it stands doesn't seem well enough defined to have an actual answer. I mean, maybe we're looking for "011235813..." or "0,1,1,2,3,5,8,...", or maybe "string" doesn't mean "string of characters" at all, or ... well, this just seems like "guess what I'm thinking of". Am I missing something? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 12 '17 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ "0,1,1,2,3,5,8,..." contains commas, which are not numbers. Although technically, a string contains digits, not numbers. $\endgroup$ – Acccumulation Oct 12 '17 at 19:35

The thing that got me puzzled was how a string length calculation could be present in the string. And when I believed I understood the 3d hint about how such a string could have been used in Italy I thought about roman figures, so that's why I thought of :


which is a kind of a string composed only with roman figures, and if you add 2 to its length, it represents exactly the string

as IV stands for 4

What do you think ?

(excuse my English I'm French)

  • $\begingroup$ let me help you with 'italian' roots here: "One hypothesis is that the Etrusco-Roman numerals actually derive from notches on tally sticks, which continued to be used by Italian and Dalmatian shepherds into the 19th century" (C) Wiki $\endgroup$ – Cockabondy Oct 13 '17 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Cockabondy I didn't realize Dalmatians were sheep dogs! /s $\endgroup$ – phroureo Oct 13 '17 at 16:35

If the comments on the question are anything to go by...

then the answer is:



1. Only digits in the Fibonacci sequence are used
2. The last digit (8) is length+2
3. Fibonacci is Italian and this is hinted at with the sunflower reference

  • $\begingroup$ But how is this relevant to Mavrk's identification? $\endgroup$ – Cockabondy Oct 13 '17 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ Mavrk uses length + 2 to identify that the string must stop on that number $\endgroup$ – Jay Oct 13 '17 at 12:35
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, well. That makes sense then. $\endgroup$ – Cockabondy Oct 13 '17 at 12:36

I do recall from about 20 years ago that in Italy there was a massive revamping of the telephone system which involved...

adding different prefixes or post-fixes to the old phone numbers. If I further recall correctly one of the approaches involved adding a couple digits to the end of the old number. The numbers were just strings composed of the numbers with no particular requirement or need for any other formatting

So...my guess is that the answer is:

The number is a phone number that is to be called from outside of Italy and the person who answers the call will have the flowers...


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