I really like this problem. So far, this is the one I had to think about most. Mostly because the straight-forward recursive implementation is simply not feasible for longer inputs.
Shameless code... now i'll do that in right way.
The simplest solution for beginner, now I'm trying to solve in a correct way
Apparently the test suite needs to be augmented!
Done. People never get tired of look-up tables.
Indeed: all of the current supposedly 'top ten' submissions here (by Cody-size) are hard-coded hacks! The Test Suite can be augmented by: (i) adding more arbitrary test cases; (ii) adding test cases in which the first [and last] characters/words are the same as in some other test case(s); (iii) banning mention of numbers that correspond to results and need not be mentioned in legitimate submissions (e.g. 18, 25, 27) [as implemented for Problem 44466]; and (iv) potentially banning other key words appearing in other 'generic' hacks (per Solutions 312146 and 1039520). —DIV
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