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As of October, 2016, Embarcadero is offering a free release of Delphi (Delphi 10.1 Berlin Starter Edition ).     There are a few restrictions, but it is a welcome step toward making more programmers aware of the joys of Delphi.  They do say "Offer may be withdrawn at any time", so don't delay if you want to check it out.  Please use the feedback link to let me know if the link stops working.

 

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Mensa Daily Puzzlers

For over 15 years Mensa Page-A-Day calendars have provided several puzzles a year for my programming pleasure.  Coding "solvers" is most fun, but many programs also allow user solving, convenient for "fill in the blanks" type.  Below are Amazon  links to the two most recent years.

Mensa 365 Puzzlers  Calendar 2017

Mensa 365 Puzzlers Calendar 2018

(Hint: If you can wait, current year calendars are usually on sale in January.)

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The Problem

Arrange N x N apples (for example: 9 or 16 or 25) in a square with N rows and N columns.  From each row find the largest one and call the smallest of these  "A".   From each column find the smallest and let "B" be the largest of these.  Which apple is bigger, A or B?   (Or are they always the same, or could it be either one?)

BackGround and Techniques

Here's a simple little problem without much math involved.  Trying to solve it in your head can  cause minor headaches though.  

Simple code - we just do what the problem says.  But it  does give us the chance to introduce usage of StringGrids   (TStringGrid in  Delphi terms - all components begin with the letter "T" to indicate that this is a "type" definition).   

One neat touch here is to use  an "OwnerDrawCell"  event exit to draw the cells so that the smallest of the row max's and the largest of the column min's can be highlighted.

Running/Exploring the Program 

bulletBrowse source extract
bulletDownload source 
bulletDownload  executable   

Suggestions for Further Study

Not much else to do with this one.  Make sure you understand the code and then let's move on to bigger and better things!
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