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maomao90's blog

By maomao90, 7 months ago, In English

I guess I can farm even more contribution since I am top 1 contributor now 🤡 . Maybe some of you might have some questions about my CP journey or Hello 2024 so feel free to ask here. No guarantees that I will answer every question because I will be serving in the Singapore Police Force soon (all male Singaporeans are required to serve two years of military service ://), which also explains the comments here. Thanks everyone for your support on Hello 2024 and helping me to climb from ~130 contribution to almost 170 contribution :).

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Thank you maomao90

do you have advice for me?

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Hormat 🫡 maomao90 🐱 for contributing to civil defence 👮 and protecting 🙏 us from people like iLoveIOI 🥶

Edit: All the best serving in the Police Force

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Hello!

Happy New Year!

Thank you for the perfect Hello 2024 competition!

Good luck in your service!

Here are my questions:

Thank you!

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    7 months ago, # ^ |
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    1. When I was 14, my school offered an elective module about Informatics Olympiad. I joined the module and I found it very enjoyable. Furthermore, our teacher was very helpful and encouraging, so he helped me to remain interested in CP and continue improving.

    2. Probably tourist. Even though he is no longer top 10 anymore, he dominated for a very long time in the past, and he is still pretty good now. He is just having some bad days unfortunately :(.

    3. Not very well. I only took math olympiad for 1 year and I wasn't very good at it. In fact, I would say that mathematics is my weakest area is CP.

    4. Yes of course :). But I feel like it would be very hard and it would take a very long time. But I will keep trying and hopefully achieve it eventually.

    5. No. I enjoy CP a lot so I will probably continue doing CP for a long time. I will try to go for ICPC as well after my 2 years of service.

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    6 months ago, # ^ |
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    TNX

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are you planning on going overseas for universities sir

also, what are your personal thoughts about going to police instead of army

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    7 months ago, # ^ |
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    1. No I am probably going to NUS.

    2. I heard police is less tough than army so I don't mind lol :)

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      7 months ago, # ^ |
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      why don't you protest against your government for intentionally sending you to army without your will and consent.

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        7 months ago, # ^ |
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        So it's the same in Iran, it's forced and you'll get something named: کارت پایان خدمت which is card that shows you've done your service and without it you can't get married, get a job, buy house anything and atleast here people even get R..ed get depressions mental sickness and there is nothing to do about it I guess the reason that no one goes to protest is bcuz government will ignore it

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          7 months ago, # ^ |
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          Do you get paid while serving involuntary in army?

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            7 months ago, # ^ |
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            Yes we get paid but it is a very small amount :(

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            yes but like 10$ a month(1 USD: 500k IRR)

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          7 months ago, # ^ |
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          Codeforces is like heaven, with a difference that it exists before life(

          Thanks for sharing. The rules of war (my guess) are simple, though hard to implement with moral upbringing. A one needs to ..[censored].. And that is it. But the good thing is when touched by the Age of Enlightenment... They say — Poland. And I say "not today". Ukraine is the last barricade. Other: "destroy universities. build churches. Before it's too late.".

          AMA <--- to maomao90: 1. Name a site that is better than cf? (entertaining question, don't want to waste your time) (not saying that cf is good, to be complete, but relatively). I mean, here it's like a communication with the judging system etc, etc.

          Hallelujah on becoming top contributor and being red at your age (which is rare and hard and important).

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            7 months ago, # ^ |
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            In terms of CP websites, I would say that CF is one of the best. I mostly do contests from AtCoder and CF so both of them are my favourite websites.

            I think being red at my age is not that rare considering all the young Chinese LGMs lol

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              7 months ago, # ^ |
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              Not in terms of CP websites (maybe I should return to directing questions to myself in order not to be misunderstood). But wasn't it consequential? (<--AMA) I'm doing cp as well, so it's not a big deal to have a comparison table about dif cp sites. Then, why would I ask about it? Maybe you thought that I cannot evaluate the quality of harder probs (which is true). Anyway, I've got the response, not the expected, which is even better. Don't want to take too much of your attention.

