Well I came up with a solution but for bizarre reasons decided to obfu it, so I posted it as Pattern Matching Obfu
, you will have to change the string $S as appropriate to your requireements. Your clarification of the constraints on the problem lead to some interesting angles, some that I suspect are unintended. Most especially that irrelevent of the short pattern solution there are likely to be very many long patterns, each of which _ONLY_ match once.
My algorthm, in a rather humourous fashion found the following solutions, amongst many others, that meet your critera in a very short amount of time (the | is the seperator between sub patterns):
You are not ready to use symrefs unless you already know why they are bad.
-- tadmc (CLPM)
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