This notebook was prepared by Donne Martin. Source and license info is on GitHub.

Challenge Notebook

Problem: Given a magazine, see if a ransom note could have been written using the letters in the magazine.


  • Is this case sensitive?
    • Yes
  • Can we assume we're working with ASCII characters?
    • Yes
  • Can we scan the entire magazine, or should we scan only when necessary?
    • You can scan the entire magazine
  • Can we assume the inputs are valid?
    • No
  • Can we assume this fits memory?
    • Yes

Test Cases

  • None -> Exception
  • '', '' -> Exception
  • 'a', 'b' -> False
  • 'aa', 'ab' -> False
  • 'aa', 'aab' -> True


Refer to the Solution Notebook. If you are stuck and need a hint, the solution notebook's algorithm discussion might be a good place to start.


In [ ]:
class Solution(object):

    def match_note_to_magazine(self, ransom_note, magazine):
        # TODO: Implement me

Unit Test

The following unit test is expected to fail until you solve the challenge.

In [ ]:
# %load
import unittest

class TestRansomNote(unittest.TestCase):

    def test_ransom_note(self):
        solution = Solution()
        self.assertRaises(TypeError, solution.match_note_to_magazine, None, None)
        self.assertEqual(solution.match_note_to_magazine('', ''), True)
        self.assertEqual(solution.match_note_to_magazine('a', 'b'), False)
        self.assertEqual(solution.match_note_to_magazine('aa', 'ab'), False)
        self.assertEqual(solution.match_note_to_magazine('aa', 'aab'), True)
        print('Success: test_ransom_note')

def main():
    test = TestRansomNote()

if __name__ == '__main__':

Solution Notebook

Review the Solution Notebook for a discussion on algorithms and code solutions.