I won't insinuate then. I will say it.
It is my belief that while trying to remove lines is a
fun game, anyone who thinks that it is the goal of someone
who would be a good programmer is missing the point. Being
able to write tight code is a result, not a goal.
The foundation of computer programming is the question,
"How do I get this thing to be doing whatever I want?"
That means getting it to work now. Having it work
tomorrow for 2 things, neither quite what you started with
and both harder tasks.
Now you claim that coming across problems that require
ugly logic is a mark of a hacker. I disagree. I think
that a far better mark is finding nicer ways to think
about problems than the obvious (bad) approaches...