Last month, I announced The Olympiad of Misguided Geeks at Worse Than Failure Programming Contest and challenged you to solve a simple problem (build a four-function calculator) using the most obscenely convoluted way imaginable.

In the three weeks that followed, readers submitted all sorts of incredibly creative calculators. In the three weeks that followed that, we went through all 350+ entries. Each entry was individually configured, compiled, and tested (thanks Intern Boyd!). Afterwards, Jake, Intern Boyd, and I sat around the conference table for nearly three full days while we ran each valid calculator on the projector, reviewed the code, and tried to narrow down the entries to five finalists. We did not succeed: there was simply no way to narrow it down to five finalists.

Next week I will present these finalists in a twelve-article series. Raymond, Joel, and Jeremy (the Judges): good luck trying to pick out the winning entry!

I’m going to run a classic WTF today (a fun one from ~2005), but don’t worry, regular content will resume soon. Because of the contest, we’ve fallen a bit behind on “actual” work (software development is technically our day job). Trust me, though, you’ll want to stick around and see the contest entries next week.