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A more Perlish cleaner version might look like:

use strict; use warnings; my @row = map {chomp; [split '']} <DATA>; my $visible; die "Data too awful to contemplate\n" if @row < 2 || @{$row[0]} < 2; for my $col (1 .. $#{$row[0]} - 1) { my $tHigh = $row[0][$col]; my $bHigh = $row[-1][$col]; $visible += 2; # Edge trees always visible for my $depth (1 .. $#row - 1) { test(\$tHigh, \$row[$depth][$col]) if $tHigh != 9; test(\$bHigh, \$row[-$depth - 1][$col]) if $bHigh != 9; last if $tHigh == 9 && $bHigh == 9; } } for my $rowIdx (1 .. $#row - 1) { # Count down from top edge my $lHigh = $row[$rowIdx][0]; my $rHigh = $row[$rowIdx][-1]; $visible += 2; # Edge trees always visible for my $depth (1 .. $#row - 1) { test(\$lHigh, \$row[$rowIdx][$depth]) if $lHigh != 9; test(\$rHigh, \$row[$rowIdx][-$depth - 1]) if $rHigh != 9; last if $lHigh == 9 && $rHigh == 9; } } $visible += 4; # We didn't consider the corners so do that now. print $visible; sub test { my ($highest, $cell) = @_; return if $$highest >= $$cell; if ($$cell !~ /\./) { ++$visible; $$cell .= '.'; } $$highest = $$cell; return $$highest == 9; } __DATA__ 30373 25512 65332 33549 35390

which outputs 21 - the value suggested by the challenge. Note that is only deals correctly with rectangular forests containing 4 or more trees.

Optimising for fewest key strokes only makes sense transmitting to Pluto or beyond

In reply to Re: Uninitialized warnings trouble by GrandFather
in thread Uninitialized warnings trouble by Anonymous Monk

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