Problem 92 of Project Euler is one of the more solve puzzles in this range, so based on that parameter this should be a pretty easy thing to chew through. The problem text reads

A number chain is created by continuously adding the square of the digits in a number to form a new number until it has been seen before.

For example,

44 → 32 → 13 → 10 → 1 → 1

85 → 89 → 145 → 42 → 20 → 4 → 16 → 37 → 58 → 89

Therefore any chain that arrives at 1 or 89 will become stuck in an endless loop. What is most amazing is that EVERY starting number will eventually arrive at 1 or 89.

How many starting numbers below ten million will arrive at 89?

I have found two methods to solve this. One where we go through all 10.000.000 numbers to check what their cycle will be with a bit of help from some caching. And then a method where we exploit the fact that the order of the digits doesn’t matter and that significantly reduces the cases we need to check. Continue reading →