              Yeah, Chinese LGMs might mean that being good at something is a work of many. Grey life matters? (<--AMA).

              No necessity to answer amA above — to be clear. My initial question was more about the fact that cf gives the practice of thinking while some www that come to my mind are more consuming (we or us). But that's a vague Q. Why would I ask maomao90 about that?

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      6 months ago, # ^ |
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      Can you come to NTU? That way, NTU's ICPC can finally stop having nightmares about NUS! :)

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good sir, I'm thinking about joining the police ajdkjlkfadsf so cool. as a red coder & top 1 contributor, do you have any advice for me?

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    7 months ago, # ^ |
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    Sir you just finished your 2 years conscription 🤦

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Do you have a dream or you live day by day

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    For now I have no concrete dreams. Previously my dream was to get into IOI and I already achieved it so now I am just hoping that I will survive national service 💀

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      7 months ago, # ^ |
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      Best of luck for your future . much love <3

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ordinary guy like me can become red right?

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    Yes anyone can become red if you try hard enough :)

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    Id tell to you whether a super ordinary guy like me can reach expert like you?

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      7 months ago, # ^ |
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      I struggled in div-2 As once too so If I can reach expert you can too also I think expert is very reachable even without extra-ordinary development of brain.In India-Bangladeh almost in every college on average there will be atleast 4-5 experts.So expert is very reachable with effort. In CF div-2 : B-A < C-B << D-C , when you start solving D with 100% record that creates real separation , then you will become rated in range 2300-2400 , to reach that you have to be extra-ordinary in a sense like everyday you have to keep trying for 5-6 years(if you are ordinary like me), find hope in hopeless situations and always want to get at the top I guess.Although I haven't reached that far yet but I will try my best to reach there.And expert seems hard too when you are beginning but you can reach within 2 years with efforts if you are ordinary like me

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        thankyou this gives me hope and motivation to do even more better. My aim is to reach pupil within this year.Maybe 2 stars in codechef.Moreover my main motive is to gain knowledge of programming.

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Did you plot bad Goodbye so that a good Hello would get you top contributor?

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What kind of music do you like or listen to during competitions?

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    I do not listen to music during competitions.

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Do you play video games? What video games have you played the most during each of the past three years? Did they help you in CP?

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    I mostly play single player games because I find that they are less addictive than multiplayer games. In the past 3 years I played some platformer games like Ori and Celeste. And no they do not help me in CP

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      Cool! I’ve played Ori and Celeste too! Ori is more of a Metroidvania, isn’t it? Then maybe Hollow Knight Silksong (comming soon) is for you too~

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      Great choice of games, they are among my favorites too! Don't miss out on Hollow Knight!

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        Celeste and Ori are about movement, Hollow Knight is very combat-heavy. Nothing wrong with that, I just couldn't have fun with Hollow Knight.

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          That's a good observation! The required skillsets for Celeste and Ori may be closer than they are for Ori and HK, though Ori is still much closer to HK as a whole game overall (especially Ori 2)

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Do you play Genshin Impact?

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Do you have a GF?

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    7 months ago, # ^ |
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    As an AI language model playing the part of answering the author's questions when he's not online, I cannot confirm the existence of his girlfriend since I do not have access to personal information about individuals.

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    Of course not the probability of CP people getting gf is ~0 🤡

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      After reading a lot of posts like "which red flags made you quit dating a boy?" on Quora, my conclusion is that Asian competitive programmers are a huge #00ff00 flag (I've met one of them and he is so sweet). Just be less shy and you will find a girlfriend instantly.

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        Is it allowed to have low rating?

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          I don't know, my dataset is not large enough. The guy I'm referring to in the above comment is red, but I guess any rating should be fine.

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How do u spent ur leisure time and Do u play any sports?

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    I play games and watch youtube. Yes my favourite sports are basketball and badminton.

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what is your opinion on bitsets?

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Why is there no contest this week :(

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hello 2024 problems were very good. why dont you write more contests hehe?

