In the comments section of a recent Atwood post, commentor Paul Jungwirth (search for the name as I can't find comment permalinks) posted about a problem from a perl mailing list that he would give potential hires. This post is not about the blog post but about the problem from the comments section. The Problem (from the mailing list): Consider the following string: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 2002 The problem is to add any number of addition & multiplication operations wherever you'd like on the left such that in the end you have a valid equation. So for example if it gets you to a solution you can have: 12 * 345 + 6 … if that works as part of your solution [it's much too big: 4146]. Bearing in mind that multiplication takes higher precedence than addition, what is the solution? My answer generator can be found here in Erlang. I liked the problem because it is in the vein of Project Euler. The eval/1 is a slightly modified version of this one on TrapExit.