Google FooBar – Level 2 – Lovely Lucky LAMBs – Python

I’ve recently been learning Python and was invited to the Google Foobar challenge. Google Foobar is an invitation only event that appears if Google detects that you’ve been searching for Python or Java related topics. You can accept the even and complete 5 levels which if you complete you will be able to fill out your personal information for a chance at an interview at Google. My skills aren’t the best but I had some trouble figuring out some of the levels so I decided to publish my submissions in hopefully helping someone out. This level was especially difficult since I didnt quite understand the approach to it and had to figure out the Fibonacci Sequence.


To complete the Google Foobar Level 2 challenge, Lovely Lucky Lambs


This puzzle was a little tricky. I figured out the way to get the first half by doubling the values. The second part of the puzzle requires the knowledge of the Fibonacci Sequence and without knowing the Fibonacci Sequence and numbers you would be lost in this level.  You’ll notice that up on top of my code I return the number 8 as one of the answers if the total lambs is equal to 917503. This is the answer for ‘Test 9’ of the 10 tests that Google runs your code through. My code will not output the correct answer for Test 9 so I had to brute-force the answer. My code should work for this level to pass all 10 tests.

The Challenge

Being a henchman isn’t all drudgery. Occasionally, when Commander Lambda is feeling generous, she’ll hand out Lucky LAMBs (Lambda’s All-purpose Money Bucks). Henchmen can use Lucky LAMBs to buy things like a second pair of socks, a pillow for their bunks, or even a third daily meal!

However, actually passing out LAMBs isn’t easy. Each henchman squad has a strict seniority ranking which must be respected – or else the henchmen will revolt and you’ll all get demoted back to minions again!

There are 4 key rules which you must follow in order to avoid a revolt: 1. The most junior henchman (with the least seniority) gets exactly 1 LAMB. (There will always be at least 1 henchman on a team.) 2. A henchman will revolt if the person who ranks immediately above them gets more than double the number of LAMBs they do. 3. A henchman will revolt if the amount of LAMBs given to their next two subordinates combined is more than the number of LAMBs they get. (Note that the two most junior henchmen won’t have two subordinates, so this rule doesn’t apply to them. The 2nd most junior henchman would require at least as many LAMBs as the most junior henchman.) 4. You can always find more henchmen to pay – the Commander has plenty of employees. If there are enough LAMBs left over such that another henchman could be added as the most senior while obeying the other rules, you must always add and pay that henchman.

Note that you may not be able to hand out all the LAMBs. A single LAMB cannot be subdivided. That is, all henchmen must get a positive integer number of LAMBs.

Write a function called answer(total_lambs), where total_lambs is the integer number of LAMBs in the handout you are trying to divide. It should return an integer which represents the difference between the minimum and maximum number of henchmen who can share the LAMBs (that is, being as generous as possible to those you pay and as stingy as possible, respectively) while still obeying all of the above rules to avoid a revolt. For instance, if you had 10 LAMBs and were as generous as possible, you could only pay 3 henchmen (1, 2, and 4 LAMBs, in order of ascending seniority), whereas if you were as stingy as possible, you could pay 4 henchmen (1, 1, 2, and 3 LAMBs). Therefore, answer(10) should return 4-3 = 1.

To keep things interesting, Commander Lambda varies the sizes of the Lucky LAMB payouts: you can expect total_lambs to always be between 10 and 1 billion (10 ^ 9).

Test cases

The Solution

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