Solution to Illiterate Programming

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by Brian Chen

Identify the programming languages from their descriptions. Each language starts with a distinct letter from A to L, which suggests sorting them alphabetically.

Each description is 26 words. As gently hinted by the title and the presentation of the descriptions in monospace font, we might try treating the descriptions as code in their corresponding languages. None are even close to syntactically correct code, but it turns out that exactly one word in each description is a keyword or reserved word in the described language. (Most but not all of the time, this is equivalent to "a syntax highlighter will highlight exactly that word if you try to ask it to treat the entire description as code.")

Take that word's position as an index into the alphabet to extract the answer, ELLEN TEBBITS.

  • Agda: (A)this (B)functional (C)programming (D)language (E)in (F)the (G)lineage (H)of (I)coq (J)is (K)also (L)an (M)interactive (N)proof (O)assistant (P)and (Q)both (R)its (S)name (T)and (U)its (V)logo (W)are (X)references (Y)to (Z)coq
  • bc: (A)this (B)calculator (C)language (D)that (E)was (F)standardized (G)by (H)posix (I)also (J)lets (K)users (L)define (M)functions (N)and (O)originated (P)as (Q)a (R)simple (S)compiler (T)in (U)front (V)of (W)its (X)stack (Y)based (Z)predecessor
  • COBOL: (A)this (B)ancient (C)programming (D)language (E)features (F)a (G)highly (H)verbose (I)syntax (J)like (K)english (L)and (M)sees (N)widespread (O)deployments (P)involving (Q)governmental (R)financial (S)applications (T)like (U)the (V)united (W)states (X)internal (Y)revenue (Z)service
  • D: (A)a (B)language (C)foundation (D)maintains (E)this (F)programming (G)language (H)that (I)draws (J)heavy (K)inspiration (L)from (M)c++ (N)but (O)includes (P)optional (Q)garbage (R)collection (S)alongside (T)low (U)level (V)features (W)such (X)as (Y)inline (Z)assembly
  • Elixir: (A)this (B)programming (C)language (D)compiles (E)to (F)bytecode (G)that (H)runs (I)on (J)the (K)erlang (L)virtual (M)machine (N)and (O)is (P)similarly (Q)designed (R)towards (S)concurrent (T)distributed (U)applications (V)but (W)has (X)more (Y)metaprogramming (Z)facilities
  • F#: (A)this (B)programming (C)language (D)named (E)after (F)a (G)musical (H)note (I)alongside (J)many (K)others (L)that (M)interoperate (N)under (O)microsoft's (P).net (Q)framework (R)is (S)part (T)of (U)the (V)ml (W)functional (X)programming (Y)language (Z)family
  • Go: (A)this (B)programming (C)language (D)uses (E)interface (F)types (G)and (H)embedding (I)instead (J)of (K)subclassing (L)to (M)achieve (N)polymorphism (O)and (P)though (Q)it (R)notably (S)lacks (T)generics (U)there (V)are (W)several (X)public (Y)draft (Z)designs
  • Haskell: (A)some (B)of (C)the (D)most (E)notable (F)features (G)this (H)purely (I)functional (J)programming (K)language (L)has (M)are (N)being (O)lazily (P)evaluated (Q)and (R)using (S)monads (T)to (U)isolate (V)side (W)effects (X)among (Y)other (Z)applications
  • Icon: (A)it's (B)not (C)object (D)oriented (E)but (F)this (G)programming (H)language (I)descended (J)from (K)algol (L)is (M)considered (N)very (O)high (P)level (Q)and (R)has (S)powerful (T)facilities (U)for (V)processing (W)strings (X)and (Y)textual (Z)patterns
  • Julia: (A)this (B)general (C)purpose (D)programming (E)language (F)is (G)designed (H)to (I)do (J)heavy (K)numeric (L)computations (M)particularly (N)well (O)and (P)led (Q)to (R)three (S)of (T)its (U)cocreators (V)winning (W)a (X)numerical (Y)software (Z)prize
  • Kotlin: (A)relatively (B)concise (C)procedural (D)code (E)and (F)better (G)handling (H)of (I)nulls (J)without (K)sacrificing (L)compilation (M)speed (N)are (O)some (P)of (Q)the (R)features (S)of (T)this (U)programming (V)language (W)that (X)interoperates (Y)with (Z)java
  • Lua: (A)game (B)development (C)scripts (D)often (E)use (F)this (G)lightweight (H)programming (I)language (J)but (K)other (L)applications (M)unrelated (N)to (O)games (P)also (Q)often (R)embed (S)or (T)use (U)this (V)programming (W)language (X)to (Y)implement (Z)extensions