Flinching not-the-slightest from any “down-vote storms” that might possibly originate from my saying so . . .
I have not the slightest idea how this bit of code is supposed to solve this problem, and I am never going to waste my team’s time, ostensibly trying to find out.
If you submitted a “solution” like that once, if you were on my team, then I would kick you up the river. If you then did it twice, you would not be on my team.
You see, it really does not matter that your “solution,” whatever it turns out to be, “solves the problem.” (That is to say, “in every test-case, if any, that occurred to you.) What really matters to the Team is that: “the problem really is Gone.” And, provably so. (Emphasis: “provably!”)
This is, in fact, a well-known issue that the Perl language is specifically designed to handle. (And, oh by the way, Perl did it in exactly the same way that every other language with a built-in SORT verb did.) Therefore, since this is actually a very-old issue that was first very-well solved in the early 1960’s, and which was therefore well-known to even the original Perl implementors, please do not try to plow any new furrows here.