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Come on guys =) why you think of it as the fewer lines or seconds you spent — you reach the better solution? This challenge is about fundamental computer science techniques, google about Sparse Arrays and make a decision why this challenge is named so (this is not without purpose). Believe me it's interesting and valuable =) HashMap is the right pill here and of course we would hardly find any programming language not giving HashMaps out of the box. But how HashMaps actually work under the hoods? Go through this!