CCC '08 J3 - GPS Text Entry

View as PDF

Submit solution

Points: 3
Time limit: 2.0s
Memory limit: 256M

Problem type
Canadian Computing Competition: 2008 Stage 1, Junior #3

For her birthday, Sandy got a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit, which is an electronic device she can use to track the local hiking trails. Along the way Sandy can mark waypoints that can be recorded on a map when she gets home. A description of each waypoint can be entered in the unit, however the device does not have a keypad. Instead it has four cursor buttons, up, down, left, and right, and a button to accept the letter. The keypad looks like the following:


The screen displays a grid of the letters and symbols that can be used to "type out" the description. Here is the layout of the grid:

Y Z space - . enter

When you enter the name of the waypoint, the cursor starts at the A. You must move the cursor to the location of the next letter or symbol and then accept that letter. The cursor can only move to squares which are adjacent horizontally or vertically (not diagonally). Once you have entered all the letters in the description, you need to move the cursor to "enter" and accept the entire phrase.

You are to write a program that will calculate the number of cursor movements it takes to "type in" a phrase. For example, to enter the word GPS, starting from the A position, you would move down 1 to select G, then move right 3 and down 1 to select P, then move down 1 and left 3 to select S and finally move down 1 and right 5 to select enter. This is a total of 15 cursor movements. Note that the total number of cursor movements does not change if you choose to move down and then across or across and then down. Also note that you cannot move beyond the boundaries of the grid (e.g., you cannot move off the grid nor "wrap-around" the grid).

Input Specification

The input for your program will be a string of at most 40 characters. You may assume that all characters in the string are contained in the grid.

Output Specification

The output for your program will be an integer that is the total number of cursor movements needed to enter the string using the grid layout given.

Sample Input 1


Output for Sample Input 1


Sample Input 2


Output for Sample Input 2



  • 0
    mahes0640  commented on Jan. 16, 2021, 2:28 a.m.

    Can anyone check why my code gets a type error?

    • 0
      Badmode  commented on Jan. 16, 2021, 7:30 p.m.

      Check your "grid" list and make sure the list includes one of each letter, no more, no less.

      • 0
        mahes0640  commented on Jan. 16, 2021, 10:59 p.m.

        Thank you so much!

  • -1
    MinecraftRoblox7380  commented on Sept. 20, 2019, 11:12 p.m.

    Me no understand

    • 34
      Tzak  commented on Sept. 21, 2019, 1:29 a.m.

      The question is asking you to find the minimum number of times you will have to press the keypad to input a given string into the GPS. Let's say that you want to enter the following string into the GPS:


      You start at the top-left corner, which is where the 'A' is on the table above.

      • Starting from A, typing D requires you to press 3 times.
      • Starting from D, typing M requires you to press 2 times, and 3 times.
      • Starting from M, typing O requires you to press 2 times.
      • Starting from O, typing J requires you to press 1 time, and 1 time.
      • Starting from J, typing enter requires you to press 2 times, and 3 times.

      So, to input your string into the GPS, you need a total of 3 + (2 + 3) + 2 + (1 + 1) + (2 + 3) = 17 key presses. Notice that you need to move your cursor to the enter key to indicate that you are done with inputting your string.