# LeetCode — Short Encoding of Words

A valid encoding of an array of `words` is any reference string `s` and array of indices `indices` such that:

• `words.length == indices.length`
• The reference string `s` ends with the `'#'` character.
• For each index `indices[i]`, the substring of `s` starting from `indices[i]` and up to (but not including) the next `'#'` character is equal to `words[i]`.

Given an array of `words`, return the length of the shortest reference string `s` possible of any valid encoding of `words`.

Example 1:

`Input: words = ["time", "me", "bell"]Output: 10Explanation: A valid encoding would be s = "time#bell#" and indices = [0, 2, 5].words[0] = "time", the substring of s starting from indices[0] = 0 to the next '#' is underlined in "time#bell#"words[1] = "me", the substring of s starting from indices[1] = 2 to the next '#' is underlined in "time#bell#"words[2] = "bell", the substring of s starting from indices[2] = 5 to the next '#' is underlined in "time#bell#"`

Example 2:

`Input: words = ["t"]Output: 2Explanation: A valid encoding would be s = "t#" and indices = [0].`

Constraints:

• `1 <= words.length <= 2000`
• `1 <= words[i].length <= 7`
• `words[i]` consists of only lowercase letters.

Solution:

Time complexity: O(words.length²)

Space complexity: O(words.length)