After so much coding, I decided to take it easy with a brain teaser. I liked this techinterview palindrome puzzle. October 21, 2001 was a palindromic date, when written in MMDDYYYY format. What was the latest palindromic date previous to that?

Well, it certainly can't be anywhere in 2001, since the palindrome of the four-digit year makes up the four-digit month and day.

The previous year was 2000, which isn't usable because there is no month 00.

The 1900s all yield a day of 91 (like 12911921), which is ridiculous. Similarly, the 1800s all yield 81, the 1700s all yield 71... the biggest century before 2000 which could be a day of the month is 1300. Since that's my most significant tuple, I'm looking for something like AB3113BA.

I could look for the biggest month, but that's putting the cart before the horse: I don't want the biggest month, I want the biggest year. 99 yields a ridiculous month. 21 yields December (12); that'll work, but is it the biggest year?

Nope; I could use month 03 and get 30. That'll work all the way to 09, giving me 09311390.

But wait... was there a 31st of September? (Counts knuckles...) Nope! September is a 30-day month!

Well, the next available year is 1380. 08 is August, which does have 31 days.

So, 08/31/1380 was the last palindromic date before 10/02/2001. Holy moley, 621 years! That's quite a wait!