# Why Python don't accept 03 as a number?

jfong at ms4.hinet.net jfong at ms4.hinet.net
Sat Dec 8 04:26:16 EST 2018

```Avi Gross at 2018/12/8 UTC+8 PM2:09:20 wrote:
>
> Since we all agree python will not make notations like "05" work
> indefinitely, and the need expressed is how to solve a symbolic puzzle (see
> message below) then it makes sense to look at alternate representations.
>
> I have a question first. How are you solving your puzzles?
>
>     ab + aa + cd == ce

Try all the combinations:-)

The only way I can think of is try-error. It takes no more 10 lines to go from "ab + aa + cd == ce" to yield one correct answer, such as "03 + 00 + 15 == 18", using itertools' permutations(), string's translate() and re.

> Why does 05 ever even appear in your solution?

I don't know. There is total 192 answers for this puzzle anyway.

> Are you generating all possible answers by setting each variable to one of 0
> to 9 then the second to any of the remaining nine choices then the third to
> the remaining 8 and so on? For any method like that, you can presumably make
> each component like
>
> ab = 10*a + b
>
> in the loop.
>
> Similarly for aa and cd and ce. If the equality above is true, you found the
> solution and break out. If there can be multiple solutions, note the
> solution and keep going. But note for the 5 variables above, you are testing
> 10*9*8*7*6 combinations.
>
> Another idea is to use strings like "05" as bizarrely, the function int()
> seems to be an ex eption that does NOT care about leading whitespace or
> zeroes:
>
> >>> int("05")
> 5
> >>> int("  0005")
> 5
>
> And even handles all zeroes:
>
> >>> int("000000")
> 0
>
> You can also use lstrip() with an argument to remove zeros:
>
> >>> a = eval("05".lstrip("0"))
>
> >>> a
>
> 5
>
> If you are in a situation where you only want to remove leading zeroes if
> the following character is a digit and not "o" or "b" or "x", use regular
> expressions or other techniques.

As far as the leading zero problem was concerned, the simplest way is using re.sub()

> I will just toss in the possible use of the SymPy module to do actual
> symbolic computations to solve some of these. Perhaps a tad advanced.

I don't know SymPy and if it can shorten the execution time. But I am very curious about if there is other algorithm which can apply to this problem:-)

--Jach
```