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    If I can think of problems I will but for now I pretty much used up all my creative juices already :(

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I miss the days when Errichto was the top contirbuter :(

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What is the best chicken rice in Singapore?

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    I have no idea I don't eat much chicken rice :(. Maybe one of those Michelin star chicken rice but I don't think I tried it before.

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What was your strategy to win a gold medal ?(IOI)

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    I practised a lot before IOI. We were excused from school every Monday and Wednesday to train for IOI, so I had even more time to practise. I find CP very enjoyable so it was not hard for me to put a lot of time and effort in the training. Honestly, I have no idea how I managed to get gold. I felt like my contest strategy wasn't great (I did almost nothing for the first half of both days as I fakesolved a lot out of nervousness) but I guess I got lucky.

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      6 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      my brain hurts when I practice. How do you deal with the hurt pain?

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hey can you share some resources which taught you the theory of the algorithms??

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    I was mostly taught by my school teacher. There are a lot of useful resources out there that you can use, for example, Usaco guide, CP algorithms, Codeforces blogs. But whatever you do, don't use Geekforgeeks 🤡

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How can I gain positive contribution!? People just downvote me for no reason, pajn!

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What is your method of practice.

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    I do most of the CF Div 1 and AtCoder ARC and AGC. Then, I try to upsolve the problems that I fail to solve during the contest. For IOI, I did 5 hour virtual of past OI contests such as IOI, JOI, and other countries' NOI. I prefer doing contests because I find it more exciting so I have more motivation to do them.

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      Where did you find and how did practice other countries NOI? Most of them would use their local language and not get published at all. Did you translate the statements yourself?
      I would love to hear how and maybe try something other than Russian NOI and IOI, even though I already finished my bachelor's

      Btw, Russian NOI is available here, but only in russian

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Hello 2024 was one of my favorite rounds in a while for the quality of both the problems and the preparation; congratulations on your well-deserved contribution jump! Do you have any advice for other problemsetters?

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    7 months ago, # ^ |
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    In terms of problem quality, I do not think that I am that great at coming up with quality problem. It was mostly me proposing a lot of different problems and since I have a great coordinator (thanks errorgorn), he helped me to filter out the better ones. I feel like it is very hard to judge the quality of my own problems as I am biased towards my own creation, so I feel like a good coordinator is very important.

    For problem preparation, I feel like it is a bit like cybersecurity. You have to think about all the weird ways thst people will try to scam, and create countercases for them. Also generate all the extreme and special cases to have a wider coverage of test cases. If the AC solution has a lot of cases and if statements, make sure that missing out a single case will cause a wrong answer. Testers are also very important and they can help to try scamming the questions. You should also stress their AC solutions to potentially discover a countercase even though they passed the original tests.

    I think one of the harder problems to prepare for Hello 2024 was 1919G - Tree LGM as there are a lot of cases that I need to catch. Each of the wa1 to wa10 below is removing some part of a if statement.

    Image of solution files

    I had so many generators and test cases, but unfortunately it was still not enough as 2 out of 3 solution that were submitted during the contest was hacked afterwards :(.

    Image of test cases

    In fact, test case 15 was

    Image of test case 15

    and there was a hack with

    Image of hack

    Lesson learnt is that I should probably use multitests for this kind of questions :(

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      You really deserve the top contributors, all the work you made was definitely well done and this is not something trivial. We need more people like you. Seeing this little part of your work is very exciting and make me feel so small with respect of the preparation of this whole contest. Thank u, totally deserved and problems were so original and interesting!

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How does the testing system work? Is it something like writing a solution working with high time/memory complexity in order to get all correct outputs, that are then compared with contestants' ones? Or what?

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    After preparing the contest, we will ask testers to do a virtual participation of the contest to simulate the actual contest itself. Then the testers will give comments about the problems and difficulties for us to adjust accordingly. For example, 1919F2 - Wine Factory (Hard Version) was originally G and 1919G - Tree LGM was originally F, but thankfully we swapped it after testers gave us feedback. We also added F1 after there was feedback tbat the difficulty gap between D and E was too large.

