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Pretty annoyed at this problem! Not for the first time a challenge on here has assumed other knowledge but barely hinted at what it required. It signposts the obvious (almost to the point of being patronising) that casting is required, but fails to mention LCS (which I'd never heard of prior to coming on this page). To rub it in, I later find out it is one of the algorithm challenges.
WHERE WAS THE LINK?!
I think I'd still be trying to solve this problem this time next year if I hadn't been for the hints on this page.