This is indeed interesting. With my test data, it's actually a bit faster than my original version (though we've seen how much different data will affect the various algorithms). Pretty impressive, considering what it does. There appears to be a problem, however. It returns undef if you feed it qw(foo bor boz bzo), but works fine with qw(foo boor booz bzoo) and qw(fo bor boz bzo). So if there are any mismatching number of o's, it returns undef. I don't see why offhand; maybe you have some ideas?
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