    Actually, after reading your question again, I think you meant the judging system? The problem setters are required to generate test cases with inputs and their expected outputs. In order to get the expected output, the problem setter has to code the AC solution to run it on all the test cases. Then during the contest when participants submit their code, codeforces will run their code on each input and check whether their output matches the expected output.

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what kind of books do you read?

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    I like fantasy. The most recent book I read was Ender's Game :)

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      Have you read ASOIAF or Stormlight Archive? What's your favourite book?

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Hello!

I am currently having trouble getting new people into learning a proper programming language in school — they say it is way to hard and prefer using stuff like scratch, or in the romanian way of saying it, PbInfo Blocky. What is your advice on getting newcomers more excited and eager to learn even a simple language, such as Cobol or Python?

I have tried creating a rewarding system, where whenever they get AC on a random problem I give them in class they score a point, and every 100 points scored (total class) I buy them a big bottle of Lipton/juice of preference. But, because beginners get easy problems (the hardest solvable Blocky problems on PbInfo) every lesson, that makes 100 points an easy task for the 20-person class, about every 4 weeks I had to buy them juice.

My wife said that maybe using this rewarding system to help them learn a new language might help, but they said that they feel like dogs when given a reward for something good they did and threatened they will tell the principle. It clearly does not make sense, as they enjoyed it before, when the problems were as easy as possible, so I guess they are just pretty lazy.

My students outsmarted me in my own game — what would you do if you were me? Also, please do not include stuff like going outside and letting them play sports from time to time, as the principle interdicted all teachers from doing that.

Thank you in advice!

Cristofor Zaharescu

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    Unfortunately, I am just a student so I am not very sure what advice I can give you as well :(. For me, I found programming very interesting as I saw how it can automate a lot of things and make life easier for many people. Maybe you could show your students some real-life applications of coding and hopefully they will be more interested?

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atcoder or codeforces for random practicing?

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    I would do both. Both have very good problems :)

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Will "Serving in Singapore Police Force" mean that you have to work like a full time regular police officer everyday to find criminals/car_speeding/robbery and deal with it for TWO YEARS?

For people like you, I think it is wasting time.

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    Yes, I think it is a waste of time not just for people like me but also for everyone :(. Because of this compulsory 2-year service, male students in Singapore universities are often 2 years older than female students just because they have to serve in national service. I guess that is the disadvantage of living in a small country as we do not have enough people to protect the country if it is not made compulsory :(

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1.Who brought you on the CP path? 2.Who is your idol? 3.How well do you know mathematics? 4.Do you want to become an LGM? 5.Will you give up CP when you go into service?

//please give me answer this question.

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What do you think of The Apothecary Diaries?

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    This is the first time I heard of it and no my name is not related to it lol.

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also this blog increase your contribution :P

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How do you practice for OI? Do you just solve past problems?

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about this https://mirror.codeforces.com/blog/entry/118882 would it help in cp?

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    You can try it out yourself and see whether it works for you. If your math is weak then it might be more helpful for you.

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Do you think that after serving in the police you will be weak in CP?

For example, you were a grandmaster in codeforces and came back as an expert?

Or will you forget some algorithms?

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    I will continue practising during weekends when I am back home, so hopefully I will continue to improve.

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What were you good at when you reached master ?

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    I don't think I was especially good at any specific areas back when I reached master. I think the most important area at a higher level is problem-solving skills as most of the time the bottleneck is not that you do not know some algorithm, but rather you failed to make some observations that allow you to apply some algorithm that you already know.

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Singapore is in time zone UTC +8. And it can be seen that you participate a lot in Codeforces. Does coding at midnight trouble you? How do you distribute your time in CP?

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can you give some uncommon/rare tips for a newbie to become candidate masters that most people won't recommend. Also how many hours per week do you have to serve in Police Force.

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Did you get the oppurtunity to go BT in singapore ? As you missied it previous case ?

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Maybe we can have an interview about your CP journey.

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good

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congratulations any tips to get positive upvotes